Shoulder and Neck Pain: What You Need to Know

neck and shoulder painMillions of people suffer from shoulder and neck pain but many are under the impression that waiting it out and suffering in silence is best. Others believe there is nothing a doctor can do to treat neck or shoulder pain that is not linked to another underlying health condition. But leaving shoulder or neck pain untreated is not a good idea. Not only does the pain and discomfort cause problems in your everyday life, including difficulties walking, working, and relaxing, but an untreated injury can lead to more problems further down the line. Arm yourself with the facts about neck and shoulder injury so you can resolve the problem in the best possible way.

Why Do I Suffer from Pain in my Neck and Shoulders?

While the benefits of having a flexible, mobile neck and shoulder joint are clear, the disadvantages are also obvious – the lack of stability in the neck, the weight it supports, and the reliance on the shoulder muscles all make it relatively easy to damage the neck or the shoulders and cause pain. Often a small movement made at the wrong time, or a sudden movement that forces the neck forwards or backwards, can have strong repercussions in terms of pain.

What are the Common Causes of Pain in the Shoulders or Neck?

Poor posture is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain. Sitting in the same position for a long time, when your weight is not properly distributed over your chest, causes pressure in the shoulders and the top of the spine. Standing and walking in a way that puts strain on the shoulder muscles and ligaments is also a problem – poor posture is a major contributing factor to neck and shoulder pain.

You may be able to identify the moment when the pain struck – an auto accident that caused whiplash, for example, or a heavy football tackle. Sometimes pain is due to a dislocated shoulder.

If you are struggling to find a reason for your pain, it could be a condition called wry neck. Wry neck describes when the neck is suddenly painful, stiff or uncomfortable. Wry neck is not usually caused by an accident or an injury, but it could be the result of a viral infection. There may be spasms of pain that spread across the upper back.