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Is Your Neck to Blame for Your Shoulder Pain?


Shoulder pain could come from the shoulder joint itself or could stem from the surrounding ligaments and tendons, such as the tissues in the neck and upper back. This means that something could be wrong with your neck, but pain signals are being sent to your shoulder.

Could your neck be the culprit behind your shoulder pain?

The neck and shoulder are closely connected through nerve pathways, so when an injury occurs, the brain can’t always reliably track the pain back to the actual source. Here are some ways to tell the difference.

When the shoulder is most likely the cause, the pain:

  • Is stabbing, burning, tingling, but could be achy.
  • Happens when you reach overhead or behind your back
  • Occurs when lifting objects
  • Is felt in the upper arm, but not past the elbow
  • Improves with rest

When the neck is the most likely cause, the pain:

  • Is stabbing, burning, or tingling
  • Radiates past your elbow or into your hand
  • Persists even when resting
  • Radiates down your arm when you move your neck
  • Is relieved when you support your neck

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Your chiropractor will first examine your strength and range of motion. Can you reach up behind your head? Can you lift a backpack off the ground? They’ll then ask you about your goals. Do you need to get back to a labor-intensive job? Do you need to hop back in the pool for swim practice? Or do you just need to reach the top shelf of your cabinet without pain? From there, they’ll create a tailored treatment plan for maximum success.

This can include:

  • Athletic and kinesiology taping
  • Cupping
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Extremity manipulation
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Strength training
  • Stretching
  • Spinal manipulation

They’ll also teach you ways to modify your everyday activities to reduce the likelihood of re-injury and provide home exercise programs to maintain your progress and prevent further injury or pain from occurring.  

Reach for Relief

Don’t let shoulder pain sideline you this spring. Call your nearest MCR Chiropractic office to jump-start your recovery today.