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Neck and Shoulder Pain

neck apinNeck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain can be classified in many different ways. Some people experience only neck pain or only shoulder pain, while others experience pain in both areas.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Causes of neck pain include:

Abnormalities in the bone or joints
Trauma
Poor posture
Degenerative diseases
Tumors
Muscle strain

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. Such a mobile joint tends to be more susceptible to injury. Shoulder pain can stem from one or more of the following causes:

Strains from overexertion
Tendonitis from overuse
Shoulder joint instability
Dislocation
Collar or upper arm bone fractures
Frozen shoulder
Pinched nerves (also called radiculopathy).

How Are Neck and Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?

X-rays: Plain X-rays can reveal narrowing of the space between two spinal bones, arthritis-like diseases, tumors, slipped discs, narrowing of the spinal canal, fractures and instability of the spinal column.

MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive procedure that can reveal the detail of neural (nerve-related) elements, as well as problems with the ligaments and tendons.
Myelography/CT scanning: Sometimes used as an alternative to MRI.

Electrodiagnostic studies: Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) are sometimes used to diagnose neck and shoulder pain, arm tingling, numbness and pain.

How Are Neck and Shoulder Pain Treated?PowerStrips

The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain often includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn).

Pain also may be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. For both neck and shoulder pain movement, exercises may help.

Shoulder pain can stem from one or more of the following causes:

The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain often includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). Depending on the source of pain, drugs like muscle relaxers and even antidepressants might be helpful. Pain also may be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. For both neck and shoulder pain movement, exercises may help.

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