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Neck Problems that Cause Shoulder Pain

At times, when a person experiencing pain in the shoulder seeks the help of a medical professional, he or she is surprised to discover that the problem causing the pain does not originate in the shoulder, but the neck. The nerves causing the pain are those traveling from the spine to the shoulder. When there is an injury at this site, it affects the nerve and causes extreme discomfort. At times, a doctor can pinpoint a specific event as causing the problem; it could have been caused by whiplash from an accident, or from the head or neck being struck or bumped. If a disruption like this occurs, in can injure the ligaments and tendons, which in turn can spasm and pull the vertebrae out of their proper alignment. Uncared for, the body can react by forming an arthritic growth to relieve the pressure, and the situation can go from bad to worse. The lining around the nerves swells, and if the pressure reaches an extreme point, there is a disruption in the blood supply and the resulting situation and pain is comparable to a herniated disc.

Regardless of the cause of the pain, the orthopedic surgeons at Atlantis Orthopaedics in West Palm Beach in Florida can help to investigate and decide if there is a disruption in the cervical alignment that is causing the pain. In addition to a thorough physical assessment, an X-ray can show small breaks, a misalignment, and/or bone spurs. At time, a nerve conduction test can indicate how well nerves are, or are not, transmitting sensations, which can show pressure or a lack of pressure. MRIs allow the doctor to examine the components of the cervical spine that are not bone, like muscle, tendons, and nerves. Together, these diagnostic measures assess the areas suspected of causing neck pain.

Surgery is considered as a treatment only after other noninvasive measures have been exhausted. The measures can include medication to treat inflammation, exercises that stretch the muscles through physical therapy, or the application of heat or cold as a remedial action for the inflammation. A person experiencing unexplained neck pain should consult with a professional at Atlantis Orthopaedics in West Palm Beach.