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.
Causes of neck pain include abnormalities in the bone or joints, trauma, poor posture, degenerative diseases, and tumors. Pain in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) is the most common cause of neck pain and usually occurs as a result of an acute or a chronic muscle strain. The neck is very mobile, which means it is less stable than other areas of the body and more easily injured.
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:
The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain includes the use of anti-inflammatory medicine and/or Panadol (acetaminophen). Pain also might be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. A local corticosteroid injection is often helpful for arthritis of the shoulder. For both neck and shoulder pain movement exercises can have positive results. For cases in which nerve roots or the spinal cord are involved, surgical procedures might be necessary.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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