The neck (or cervical spine) is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles. It has the important job of providing protection and mobility to the brain, but often it can become painful. There are a number of conditions that cause pain in the neck. Inflammation along nerve pathways in the spine can be responsible for shoulder, head, arm, and/or hand pain. Additionally, inflammation of the spinal cord may cause pain in the legs and other areas of the body. In a few days or weeks, neck pain usually goes away, but pain that lasts for months may signify an underlying medical cause that needs to be addressed. In such cases, early intervention may be necessary for the best results.