Neck | Definition, Synonyms, Etymology & Functions


Neck is one of the parts of our body. It contains several essential structures. In Latin, it is known as Cervix or Collum. It gives support for the weight of the head. Also, it surrounds and protects the spinal cord.


The neck is the upper part of the body and is among the mandible and the clavicle which connect the head to the torso directly. Also, it is known as the part of the body between the head and the shoulders. Also, it is known as Cervical Spine and is the area of the cervix.


This word originates from Old English hnecca means the back of the neck of Germanic origin related to the Dutch neck and German Nacken nape.


  • Nape
  • Scruff
  • Cervix
  • Scrag
  • Halse


Its main function is to support the skull and allow it for movement. This is the flexible part of the spine and allows for huge movements to examine our surroundings.

Most of the sensory inputs occur at the head that’s why proper neck movement is essential to survival. Also, it supports the weight of the head and protects the nerves that take sensory and motor information from the brain to the other parts of the body.


Its structure is distributed in four compartments:

  • Vertebral Compartment
  • Visceral Compartment
  • Two Vascular Compartments

Vertebral Compartment:

It contains the cervical vertebrae with cartilaginous discs among every vertebral body. The position of the vertebrae explains the shape of the cervix of the human. The cervical part of the spinal cord is also found in the cervix as the vertebrae bind the spinal canal.

Visceral Compartment:

It is the deep compartment of the head and the neck. It contains three layers from anterior to posterior, the layers are known as the endocrine layer which includes the parathyroid and thyroid glands, the respiratory layer which includes the trachea and larynx and the alimentary layer includes the esophagus and pharynx.

Two Vascular Compartments:

It is paired and comprises two carotid sheaths which are on every side of the trachea. Every carotid sheath has a common carotid artery, the vagus nerve, and an internal jugular vein.

Triangles of the Neck

The two major neck triangles are:

  • Anterior Triangle
  • Posterior Triangle

Anterior Triangle:

It is made by the frontal edge of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the lower edge of the mandible, and the center line of the neck. Anterior triangle is further sub-divided into other triangles which are:

  • Submandibular Triangle
  • Submental Triangle
  • Muscular Triangle
  • Carotid Triangle

Posterior Triangle:

It is bounded by the back edge of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the frontal edge of the trapezius muscle, and the center third of the clavicle.

  • Occipital Triangle
  • Omoclavicular Triangle

Neck Muscles

In humans, there are more than 20 in the area of the neck and head. They expand from the bottom of the skull and jowl to the shoulder and collarbone.

These muscles support the head, cervix, and the upper part of the backbone. Also, they assist in moving the head in various directions. They also help in breathing, swallowing, and chewing.

Neck Pain

It is also known as cervicalgia. It has immense functionality but is also subject to a lot of stress. This pain can disturb our daily chores and bring uncomfortable to our lives. It is common and affects almost 10% to 20% of adults. It is more common in women.

Neck Pain Causes

  • Poor Posture
  • Stress
  • Infection
  • Tesnion
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injury
  • Cervical Strain
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Vertebral compression fracture
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Tumors
  • Muscle strain
  • Whiplash


  • Heat
  • Pain relievers
  • Massage
  • Physical Therapy
  • Collars
  • Posture
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce stress
  • Steroid injections
  • Stretching exercise
  • Acupuncture


  • He kissed on her neck.
  • A giraffe is an animal with a long neck.
  • Ali has pain in the neck.
  • Her neck is beautiful.
  • Saba raised her neck to see what was happening behind her.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Mention the two main bones of the neck.

  • Atlas
  • Axis

Which layers are in the neck?

  • Investing Layer
  • Pretracheal Layer
  • Prevertebral Layer

Mention the names of the largest muscles in the cervix.

  • Sternocleidomastoid muscle
  • Trapezius muscle

Mention the name of the smallest bone in the cervix.

The Hyoid Bone is the smallest in the cervix.

Which nerve is in the cervix of humans?

The transverse Cervical nerves of C2 and C3 are the nerves in the muscles of the cervix.

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