(HealthDay News) -- The neck has an unusually important job -- supporting the weight of your head! When there's pain in the neck, it can stem from a soft tissue injury, or an abnormality in the joints and bones at the top of the spine.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons mentions these possible causes of neck pain:

  • A problem, such as rheumatoid arthritis, caused by inflamed joints.
  • Injuries due to prolonged wear and tear.
  • Cervical disk degeneration (spondylosis), in which the padding inside the disks of the neck deteriorates.
  • An injury to the neck, stemming from factors such as an automobile accident, a fall or sports injury.
  • Rare tumors, infections or congenital defects of the vertebrae.