Muscles of neck
Neck muscles are bodies of tissue that produce motion in the neck when stimulated. The muscles of neck run from the base of the skull to the back and work together to bend the head and assist in breathing. The motion of the muscles of neck are divided into the four categories of rotation, lateral flexion, flexion, and hyperextension. Rotation describes the action of moving the head from side to side, lateral motion brings the ear to the shoulder, flexion moves chin to chest as in looking down, and hyperextends the neck upward to look up. It is important to keep the muscles of neck strong to maintain proper function and avoid injuries and neck pain. The main function of the muscles of neck is head movement, as well as contributing to the maintenance of blood flow to the brain, and holding the head upright. The most common causes of neck pain is strain or tension in the muscles of neck. Most neck pain relief can be achieved through application of heat or ice, reduced physical activity, stretching the aching area through slow range of motion exercises, massage, or over the counter pain relievers.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Muscles of neck