Neck and shoulder pain are usually the result of stress and sprains from overexertion or poor posture. Sometimes this pain will go away on its own. Stretching and strengthening exercises can also treat pain. Sometimes neck and shoulder pain is due to a fracture in your shoulder blades.
Computer work is one of the most common causes of neck and upper back pain that we see in our clinic. Symptoms can range from mild to frequent bites, to severe and recurrent pain that can lead to headaches, back pain in the arm, pins and needles on the wrist and wrist.
Early symptoms usually begin as recurrent pain in the shoulders and neck that can be relieved with short breaks at work. If left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path. It sometimes causes pain in the arm and elbow and numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand, which is no longer reduced by the time away form the desk.
When the shoulder is a suspect
Shoulder pain is often caused by an injury to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles that tighten together. Rotator cuffs grow and wear out with age, and can be easily injured. When this happens, we compensate by using different muscles to pick up objects or reach them. This can cause shoulder and neck pain. You may have a dizzy sprain or other shoulder problem if the pain:
- It grows on the shoulder itself or outside of your upper arm.
- It occurs when you reach the top or back of your back, or when you lift.
- Radiates into the upper arm, but not beyond the elbow.
- It continues at night.
- It improves when you rest your hand.
How you should sleep to relieve neck or shoulder pain
When you rest in your bed, your mind becomes more aware of the body, correcting any light or throbbing pain. In addition, since you are now in a position to relax, the weight of gravity will pull differently on your neck or shoulder, causing problems. The purpose is to help the body properly to get a restful night’s sleep.
Here are some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep:
- Use two pillow, with the upper river sloping slightly behind the lower river.
- Try not to lie on your side or back. Have a low cushion that supports your shoulders and a high cushion that supports your neck.
- Embrace the pillow, as this will keep your upper shoulder in an open position. Place the pillow high under the arm.
- Use a pillow between your legs when you are on your side, or behind your thighs if you are lying on your back. This helps to relieve pressure on your entire spine.
- Use deep breathing gently while lying down, to calm your body and improve the flow of oxygen to your muscles, helping them to relax.
Getting a good night’s sleep can help you improve your pain and give you a good day. When you sleep under the needs of your body, it will reduce your pain tolerance and make your neck or shoulder hurt more.
Symptoms of pain from neck to shoulder blade
In some cases, neck and shoulder pain may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke. These are medical emergencies that require immediate help. pain from neck to shoulder symptoms may vary and include any or all of the following:
- Deformity; Disability can occur if you have a fracture or dislocation. Some ligament tears can cause abnormal posture of bone structures.
- Color changes; Blue or white on the skin of the hand or shoulder is another sign that nerves or arteries may be injured.
- Numbness; If the nerves are constricted, scratched, or disconnected, you may not be able to sense things normally.
- Weaknesses; Weakness may be due to severe pain from muscle or bone movement. The nerves that produce muscle, however, can also be injured.
- Cooling; A cool hand or arm suggests that the veins, nerves, or both are injured or blocked. This could mean that insufficient blood enters the hand.
Other symptoms may include:
- Pain that you feel anywhere from mild or dull to sharp, lancinating or severe.
- Pain that comes and goes, or is frequent and uncommon.
- Pain that stays in one place, such as a shoulder blade, or pain that comes from the nerves and can come from the shoulder under the arm.
- Tingling where it can feel like a pin-and-needle, which can be in one place or shining through the shoulder and on the arm.
- Weakness or numbness in the shoulder or arm, which may be recurrent or occasional.
Causes of pain from neck to shoulder blade
The main cause of neck and shoulder pain associated with sitting on your computer is the prolonged strenuous muscle effort required to support your upper legs during keyboard and mouse use. The main factors that increase the risk of muscle and joint pain are:
Rotator cuff tears; The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that support the shoulder. These tendons can be injured during lifting, during sports and heavy throwing, or after prolonged repeated use.
Sleeping; Yes, good sleep can benefit your mental and physical health. But if you sleep “badly,” it can be a pain in the neck. And not just any kind of pain, but the kind that makes you afraid to move. When the muscles around the neck become irritated because of the way you sleep, it can start to rebel and make it harder for you to turn your head from side to side.
Slumping over at work; Basically we spend most of our time leaning over instead of sitting upright, and that puts more strain on your back and the muscles of your neck. We take the time to configure our homes, so that the TV we watch for an hour at a time is at eye level. However, we will be working 8 hours a day in our office and will not take the time to keep our computers at eye level.
Cervical disc herniation; The intervertebral discs between the vertebrae lose moisture over time. When the disc loses enough moisture it becomes thinner and unable to perform its function, thus causing pain and possibly irritation or pressure on nearby nerve roots.
