The neck and shoulders are amongst the bodies most crucial physical features. These components enable individuals to move their arms, turn their heads, lift heavy objects, or perform most other upper body movements.
Therefore, when these systemic parts are injured or ailing, significant pain could develop. Such discomfort might be intense and mobility-limiting. Fortunately, in numerous cases, these uncomfortable feelings may be alleviated by employing various techniques and remedies.
Both the neck and shoulders are complex features comprised of numerous intricate features, such as bones, muscles, soft tissues like joints, tendons, and ligaments, in addition to nerves.
If any of these components sustains damage or is impacted by illness, pain could result. Moreover, discomfort emanating from one feature could adversely impact the structural integrity and function of neighboring parts also resulting in new or intensified pain.
Identifying The Root Cause
The first step in alleviating neck and shoulder pain is to identify the unpleasant sensation’s root cause or causes. Discomfort may be born of numerous underlying physical, medical, or environmental factors including:
Shoulder and neck pain often results from some type of physical injury. Such occurrences could either be acute, meaning they are spawned from one major event, or degenerative, which means said problems arise from lingering or progressive damage.
Examples of acute happenings include automobile mishaps, falls occurring from significant heights, or excessive or violent physical contact occurring during athletic competition.
As persons grow older, the components comprising their necks and shoulders are more likely to gradually degenerate. Common examples of age-related deterioration often occur in neck components like spinal discs and various soft tissues located within the shoulders.
Occasionally, various illnesses might lead to neck or shoulder problems. Conditions like arthritis precipitates inflammation inside soft tissues like joints. Moreover, arthritis might also impact bones or spinal discs situated inside the neck, which could result in untoward occurrences like disc herniation and bone spurs.
Rarely, genetic ailments causing the malformation of physical structures or serious diseases like cancer might impinge on structures within the shoulders and neck.
Occasionally, external, environmental factors could precipitate neck and shoulder pain. Individuals practicing poor posture often walked with slumped shoulders. Said action places undue pressure on the neck possibly resulting in injury. Furthermore, persons might engage in improper workout or athletic competition techniques. Doing so could bring forth neck and shoulder damage.
Potential Pain-Relieving Efforts
Minor discomfort might not necessitate any significant medical treatment. However, long-lasting, mobility-impacting, or concerns brought forward by more serious injuries or ailments often require a thorough diagnosis and potentially aggressive treatment.
Naturally, the therapeutic protocol chosen by an examining doctor will hinge on several important factors including the patient’s:
- Physical condition
- General health
- Specific underlying problem
- Condition severity
Treatment might also be contingent on the presence of any other neck or shoulder injuries.
That said, commonly employed remedial efforts might include:
Home Care Methods
Relatively minor neck and shoulder aches might be lessened through home care remediation methods like:
- Resting the injured neck or shoulder and limiting movement
- Applying heat or ice to the painful area
- Engaging in stretching exercises
Moderate cases might benefit from physical therapy. This form of treatment, which is sometimes abbreviated as P.T., is overseen by a healthcare provider known as physical therapist. Said subject will review a patient’s case and create a group of exercises specific to their needs and recovery goals.
Pain caused by minor injuries might improve following the ingestion of over-the-counter pain-relieving and inflammation-reducing preparations found at most drug store and supermarket chains.
That said, discomfort resulting from severer problems like illnesses might benefit from prescription pain killers or drugs like steroids.
The most serious presentations of damaged or diseased neck or shoulder components might require surgery. Certain operations may be performed to repair aged or deteriorated features. However, in other cases, complete removal or replacement might be indicated. This is especially true of fouled shoulder joints.
Even relatively simple procedures will likely be followed by a course of physical therapy geared towards helping the recipient regain any lost strength or mobility.
Potential Complications Of Shoulder And Neck Pain
This type of discomfort should never be ignored. Any pain lingering for more than a week or two should be evaluated by a medical professional. If left untreated, certain neck and shoulder injuries carry the potential to greatly curtail one’s mobility and quality of life. Moreover, injury or illness to one shoulder or neck components could spread to other regions causing more significant pain and associated complications.
Neck or shoulder pain sufferers living in the Hoover and surrounding Alabama areas are urged to contact us. The experienced and skilled team of professionals employed at Integrative Chiropractic offer patients a thorough examination where we identify the cause of their shoulder or neck pain and offer what we believe is the best treatment plan. Call us at 205-637-1363.