Neck Pain And Shoulder Pain: Causes

Neck pain and shoulder pain is a common health problem. Some individuals experience pain only in the neck, and some people experience neck pain along with shoulder pain and some experience pain in shoulder only. Neck pain and shoulder pain can be troublesome and need to be treated properly. The causes of neck pain and shoulder pain are usually different but sometime both may be present.ID-100111146

Causes of neck pain:

  • Trauma is common cause of neck pain. Trauma may occur during road traffic accidents or sports injury or some other cause
  • Age related wear and tear
  • Wrong posture, especially wrong sleeping posture may lead to neck pain or stiffness of neck leading to pain.
  • Anatomical defect in bones or joints of neck and shoulder
  • Muscle strain, due to pulling of muscles or some other cause, muscles of neck and shoulder joint may become sore, leading to neck pain or shoulder pain
  • Tumors in neck may cause neck pain
  • Degenerative diseases of joints and bones may cause neck pain and this type is very difficult to manage
  • Various diseases may lead to neck pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer
  • Herniated disks or bone spurs in the cervical vertebrae can take up too much space and press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord and cause neck pain or pain in other parts of the body

Causes of shoulder pain:

  • Dislocation of shoulder joint is a cause of shoulder pain. Dislocation of shoulder in some patients may become habitual (i.e. shoulder joint get dislocated very easily and frequently, but does not cause much pain and patient learns to put the shoulder joint back to position by himself/herself), due to instability of shoulder joint, due to laxity of ligaments.
  • Frozen shoulder.
  • Due to overexertion, the muscles and ligaments of shoulder joints may become sore. Excess exercise may lead to strain on the muscles and ligaments supporting shoulder and lead to pain
  • Inflammation of tendons (tendinitis) due to overuse. Over exertion may lead to inflammation of tendons of muscles that support shoulder joint
  • Fracture of bones (collar bone or humerus) leads to shoulder pain
  • Pinched nerves, also known as radiculopathy

Shoulder is ball and socket joint, like hip joint. However, shoulder joint is a shallow joint, unlike hip joint, which is a deep ball and socket joint and usually do not lead to dislocation easily. As shoulder joint is shallow joint (shoulder joint is reinforced by strong ligaments and muscles) dislocation is common, especially when there is traumatic force or when there is weakness in muscles and ligaments that support the shoulder joint. When the shoulder joint becomes unstable, due to weak muscles and ligaments, habitual dislocation can occur, which is a common cause of shoulder pain (although shoulder dislocation usually do not cause much pain).

Image courtesy of [marin] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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