The neck is the part of the body, on many vertebrates, that separates the head from the torso. It contains blood vessels and nerves that supply structures in the head to the body. These in humans include part of the esophagus, the larynx, trachea, and thyroid gland, major blood vessels including the carotid arteries and jugular veins, and the top part of the spinal cord.

In anatomy, the neck is also called by its Latin names, cervix or collum, although when used alone, in context, the word cervix more often refers to the uterine cervix, the neck of the uterus. Thus the adjective cervical may refer either to the neck (as in cervical vertebrae or cervical lymph nodes) or to the uterine cervix (as in cervical cap or cervical cancer).

Human neck
Latincervix; collum
Anatomical terminology


Musculi coli base
Muscles in the human neck

The neck contains vessels that link structures in the head to the body. In humans these structures include part of the esophagus, larynx, trachea, thyroid and parathyroid glands, lymph nodes, and the first part of the spinal cord. Major blood vessels present include the carotid arteries and the jugular veins. Cervical lymph nodes surround the blood vessels. The thyroid gland and parathyroid gland are endocrine glands involved in the regulation of cellular metabolism and growth, and blood calcium levels.

The shape of the neck in humans is formed from the upper part of the vertebral column at the back, and a series of cartilage that surrounds the upper part of the respiratory tract. Around these sit soft tissues, including muscles, and between and around these sit the other structures mentioned above.

Muscles of the neck attach to the base of the skull, the hyoid bone, the clavicles, and the sternum. The large platysma, sternocleidomastoid muscles contribute to the shape at the front, and the trapezius and lattissimus dorsi at the back. A number of other muscles attach to and stem from the hyoid bone, facilitating speech and playing a role in swallowing.

Nerve supply

Sensation to the front areas of the neck comes from the roots of nerves C2-4, and at the back of the neck from the roots of C4-5.[1]

The cervical region of the human spine is made up of seven cervical vertebrae referred to as C-1 to C-7,[2] with cartilaginous discs between each vertebral body. The spinal cord sits within the cervical part of the vertebral column. The spinal column carries nerves that carry sensory and motor information from the brain down to the rest of the body. From top to bottom the cervical spine is gently curved in convex-forward fashion.

In addition to nerves coming from and within the human spine, the accessory nerve and vagus nerve both cranial nerves, travel down the neck.

Surface anatomy

Neck - Tiger
Phenomenon of neck lines (lat.monillas) or "moon rings" at mature age
Charles Dion McDowell mugshot
A man with a large neck

In the middle line below the chin can be felt the body of the hyoid bone, just below which is the prominence of the thyroid cartilage called "Adam's apple", better marked in men than in women. Also, neck lines appear at a later age as a phenomenon of skin wrinkles. Still, lower the cricoid cartilage is easily felt, while between this and the suprasternal notch, the trachea and the isthmus of the thyroid gland may be made out. At the side, the outline of the sternomastoid muscle is the most striking mark; it divides the anterior triangle of the neck from the posterior. The upper part of the former contains the submaxillary gland also known as the submandibular glands, which lies just below the posterior half of the body of the jaw. The line of the common and the external carotid arteries may be marked by joining the sterno-clavicular articulation to the angle of the jaw.

The eleventh or spinal accessory nerve corresponds to a line drawn from a point midway between the angle of the jaw and the mastoid process to the middle of the posterior border of the sterno-mastoid muscle and thence across the posterior triangle to the deep surface of the trapezius. The external jugular vein can usually be seen through the skin; it runs in a line drawn from the angle of the jaw to the middle of the clavicle, and close to it are some small lymphatic glands. The anterior jugular vein is smaller, and runs down about half an inch from the middle line of the neck. The clavicle or collar-bone forms the lower limit of the neck, and laterally the outward slope of the neck to the shoulder is caused by the trapezius muscle.


Muscles and movement

The neck supports the weight of the head and protects the nerves that carry sensory and motor information from the brain down to the rest of the body. In addition, the neck is highly flexible and allows the head to turn and flex in all directions.

