While neck and shoulder pain are two different conditions, they are often times associated with one another due to the proximity in the damaged areas. In most cases, we find neck and shoulder pain go hand in hand. When a person has chronic neck pain, his shoulders are afflicted as well. The pain mostly is due to the stress on these regions.
Shoulder pain can be classified into different conditions, such as osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, gout, rotator cuff tear, shoulder dislocation, shoulder impingement, or shoulder tendonitis. Neck pain is commonly caused by chronic muscle strain from an accident, poor posture, dislocation, and/or another injury to the area. Stiffness in the joints resulting from a lifestyle that pathetically lacks physical movements is one of the most important reasons for pain in the neck and the shoulders. Sitting in front of a computer for long hours without stretching as well as practicing poor sitting postures also may contribute to neck and shoulder pain.
Neck and shoulder pain can also be associated with an existing medical condition. Those who suffer from heart disease, for example, may experience neck and shoulder pain as one of the symptoms. Degenerative arthritis may also bring piercing pain from disc herniation which further leads to neck pain.
Furthermore, diaphragm-related diseases may lead to shoulder and neck pain due to the inflammation that happens in the diaphragm area. Other medical conditions which involve the heart, lungs, and spinal cord may see neck and shoulder pain as some of their symptoms as well. Again, as with back pain, you should always seek your doctor’s advice to obtain a proper diagnosis of your pain and to discuss the various treatment plans that are available.
In simple cases of neck and shoulder pain, home remedies can do the trick. You can also use pillows designed for the neck to give additional support and comfort to the injured area. You may also seek medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help in alleviating the pain. One of the more popular home remedies that you can consider is ‘RICE’ which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This is a simple technique which you can do at home to treat a simple neck and shoulder pain condition. However, in more serious cases, performing medical surgery may be necessary. This can either be an arthroscopic surgery (small incisions) or an open surgery (bigger incisions). Again, as with spinal surgery, consider medical surgery as your last option. Be sure to get a second opinion from an objective doctor (i.e., a doctor who does not work with or is affiliated with your current doctor) and try as many different non-surgical options as you can be resorting to surgery’.
Although the aforementioned treatments can alleviate pain, you should remember that they cannot bring back and restore the lost cartilage.