First Step in Relieving Your Neck Shoulder Pain – Understanding the Cause

cartoon-man-neckpain-300pxNeck shoulder pain can be devastating, leaving you trying to cope with your pain rather than enjoying life. Understanding the causes of this type of pain can help you find the best treatment for your situation. Many times the pain is temporary and relief will come naturally but occasionally more aggressive treatments are necessary. Let’s look at some of the causes of neck shoulder pain and shoulder arm pain.

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Soft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injury to muscles, ligaments, and tendons is common. The most common cause of soft tissue injury is whiplash mostly from an automobile accident, although there can be other causes.


Stress causes tension. Where that tension is carried depends on the individual but the neck shoulder area is a common place. Stress can cause pain in the neck as well as shoulder arm pain.


Degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine, can result in nerves being pinched in the neck. You can suffer shoulder arm pain, or pain in the neck and shoulder area.

Degenerative Disc in the Neck

A degenerative disc in the neck can cause pain. The severity of the pain will depend on the amount of damage to the disc.

Broken Collarbone

If you fall with your arm outstretched it can cause a broken collarbone.


Neck shoulder pain can be caused by bursitis. Joints are covered with a bursa, which is a sac that is designed to cushion the joint. If the neck or shoulder bursa becomes swollen it can cause neck shoulder pain. It can also cause shoulder arm pain.

Broken Shoulder Blade

A shoulder blade injury is almost caused by forced trauma. A broken shoulder blade will take time to heal.

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of tendons. There job is to support the shoulder. If you are playing sports that have a lot of throwing involved, or you are doing an activity that has repetition, you can land up with a torn rotator cuff or other type of rotator cuff injury. The rotator cuff can also be injured when lifting.


Tendons are what connect muscle to bone. When a tendon becomes strained it can swell causing pain. This is referred to as tendonitis and depending on the location of the swelling can result in neck shoulder pain or shoulder arm pain. Tendonitis can come and go turning from acute to a chronic problem.necktraction_topimg05


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Injury to the muscle and ligaments of the shoulder and neck are caused by a sudden deceleration or acceleration as seen in a motor vehicle accident. While there are other causes of whiplash automobile accidents are the most common.

Understanding the causes of neck shoulder pain, can help you seek the appropriate treatment for your injury. There are many different symptoms that can develop. Treatment is directly tied to symptoms and pain level. See your doctor if you are suffering from acute or chronic shoulder neck pain.

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