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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

What Causes the Pain Between Shoulders and Neck?

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 @ 03:47 PM

pain between shoulders and neckYou have most likely noticed it a million times, the pain, tightness and general uncomfortable feeling that develops in your neck and shoulders. This region of the body is subject to a variety of stressors that aggravate the tissues leading to pain between the shoulders and neck. Whether it is an injury, stress, poor posture, arthritis, or any number of other factors which are at fault for you having this problem, you should be aware there are options available to you to address the symptoms. In some cases, the good news is that it may even prevent future or further pain being suffered. 

The shoulders and neck are intertwined in the complex nerve pathways that are used in this area of the body. Many of the motions and body postures that are assumed throughout the days are also closely related by means of the muscles, tendons and supporting structures shared by the shoulders and neck. Keeping this in mind, it is no wonder that you often feel that unwanted tightness and strain being divided between these two locations.

Unfortunately the close relationship shared between the shoulders and neck often make it difficult to determine exactly where the source of the problem is located. Many times a person may have shoulder pain and on closer examination, it is due to an issue with the neck, and vice versa. This is one primary reason it is important to have a qualified physician perform a thorough examination to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Prime causes of pain between the shoulders and neck can be related to conditions such as degenerative disc disease, narrowed spinal spacing, or arthritis. These conditions are often the result of a complication involving the vertebral disc gradually losing its elastic, cushioning properties leading to an irritating contact between vertebrae and pinching of nerves or other tissues. When these structures come in contact with one another without the cushioning effects provided by a healthy disc it develops into inflammation, lack of mobility, decreased strength and pain between the shoulders and neck.


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There are several ways to address this issue:

    • physical therapy to increase flexibility and strength
    • surgery
    • anti inflammatory medications
    • ice/heat
    • cervical support pillows
    • Functional Disc Rehydration

At Illinois Back Institute there is another non-surgical option available to you: Functional Disc Rehydration. 

Functional disc rehydration techniques allow the physician to inject the damaged, or otherwise compromised disc, with a sterile fluid to bring it back to its youthful state of buoyancy.

The aging process or an injury will naturally decrease the fluid volume of the vertebral disc. This compression leads to the friction and consequential inflammation that creates pain. By rehydrating, or re-filling, the disc the volume is returned to the spinal space eliminating the contact points and stressors created by narrowed spacing. 

If you are suffering from pain between the shoulders and neck you are encouraged to weigh all of your options for medical treatment. This includes individuals who have already undergone surgery and found no relief from their painful symptoms. Take advantage of the free consultation offered by the professionals at Illinois Back Institute to assess your neck and back complaints. 

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Topics: neck pain, reduce neck pain, chicago neck pain, reduce shoulder pain, upper shoulder pain, upper back pain, pain between shoulders and neck