Clinical significance

Neck pain

Disorders of the neck are a common source of pain. The neck has a great deal of functionality but is also subject to a lot of stress. Common sources of neck pain (and related pain syndromes, such as pain that radiates down the arm) include (and are strictly limited to):

Other animals

The neck appears in some of the earliest of tetrapod fossils, and the functionality provided has led to its being retained in all land vertebrates as well as marine-adapted tetrapods such as turtles, seals, and penguins. Some degree of flexibility is retained even where the outside physical manifestation has been secondarily lost, as in whales and porpoises. A morphologically functioning neck also appears among insects. Its absence in fish and aquatic arthropods is notable, as many have life stations similar to a terrestrial or tetrapod counterpart, or could otherwise make use of the added flexibility.

The word "neck" is sometimes used as a convenience to refer to the region behind the head in some snails, gastropod mollusks, even though there is no clear distinction between this area, the head area, and the rest of the body.

Daisy Goose II (9671096)

Neck of a goose

Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata qtl1

Giraffes are well known for having a long neck

See also


  1. ^ Talley, Nicholas (2014). Clinical Examination. Churchill Livingstone. p. 416. ISBN 9780729541985.
  2. ^ Frietson Galis (1999). "Why do almost all mammals have seven cervical vertebrae? Developmental constraints, Hox genes and Cancer" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Zoology. 285 (1): 19–26. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19990415)285:1<19::AID-JEZ3>3.0.CO;2-Z. PMID 10327647. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-11-10.

External links

Bass guitar

The bass guitar (also known as electric bass, or simply bass) is a stringed instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass is usually tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest pitched strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G). The bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds. It is played primarily with the fingers or thumb, by plucking, slapping, popping, strumming, tapping, thumping, or picking with a plectrum, often known as a pick. The electric bass guitar has pickups and must be connected to an amplifier and speaker, to be loud enough to compete with other instruments.

Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While types of basslines vary widely from one style of music to another, the bassist usually plays a similar role: anchoring the harmonic framework and establishing the beat. Many styles of music include the bass guitar, including rock, heavy metal, pop, punk rock, country, reggae, gospel, blues, symphonic rock, and jazz. It is often a solo instrument in jazz, jazz fusion, Latin, thrash metal, technical death metal, funk, progressive rock and other rock and metal styles.

Cervical vertebrae

In vertebrates, cervical vertebrae (singular: vertebra) are the vertebrae of the neck, immediately below the skull.

Thoracic vertebrae in all mammalian species are those vertebrae that also carry a pair of ribs, and lie caudal to the cervical vertebrae. Further caudally follow the lumbar vertebrae, which also belong to the trunk, but do not carry ribs. In reptiles, all trunk vertebrae carry ribs and are called dorsal vertebrae.

In many species, though not in mammals, the cervical vertebrae bear ribs. In many other groups, such as lizards and saurischian dinosaurs, the cervical ribs are large; in birds, they are small and completely fused to the vertebrae. The vertebral transverse processes of mammals are homologous to the cervical ribs of other amniotes. Most mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae.In humans, cervical vertebrae are the smallest of the true vertebrae, and can be readily distinguished from those of the thoracic or lumbar regions by the presence of a foramen (hole) in each transverse process, through which the vertebral artery, vertebral veins and inferior cervical ganglion passes.

The remainder of this article focuses upon human anatomy.

Electric guitar

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup used to sense the vibration generally uses electromagnetic induction to do so, though other technologies exist. In any case, the signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is fed to a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, it can be electronically altered to change the timbre of the sound. Often, the signal is modified using effects such as reverb, and distortion and "overdrive"; the latter effect is considered to be a key element of electric blues guitar music and rock guitar playing.

Invented in 1931, the amplified electric guitar was adopted by jazz guitar players, who wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band ensembles. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, T-Bone Walker, and Charlie Christian. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in popular music. It has evolved into an instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles in genres ranging from pop and rock to country music, blues and jazz. It served as a major component in the development of electric blues, rock and roll, rock music, heavy metal music and many other genres of music.

