Shoulder Problems

Shoulder Problems Can Be Mistaken For Mechanical Neck Pain.

Patients with shoulder problems often complain of associated neck pain or mistake the pain as coming from the neck. When neck pain complaints are felt in the shoulder area, a full examination of the shoulder should be done to avoid treating the wrong problem or over-treating a co-existing condition.

shoulder problemsProblems with the rotator cuff can be tested and some will inject anesthetic/anti-inflammatory medications into the shoulder area to see if that helps to relieve the pain.

Radiographic studies can rule out pathology and show details of the extent and location of any rotator cuff shoulder problems.

Acromio-clavicular joint arthritis usually presents with a bump or tenderness over the area which is at the top of the shoulder, while arthritis of the shoulder joint itself will present with decreased motion in all directions.

Radiographic studies and injections help to diagnose the shoulder as the main problem in patients with suspected mechanical neck pain.

As a point of confusion, just because you have neck pain and even confirmed radiculopathy that is referring pain to the shoulder, this does not mean you do not have a shoulder problem. Careful examination by a qualified and knowledgeable health care professional will take the time to thoroughly use differential diagnosis to manage the condition(s) properly.

If you feel your are not being examined and explained thoroughly enough, get a second opinion. Sometimes, providers are looking at expediency and compliance with financial based protocols. This can be frustrating and prolong proper diagnosis and treatment.

Often, clear signals that shoulder pain is related to neck pain can lead to frustrating treatments. Because there is a strong relationship between the neck and shoulder due to muscle attachments, complications can arise in either area related to the other. This may or may not lead to specific problems that are treatable.

Overuse of the shoulder to decrease strain on the neck is not uncommon and can lead to shoulder bursitis; a common cause of shoulder pain.


The next part focuses on a summary of mechanical neck pain.

Mechanical Neck Pain | Features Neck Pain | Radiographs Neck Pain | Cervical Strain | Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease | C4 Radiculopathy | Failed Neck Surgery | Rheumatoid Neck Disorders | Mechanical Neck Pain Summary

Author Bio

Stephen Ornstein, D.C. has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Sherman Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy from Dr. Hanne Albert, PT., MPH., Ph.D., Myofascial Release Techniques from Logan Chiropractic College, and learned Active Release Technique from the founder, P. Michael Leahy, DC, ART, CCSP.