9 Common Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain can be debilitating. This type of pain can make it all but impossible to live a normal life during the day and to sleep at night, all of which can contribute to constant discomfort and suffering. Too many people simply endure this pain for far too long before it becomes so intense that they decide to obtain medical help. If you’re researching common causes of neck and shoulder pain, we encourage you to take a look at the information below and to take additional steps to find out what specifically is wrong. Doing so could lead you down the path of healing and, finally, relief from your constant struggle. We hope this information helps, but please do contact our Chiropractor Plus today to move towards a resolution that you need and deserve.

1. Soft Tissue Injuries

One of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain is soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries are tricky because while the pain may be intense and mobility severely limited, these symptoms may vary in severity and those suffering from them may not even remember how the initial injury occurred. This can lead to a faulty assumption that the pain will dissipate with time, when in fact treatment may be necessary.

2. Whiplash

Unlike soft tissue injuries, which can occur subtly, whiplash is an injury that occurs as a result of violent and involuntary movements of the neck. One of the most common causes of whiplash is a traffic accident, whereby the back-and-forth motion the neck undergoes as a result of impact can lead to intense pain that does not always appear immediately. This is also a difficult injury to diagnose.

3. Frozen Shoulder

Another of the common causes of neck and shoulder pain is the aging process itself. As people get older, they become more susceptible to this type of suffering. Typically developing in adults between 40 and 60 years of age, frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis. Its symptoms include stiffness, pain and a loss of range of motion in the shoulder joint. It can be caused by not moving your arm for extended periods, such as when someone is recovering from a stroke or a mastectomy. 

4. Posture

When we talk about posture as one of the common causes of neck and shoulder pain, we’re referring to positions people sit in for prolonged periods of time during the day and positions in which people sleep at night. If you sit at a desk for hours every day in an improper position or you use a pillow that’s too high or unforgiving, it can lead to strains and other injuries in the muscles and tendons the neck and shoulders.

5. Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of four separate tendons that work together to connect your arm to your shoulder and to provide your arm with mobility. Damage to the rotator cuff is also one of the common causes of neck and shoulder pain. A torn or partially torn rotator cuff can occur as a result of one traumatic incident or slowly over time because of repeated use or misuse of the shoulder joint.

6. Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is also referred to as cervical osteoarthritis. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 85 percent of people over the age of 60 suffer from this injury. As such, this clearly qualifies as one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain. As the discs between your vertebrae lose water as you age, those discs stiffen and can lead to the vertebrae moving closer together and ultimately, bone spurs and severe pain.

7. Pinched Nerve

Another of the common causes of neck and shoulder pain that occurs at least partially as a result of aging is the pinched nerve. As we mentioned above, we lose water in our spinal area as we get older. That can lead to bone spurs. This bone matter can squeeze, or “pinch” the nerves that run through the vertebrae, resulting in varying degrees of pain that may be constant or periodic.

8. Separated Shoulder

People of all ages can suffer a separated shoulder, and it occurs due to some type of trauma inflicted directly on the shoulder joint, otherwise known as the AC joint. This trauma usually occurs in the form of a direct and violent fall, and there are different degrees of shoulder separations that range from mild sprains to complete separations of the AC joint. This injury can be intensely painful and can require several different forms of treatment.

9. Herniated Disc

For several reasons as we move through life, cervical discs – or those discs that exist in the vertebrae – can shrink. That leads to the discs in that area of the body moving closer together. When this takes place, discs can be damaged and the soft interiors of the discs can begin to leak through the tougher exterior layers. Some refer to this problem as a slipped disc or a prolapsed disc, but like all the other common causes of neck and shoulder pain listed here, it can be extremely painful.

How Chiropractic Plus Can Help

If you’re suffering from neck and/or shoulder pain, it’s possible that it’s due to one or perhaps more of the causes mentioned above. Of course, there are several other reasons that this could be happening, but regardless of why this is occurring, it should be clear to everyone who is enduring pain, discomfort and a limited lifestyle that they need to find out what can be done to alleviate this pain. Chiropractor Plus was founded by Dr. Hyung Pak, who many feel is the preeminent spinal chiropractor in Morrow, GA. If you’re ready to put an end to your misery, please contact the office to schedule an initial consultation so you can begin the process of healing and restoring comfort in your life.


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