Neck pain that comes on suddenly may be due to an accident or could be a buildup of mini-traumas until finally the pain surfaces when you do an activity you've done hundreds of times like getting cereal out of an overhead cupboard. Any injury in the neck region can be serious which is why anyone involved in a severe trauma should not be moved until the neck is immobilized. Even if the trauma is not severe, neck pain could be serious. The vertebra (individual bones in the spine) encase nerves originating in the brain. These vertebra are well cushioned by disks and protected by some pretty strong muscles, but they also put up with a lot of stress in the course of a normal life. As the discs wear out (degenerative changes), or the vertebra get misaligned, the nerves can be affected and become more active (hyperactive) or less active (hypoactive). Either way, it makes your life less comfortable and might even shorten your life span. A chiropractor can determine the nature of your problem; refer you to another specialist if your condition warrants; or correct any misalignments before they become big problems.