Shoulder Pain: Is Your Neck to Blame?

Patient with Orthopaedic SurgeonAre your shoulders bothering you? That might not be the only problem. Your neck could be the culprit as well since shoulder and neck pains are usually related. While a majority of shoulder pains is due to injuries, particularly on the shoulder’s soft tissues, there are cases when the issue is about the nerves found in the neck. This could be a case of cervical degenerative disc disease.

What is Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

This is basically a cervical spine condition. The cervical spine is composed of seven vertebrae or spinal bones that are separated by flexible tissues or inter-vertebral discs, which are capable of absorbing shock and trauma and allowing the body to move the neck.

When you have this disease, your discs could be affected and put significant pressure on your neck’s nerves. This, in turn, could affect your shoulder. Orthopedic surgery specialists in Provo further explain that cervical disc disease comes in various types, including the following:

  • Herniated Disc or Slipped Disc – This occurs when one of your discs have been misaligned due to degeneration with age or injury. When this happens, it could put pressure on the spinal nerves and lead to shoulder and neck pain. There could be tingling or numbness in the shoulders or arms, as well.
  • Cervical Spondylosis or Neck Arthritis – This occurs due to disc degeneration and result in issues with the spine’s ligaments and discs. It might constrict the nerves, leading to shoulder and neck pain and weakness and numbness in the legs and arms.
  • Bone Spurs – This develops in the advanced stages of disc degeneration. These are tiny growths in the spinal bones that could irritate your spinal nerves, leading to irritation and pressure that would cause pain in the shoulders, neck, and arms.

In some cases, shoulder and neck pain could indicate a serious health condition, such as meningitis or spinal cord tumor. A previous untreated injury to the shoulder and neck could likewise cause such pain.

If you suffer from chronic shoulder pain, consult your doctor about the possibility of an underlying problem with your neck. A thorough assessment of your condition would enable you to figure out what’s causing your symptoms and seek proper treatment.