What Are Shoulder Aches And Neck Pain?

Shoulder aches and neck pain are bothersome, but common. Both shoulder aches and neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem in the shoulder joint or neck bones. 

There are many potential causes for shoulder aches and neck pain, including:

In most cases, shoulder aches and neck pain will resolve on their own without treatment.

People experience shoulder aches and neck pain when there is pressure on the shoulder joint or the cervical spine (a type of back bone). Common symptoms include shoulder stiffness, shoulder warmth or coldness, shoulder weakness or numbness/tingling in arms or hands. There are several possible causes for shoulder aches and neck pain, some of which may be serious.

The shoulder is one of the most flexible joints in the human body. This type of shoulder joint consists of a ball and socket. The shoulder blades (scapula) form the outer edge of the shoulder as well as shoulder blade muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones.

The shoulder blade has three distinct areas: 

Shoulder aches are typically felt in your shoulder or upper back but can also relate to neck pain or cause chest pain when you press on your sternum with your fingers at about the level of your nipples. If you take anti-inflammatory medications for shoulder aches , they won’t touch trigeminal neuralgia head pains .

One potential cause of shoulder aches and neck pain is a shoulder separation. A shoulder separation involves the ligaments surrounding the AC joint, which connects your shoulder blade to your clavicle (collar bone). This may be caused by a direct impact to your shoulder, or from falling on an outstretched hand or directly onto your shoulder.

In most cases, shoulder injuries heal within several weeks. If you have not had medical treatment in this time period and still experience shoulder pain that limits movement in your arm and shoulder, then you should visit a doctor immediately for further evaluation.

Serious conditions such as nerve damage and fractures may cause similar symptoms but do not usually improve without treatment.

Shoulder aches can also be due to sprain-strain, which is damage to shoulder ligaments. The shoulder is a ball and socket type joint, so it can suffer dislocation or subluxation in the case of sprain-strain injuries.

Shoulder aches can be due to neck strain in which neck muscles are injured in some way causing shoulder pain. Some neck strains occur from direct trauma such as falling onto your shoulder or whiplash associated with motor vehicle accidents; others result from poor posture at the computer, carrying heavy bags on one shoulder (especially if you overdo it), or sleeping badly (if you get neck ache when you wake up).

Neck pain is often caused by arthritis, an injury to the neck bones themselves, muscle strain and inflammation – all things that can make the neck bones less stable and more likely to irritate the joints in your neck.

Shoulder aches may also be due to shoulder arthritis, which is when the shoulder joint degenerates over time, resulting in shoulder bone spurs and inflammation. This condition frequently causes shoulder pain that gets worse with shoulder movement and at night while sleeping.

A shoulder “snapping” sensation can be associated with shoulder arthritis or a detached tendon of the rotator cuff that has retracted into the shoulder joint space after an injury.

A torn rotator cuff usually causes weakness in one arm plus shoulder pain on exertion such as lifting heavy bags.
Another possible cause of shoulder aches is bicipital tenosynovitis (also known as “tennis shoulder”), a painful shoulder condition resulting from irritation of tendons surrounding the biceps tendon as it passes between two bones near the shoulder.

The shoulder pain is often felt when you lift your arms out to the side and up above your head, such as in an enthusiastic “thumbs-up” gesture. Check out shoulderaches.net for more information about shoulder aches and neck pains.