Whiplash injury; Injury to the vascular and muscular structures of the neck and shoulder can be caused by a sudden increase or decrease in speed, as in a car accident. This can also cause muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder areas.
Working overhead; also occasionally you lean your head back for a long time. People who are experts in these things, do this work all day in certain positions, and are accustomed to this. But just as I could not jump out of bed and run a marathon, if you have been sitting in the winter, you could not go out and work on the stairs for 6 hours to clean the drainage.
Pinched nerve; A pinched nerve in your neck can cause pain that spreads to your shoulder. This is also known as cervical radiculopathy. Cervical radiculopathy often results from changes in your spine due to aging or injury. Bone marrow can cause narrowing of the arteries passing through an open space in the vertebrae. If this happens to your neck, it could cause the arteries to rupture.
Shoulder tendinitis; Tendons are strong fibers that connect muscles to your bone. Bursa are waterproof bags that prevent friction in the joints. Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) and bursa (bursitis) are common causes of shoulder pain, but pain can occur anywhere where inflammation occurs.
Diagnosis of pain from neck to shoulder blade
The doctor will physically examine you and take a medical history. They will want to know when your pain started and what symptoms you have. The test may include a hand compression test to determine the nature of the pain. They can also measure your range of motion, by asking you to move your arms, shoulders and neck. The doctor may then prescribe additional tests to diagnose the condition.
- X-rays; These can be done if you feel sorry for touching parts of your spine or shoulder, a history of severe trauma, paralysis of the area, or your doctor suspects a condition related to your heart or lungs.
- ECG; An electrocardiogram may be prescribed if you also have chest pain, shortness of breath, and risk factors for heart attack (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or tobacco use).
- Blood tests; These tests can be done if you also have chest pain, shortness of breath, and risk factors for heart attack (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or tobacco use) or if your doctor suspects primary disease as a cause of pain.
- CT scan; This can be done when X-rays are difficult to read or suggest fractures, when more information is needed, or when other structures are suspected to be a source of pain (perhaps a large artery known as aortic artery from the heart or lungs).
- MRI; Often an MRI is not shown during the initial evaluation but may be helpful in evaluating ongoing pain and failure to respond to basic treatment steps.
How can I prevent pain from neck to shoulder blade?
- To prevent injuries, examine your home for potential hazards and repair them to minimize the risk of accidental injury.
- Proper exercise of the shoulders and neck can reduce the risk of injury.
- When doing hazardous work, have someone with you to reduce the likelihood of injury. For example, when climbing a ladder, one should hold the base of the ladder so that it does not slip.
- Know your limitations. Do not do activities that you do not have the training, skills, tools, or strength to complete.
Wear seat belts and use other safety equipment to minimize injuries.
Treatment of pain from neck to shoulder blade
Treatment options vary for each condition. Obviously, a simple problem is treated differently than a heart attack. If you have pain from neck to shoulder blade, then you can expect a combination of the following treatments:
1. Stretching and strengthening
Stretching and strengthening helps reduce pain and also builds muscle support to prevent future injuries. These gentle exercises should not make you feel any additional pain, so if they do, stop immediately and consult a health professional.
- Lower your chin to your chest while keeping your shoulders straight. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and slowly lift your chin to the starting position.
- Squeeze your shoulders together and hold for 5 seconds. Do not push too hard; it should feel good. Repeat 10 times a day.
- Move your chin forward, then slowly lower it toward your throat, pulling slightly. Keep your chin parallel to the floor.
- Stand upright with a slight bend to your upper back. Now roll your shoulders up, back and down in a circle of water.
If nothing works to help you avoid getting neck pain, it is time to call a specialist. Consult your physician, who may be able to refer you to a physical therapist for some of the muscles that support your neck. The same goes for back and shoulder pain.
2. Over the counter pain relievers
neck and shoulder pain are most easily treated with painkillers, and the most readily available are OTC medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). No prescription is required for these drugs, but that does not mean that they are completely harmless.
It can also take several days to relieve pain using acetaminophen with or without an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
This can be done, if possible, using tape, tin, or sling. It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the use of these devices, especially when it is advisable to stop using them and start relocating.
4. Heat or ice
Most people get relief from pain immediately due to the use of heat or ice. A warm bath or heat pad is usually sufficient to reduce tension and promote circulation. Keeping an ice pack for 20 minutes a day can help reduce inflammation.
Do not underestimate the benefits of strong massage. Hand massage for neck and shoulder muscles by an experienced therapist can help relax tense muscles and promote the production of natural painkillers called endorphins.
If your neck or shoulder pain persists for more than 3 days, then you should see a physical therapist. Our specialists evaluate your movements to identify the main source of your problem and address it gently with professional, hands-on techniques. To learn more about how we can help you live without pain, contact us today.