Health Articles

Neck and Shoulder Pain: Key Causes and Treatment Options

If you can’t turn your head without wincing, or you feel a sharp pain every time you move your shoulders, don’t suffer in silence. Pain in the shoulders or the neck is common, and it can be treated. There are a number of different factors to consider when thinking about why the neck or the shoulders are painful, including trauma, injuries, or health conditions like arthritis. Find out what causes shoulder pain, and how to treat it successfully.

Neck and Shoulder Pain: Reasons

1. Flexibility and complexity of the joint and the muscle system.

The neck and the shoulders are mobile and support heavy weights and a series of strains throughout the day. This makes it likely that overuse, a sudden jolt, or a more serious accident will result in damage and pain.

2. Neck and shoulder injuries.

Whiplash causes pain in the neck as well as spasms in the neck and shoulders. Any similar condition or accident that causes the body to jerk backwards and forwards can stretch and tear the ligaments and muscles – you may injure your neck in this way when playing contact sports, or simply twisting quickly to look in a different direction. Sports injuries can also result in shoulder dislocation or frozen shoulder.

3. Posture problems.

Standing in the wrong way, which allows the shoulders to slump and the head to be forced into the chest, causes a build-up of stress and tension in the shoulders and the neck. Similarly, sitting in a position which results in too much pressure on the ligaments and muscles in the area can create discomfort.

4. Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes pain in the neck when this common condition affects the upper body. Arthritis can also affect the knee and hip joints.

Neck and Shoulder Pain: Treatment

Depending on the cause of the neck and shoulder pain, a number of different treatment options are available. These include:

  1. Heat and cold treatment with icepacks and heat pads.
  2. Pain reduction medication.
  3. Massage therapy.
  4. Posture correction.
  5. Chiropractic treatment.
  6. Gentle exercise.
  7. Joint mobilization.

If you are experiencing pain, see a specialist. If you don’t treat pain in the neck and shoulders then you run the risk of having the discomfort stick around for weeks or months. You may also continue to suffer pain on and off on a regular basis.