If you are experiencing pain in the shoulders and neck area, this can be caused by myriad conditions including degenerative diseases, traumatic injury, or bone and joint abnormalities.
An understanding of the anatomy of the shoulder and neck is helpful in determining the source of the pain that affects either of them. Below we review a few common causes of pain in the shoulders and neck.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Your shoulder is a joint. In fact, it is one of the largest joints in the human body, and its design is rather complex.
The shoulder is described as a ball-and-socket joint, with the bone of the upper arm (humerus) fitting perfectly into the shoulder blade (scapula). These are the main bones of the shoulder joint, but there are several additional smaller bones that project from the scapula and the clavicle (collarbone).
There are many things that can go wrong within the shoulder joint and the surrounding area to cause pain. The most common structure in the shoulder that’s associated with chronic pain is the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons which surround the shoulder, providing range of motion. One of the most common types of injuries that cause tremendous shoulder pain is a tear in the rotator cuff. An important component in the rotator cuff is the bursa.
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning between a bone and the adjacent tissue. Without the bursa sac, the bones would scrape against one another, creating friction and resulting in pain.
The fluid within the sac acts as a lubricant within the rotator cuff. When a bursa has inflammation, it’s called bursitis.
The labrum is basically a support or cuff of fibrous cartilage in the scapula that holds the head of the humerus, providing a loose fit for superior range of motion. However, the design can easily incur damage, resulting in shoulder pain.
A labrum tear can be caused by an injury, perhaps suddenly while playing a sport, or simply from wear-and-tear over time.
Causes of Neck Pain
The neck is made up of seven cervical vertebrae – the bones of the upper spine. The neck is also composed of various muscles and tendons that are all integral to movement and head support. The neck’s sheer range of motion renders it susceptible to injury.
Strains in the neck are common reasons for pain. Strains are typically associated with the parts of the neck responsible for movement: muscles and tendons.
There are many reasons why a neck becomes strained. Poor posture is one common reason, but osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common reason associated with neck pain.
Neck sprains, on the other hand, refer to injuries in the parts of the neck that are non-moving, such as cartilage.
If you have neck pain accompanied by numbness and weakness in other parts of your body, such as your shoulders, arms, or hands, then you should seek immediate medical attention. This can be a sign of a more serious condition than a simple sprain or strain.
Primary Reasons for Joint Pain
Injuries due to an accident or a sports injury can cause pain in the neck and shoulders. Wear and tear on body parts, particularly joints, can cause a breakdown in cartilage – which is osteoarthritis. Motion is negatively affected by osteoarthritis, which is the most common symptom of the disease.
Bone spurs may form in the joints, and this can cause bone to scrape against bone. This scraping can cause loss of cartilage, which causes friction between the bones, resulting in pain.
Pain Treatment Center in Boca Raton
The skilled team at Kamerlink Pain Institute treats multiple conditions that cause neck and shoulder pain. We specialize in interventional pain management with effective methods and compassion for our patients.
Harvard-trained physician Dr. Jonathan Kamerlink will diagnose your condition and devise a plan to address your pain symptoms. Call us today at (561) 404-7667 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you move better with less pain, so you can enjoy an active lifestyle again.