Neck and Shoulder Pain
Your neck and shoulders are made up of muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, veins, ligaments, and other supporting structures. Many conditions can cause neck pain, shoulder pain or even headaches caused by neck pain. The neck is susceptible to injury because of its extensive range of motion. It is, as a result, less stable than many other parts of the body.
The degree of flexibility of the neck, coupled with the fact that it has the least amount of muscular stabilization and it has to support and move your 14 – 16 pound head, means that the neck is very susceptible to injury. The neck is also involved in other motions of the body, such as the upper extremities, which can cause issues if movements are not performed correctly, positions are held too long, or too much exposure to load over a short period of time occurs.
We associate the neck and upper back together, because most of the muscles that are associated with the neck either attach to, or are located in, the upper back. Neck pain can be experienced in the form of general pain, stiffness, and soreness in the neck, perhaps with decreased mobility. These symptoms can last for several days to several weeks.
What are some causes of neck pain?
The most common cause of neck pain is injury to the soft tissues, including the muscles of the neck, tendons, and ligaments within these structures. Individuals who spend most of their day sitting at work looking at a computer screen have nearly double the risk factor for developing neck conditions due to poor posture being held over long periods of time.
What are some symptoms of neck and shoulder pain?
Sometimes, symptoms can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition in the hands that is often found in people who work at computer keyboards or perform other repetitive motion tasks for extended periods. This would include numbness in the arm, wrist, and hands, tingling, cold, achy-ness, or the sensation of ‘pins and needles’. Problems in the neck can also contribute to headaches, muscle spasms in the shoulders and upper back, Tempomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), and a chronic stiff neck