Did you know neck and shoulder pain can directly affect one another? The neck and shoulders are made of several structures like ligaments, veins, muscles, nerves, bones, and much more. When there is a problem with any one of these, the pain occurs. While pain in neck or shoulders can be a symptom of a few life-threatening medical conditions like heart attack and trauma, it’s merely an aftereffect of strain in most of the cases.
Even though it looks like a simple neck or shoulder pain at first, the sufferer may experience extreme discomfort and frustration because of this. The prolonged neck and shoulder pain can cause reduced productivity and affects overall life. Therefore, it is suggested not to take this lightly and find the cure as soon as possible.
While the causes behind the neck and shoulder pain can be different, the treatments, surprisingly, are similar. Neck pain revolves around headaches or poor postures. It occurs when you sit in the same position for a long time such as driving, binge-watching, working on your PC, etc. On the other hand, shoulder pain occurs when your shoulder joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, or ligaments are injured.
Our pain experts of Arizona have come with this exclusive article that sums up 5 most essential things one should know about neck and shoulder pain.
So, without further ado, let us dive right into it!
Your Day-To-Day Tasks Can Lead To Neck and Shoulder Pain
Have you ever worked for straight 4-5 hours for cleaning the roof gutters during the springtime? Or ever worked on your laptop for 5-6 hours straight? If yes, you know how painful that can be. But why does this happen? Well, our bodies are not made for working on ladders for a prolonged time. As long as the professional cleaners are concerned, their bodies adapt such styles of working with their head bending backwards. This does not apply to us. If you are planning to do the same, make sure you change your posture frequently and take breaks in between. You can also stretch or rotate your neck while working to avoid further problems. This prevents strain on your upper body and ultimately, the discomfort due to unwanted pain.
Talking about the postures, they contribute a lot to your well being. Poor sleeping, sitting, walking postures are the invitation to chronic neck and shoulder pain. Sleeping on a high pillow can injure your neck muscles. Also, a sudden jerk can tear the neck muscles and cause trouble. This mostly happens when you are working out or performing any sports activity.
In a nutshell, such injuries can be minor ones or can stop you from even simple tasks like dressing up, running, and more.
To understand the scale of the neck and shoulder pain, you have to understand the following 3 types:
- Acute pain is the kind where the pain lasts for over four weeks.
- Subacute pain is when the pain lasts for 4-12 weeks.
- Chronic pain is when it lasts for more than a year.
Neck And Shoulder Pain Can Be A Threat To Life, Sometimes!
In most of the cases, neck and shoulder pain goes away with time. However, sometimes this can be a red flag for some life-threatening medical conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to find the root cause of the pain and avail the immediate medical assistance if necessary.
Patients that have expressed some trauma such as car accidents must visit the doctor even though they do not experience any pain or injury initially. Such damages reveal themselves a bit later and can lead to permanent paralysis or other serious health issues.
Plus, if your neck and shoulder pain is accompanied by cancer history, severe headache, fever, or weight loss, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
The following are the scenarios when you should seek immediate help from the doctor:
- Limited motion range
- Extreme pain
- Muscle or tendon tear
- The problem comes back even after the recovery
- Pain lasts for more than a year
The Treatment Always Depends On The Cause Of The Pain
With the rise of medical science, several solutions are being introduced frequently to cure neck and shoulder pain. However, some of the most common ways people consider to treat such types of pain are over the counter medications, physical therapies, daily workout, and more. If you are suffering from muscle spasm, and you know the pain source, muscle relaxants are a great way to deal with it. You can also go for ice packs, massages, and warm compress. However, the case of severe and prolonged neck and shoulder pain must be taken to the reputable medical experts as they are the ones who can recommend the best treatment. They use one of the following diagnosis methods to recognize the source and treat the ailment accordingly:
- CT Scan
- X Rays
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Several Reasons Can cause Neck And Shoulder Pain
Different anatomical structures make the neck and shoulders, and each one of them should be healthy enough. Even a minor injury to any one of them can lead to neck or shoulder pain. While strain and sprain are the most common causes of the pain, a few other ailments can also lead to the damaged muscles or tissues in the neck and shoulder area. The following are the reasons that can be the cause behind pain and discomfort:
- Stable angina
- Collarbone injuries
- Frozen shoulders
- Rotating Cuff Tear
- cervical radiculopathy
- Cervical spondylosis
- Damaged discs
- Heart attack
- Shoulder tendinitis, separation or bursitis
- Enlarged gallbladder
Try This To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain
Certain modifications to your daily routine can prevent neck and shoulder pain. If you are into sports, athletics or gymming, wearing proper equipment can be a deal-breaker. Apart from that, simple habits like wearing seatbelts, maintaining correct posture while walking, sitting or sleeping can help.
You can try the below given simple steps to keep the neck and shoulder pain at bay:
- Use heat pads or warm compress.
- Go for over the counter medicines for relief.
- If in severe pain, take a break from your gym, sports or other activities that can double the pain.
- Apply ice packs 5 times a day for at least 20 mins each time. Continue this for 3 days.
- Massage frequently.