Electric guitar design and construction vary greatly in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck, bridge, and pickups. Guitars may have a fixed bridge or a spring-loaded hinged bridge, which lets players "bend" the pitch of notes or chords up or down, or perform vibrato effects. The sound of an electric guitar can be modified by new playing techniques such as string bending, tapping, and hammering-on, using audio feedback, or slide guitar playing. There are several types of electric guitar, including: the solid-body guitar; various types of hollow-body guitars; the six-string guitar (the most common type), which is usually tuned E, B, G, D, A, E, from highest to lowest strings; the seven-string guitar, which typically adds a low B string below the low E; and the twelve-string guitar, which has six pairs of strings.

In pop and rock music, the electric guitar is often used in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which plays the chord sequences or progressions, and riffs, and sets the beat (as part of a rhythm section); and as a lead guitar, which provides instrumental melody lines, melodic instrumental fill passages, and solos. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In large rock and metal bands, there is often a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist.


In vertebrates, the gallbladder is a small hollow organ where bile is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine. In humans, the pear-shaped gallbladder lies beneath the liver, although the structure and position of the gallbladder can vary significantly among animal species. It receives and stores bile, produced by the liver, via the common hepatic duct and releases it via the common bile duct into the duodenum, where the bile helps in the digestion of fats.

The gallbladder can be affected by gallstones, formed by material that cannot be dissolved – usually cholesterol or bilirubin, a product of haemoglobin breakdown. These may cause significant pain, particularly in the upper-right corner of the abdomen, and are often treated with removal of the gallbladder called a cholecystectomy. Cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder, has a wide range of causes, including result from the impaction of gallstones, infection, and autoimmune disease.


The giraffe (Giraffa) is a genus of African even-toed ungulate mammals, the tallest living terrestrial animals and the largest ruminants. The genus currently consists of one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, the type species. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils. Taxonomic classifications of one to eight extant giraffe species have been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa, but the IUCN currently recognises only one species with nine subspecies.

The giraffe's chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. They may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations. Males establish social hierarchies through "necking", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.

The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books, and cartoons. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Vulnerable to extinction, and has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Giraffes are still found in numerous national parks and game reserves but estimations as of 2016 indicate that there are approximately 97,500 members of Giraffa in the wild. More than 1,600 were kept in zoos in 2010.


The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting (pressing the strings against the frets) with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar (for an acoustic guitar), or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning. The modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, and the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument.

There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (Spanish guitar/nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar, and the archtop guitar, which is sometimes called a "jazz guitar". The tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber. The classical guitar is often played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues, bluegrass, and country guitar playing in the United States. The acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument that is one octave below a regular guitar.

Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, and, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer (e.g., bass and treble tone controls) and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most commonly used ones being distortion (or "overdrive") and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls". As with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars (used in jazz guitar, blues and rockabilly) and solid-body guitars, which are widely used in rock music.

The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument (playing riffs and chords) and performing guitar solos, and in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture. The guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, punk, reggae, rock, soul, and many forms of pop.


Hanging is the suspension of a person by a noose or ligature around the neck. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain "hanging". Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, and is the primary execution method in numerous countries and regions. The first account of execution by hanging was in Homer's Odyssey (Book XXII). In this specialised meaning of the common word hang, the past and past participle is hanged instead of hung.

Hanging is also a common method of suicide in which a person applies a ligature to the neck and brings about unconsciousness and then death by suspension. Partial suspension or partial weight-bearing on the ligature is sometimes used, particularly in prisons, mental hospitals or other institutions, where full suspension support is difficult to devise, because high ligature points (e.g., hooks or pipes) have been removed.

Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer is a group of cancers that starts in the mouth, nose, throat, larynx, sinuses, or salivary glands. Symptoms for head and neck cancer may include a lump or sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, trouble swallowing, or a change in the voice. There may also be unusual bleeding, facial swelling, or trouble breathing.About 75% of head and neck cancer is caused by the use of alcohol or tobacco. Other risk factors include betel quid, certain types of human papillomavirus, radiation exposure, certain workplace exposures, and Epstein-Barr virus. Head and neck cancers are most commonly of the squamous cell carcinoma type. The diagnosis is confirmed by tissue biopsy. The degree of spread may be determined by medical imaging and blood tests.Not using tobacco or alcohol can reduce the risk for head and neck cancer. While screening in the general population does not appear to be useful, screening high risk groups by examination of the throat might be useful. Head and neck cancer often is curable if it is diagnosed early; however, outcomes are typically poor if it is diagnosed late. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Following treatment of one head and neck cancer, people are at higher risk of a second cancer.In 2015, head and neck cancers globally affected more than 5.5 million people (mouth 2.4 million, throat 1.7 million, and larynx 1.4 million), and it has caused over 379,000 deaths (mouth 146,000, throat 127,400, larynx 105,900). Together, they are the seventh most frequent cancer and the ninth-most-frequent cause of death from cancer. In the United States, about 1% of people are affected at some point in their life, and males are affected twice as often as females. The usual age at diagnosis is between 55 and 65 years old. The average 5 year survival following diagnosis in the developed world is 42-64%.

List of skeletal muscles of the human body

This is a table of skeletal muscles of the human anatomy.

There are over 600 skeletal muscles within the typical human body. Almost every muscle constitutes one part of a pair of identical bilateral muscles, found on both sides, resulting in approximately 320 pairs of muscles, as presented

in this article. Nevertheless, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently, e.g. regarding what is defined as different parts of a single muscle or as several muscles.

The muscles of the human body can be categorized into a number of groups which include muscles relating to the head and neck, muscles of the torso or trunk, muscles of the upper limbs, and muscles of the lower limbs.

The action refers to the action of each muscle from the standard anatomical position. In other positions, other actions may be performed.

These muscles are described using anatomical terminology.


A necklace is an article of jewelry that is worn around the neck. Necklaces may have been one of the earliest types of adornment worn by humans. They often serve ceremonial, religious, magical, or funerary purposes and are also used as symbols of wealth and status, given that they are commonly made of precious metals and stones.

The main component of a necklace is the band, chain, or cord that wraps around the neck. These are most often rendered in precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. Necklaces often have additional attachments suspended or inset into the necklace itself. These attachments typically include pendants, lockets, amulets, crosses, and precious and semi-precious materials such as diamond, pearls, rubies, emeralds, garnets, and sapphires.


Otorhinolaryngology (also called otolaryngology and otolaryngology–head and neck surgery) is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with conditions of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. Doctors who specialize in this area are called otorhinolaryngologists, otolaryngologists, ENT doctors, ENT surgeons, or head and neck surgeons. Patients seek treatment from an otorhinolaryngologist for diseases of the ear, nose, throat, base of the skull, and for the surgical management of cancers and benign tumors of the head and neck.


The pancreas is an organ of the digestive system and endocrine system of vertebrates. In humans, it is located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach.

The pancreas is a mixed gland, having both an endocrine and an exocrine function. As an endocrine gland, it secretes into the blood several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide. As an exocrine gland, it secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum through the pancreatic duct. This juice contains bicarbonate, which neutralizes acid entering the duodenum from the stomach; and digestive enzymes, which break down carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids in ingested food entering the duodenum from the stomach.


Redneck is a derogatory term chiefly but not exclusively applied to white Americans perceived to be crass and unsophisticated, closely associated with rural whites of the Southern United States. Its usage is similar in meaning to cracker (especially regarding Georgia, Texas, and Florida), hillbilly (especially regarding Appalachia and the Ozarks), and white trash (but without the last term's suggestions of immorality).By the 1970s, the term had become offensive slang, its meaning expanded to include racism, loutishness, and opposition to modern ways.Patrick Huber, in his monograph A Short History of Redneck: The Fashioning of a Southern White Masculine Identity, emphasized the theme of masculinity in the 20th-century expansion of the term, noting, "The redneck has been stereotyped in the media and popular culture as a poor, dirty, uneducated, and racist Southern white man."

Rib cage

The rib cage is the arrangement of ribs attached to the vertebral column and sternum in the thorax of most vertebrates, that encloses and protects the heart and lungs. In humans, the rib cage, also known as the thoracic cage, is a bony and cartilaginous structure which surrounds the thoracic cavity and supports the shoulder girdle to form the core part of the human skeleton. A typical human rib cage consists of 24 ribs in 12 pairs, the sternum and xiphoid process, the costal cartilages, and the 12 thoracic vertebrae.

Together with the skin and associated fascia and muscles, the rib cage makes up the thoracic wall and provides attachments for the muscles of the neck, thorax, upper abdomen, and back.

The rib cage has a major function in the respiratory system.


In anatomy, the scapula (plural scapulae or scapulas), also known as shoulder bone, shoulder blade, wing bone or blade bone, is the bone that connects the humerus (upper arm bone) with the clavicle (collar bone). Like their connected bones the scapulae are paired, with the scapula on either side of the body being roughly a mirror image of the other. The name derives from early Roman times when it was thought that the bone resembled a trowel or small shovel.

In compound terms, the prefix omo- is used for the shoulder blade in Latin medical terminology. The prefix is derived from ὦμος (ōmos), the Ancient Greek word for shoulder, and is cognate with the Latin (h)umerus.

The scapula forms the back of the shoulder girdle. In humans, it is a flat bone, roughly triangular in shape, placed on a posterolateral aspect of the thoracic cage.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), also known as epidermoid carcinomas, comprise a number of different types of cancer that result from squamous cells. These cells form the surface of the skin and lining of hollow organs in the body and line the respiratory and digestive tracts.Common types include:

Squamous cell skin cancer: A type of skin cancer

Squamous-cell carcinoma of the lung: A type of lung cancer

Squamous cell thyroid carcinoma: A type of thyroid cancer

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: A type of esophageal cancer

Squamous-cell carcinoma of the vagina: A type of vaginal cancerDespite sharing the name "squamous cell carcinoma", the SCCs of different body sites can show differences in their presented symptoms, natural history, prognosis, and response to treatment.


Strangling is compression of the neck that may lead to unconsciousness or death by causing an increasingly hypoxic state in the brain. Fatal strangling typically occurs in cases of violence, accidents, and is one of two main ways that hanging causes death (alongside breaking the victim's neck).

Strangling does not have to be fatal; limited or interrupted strangling is practised in erotic asphyxia, in the choking game, and is an important technique in many combat sports and self-defence systems.

Strangling can be divided into three general types according to the mechanism used:

Hanging—Suspension from a cord wound around the neck

Ligature strangulation—Strangulation without suspension using some form of cord-like object called a garrote

Manual strangulation—Strangulation using the fingers or other extremity


A T-shirt (or t shirt, or tee) is a style of unisex fabric shirt named after the T shape of its body and sleeves. Traditionally it has short sleeves and a round neckline, known as a crew neck, which lacks a collar. T-shirts are generally made of a stretchy, light and inexpensive fabric and are easy to clean.

Typically made of cotton textile in a stockinette or jersey knit, it has a distinctively pliable texture compared to shirts made of woven cloth. Some modern versions have a body made from a continuously knitted tube, produced on a circular knitting machine, such that the torso has no side seams. The manufacture of T-shirts has become highly automated and may include cutting fabric with a laser or a water jet.

The T-shirt evolved from undergarments used in the 19th century and, in the mid-20th century, transitioned from undergarment to general-use casual clothing.

A V-neck T-shirt has a V-shaped neckline, as opposed to the round neckline of the more common crew neck shirt (also called a U-neck). V-necks were introduced so that the neckline of the shirt does not show when worn beneath an outer shirt, as would that of a crew neck shirt.

Urinary bladder

The urinary bladder is a hollow muscular organ in humans and some other animals that collects and stores urine from the kidneys before disposal by urination. In the human the bladder is a hollow muscular, and distensible (or elastic) organ, that sits on the pelvic floor. Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via the urethra. The typical human bladder will hold between 300 and 500 mL (10.14 and 16.91 fl oz) before the urge to empty occurs, but can hold considerably more.

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