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Your Shoulder Pain Could Actually Be a Neck Problem

Have you been experiencing chronic pain in your shoulder? You may be thinking it’s because of a shoulder injury, but in some cases, the real culprit could be in your neck. Our bodies don’t always “report” our pain in ways that make sense, and neck and shoulder pain frequently overlap. In fact, they overlap so much that doctors refer to this phenomenon as “schneck pain.”

At Orthopedic & Wellness, with three locations in Maryland, our providers are highly qualified to diagnose complex pain and discomfort. Your “schneck” pain will be in good hands.

How neck and shoulder pain are related

Multiple nerve pathways connect your neck to your shoulder, which is why it can be confusing to distinguish neck pain from shoulder pain. Our brains don’t always tell us the specific location from which the pain originates, which can make the process frustrating as well as uncomfortable. But explaining your symptoms to your provider can help detect the source of the pain, so we can formulate a custom treatment plan.

When to see a doctor

Neck and shoulder pain don’t typically go away on their own. You may be able to temporarily relieve it with hot or cold compresses and over-the-counter painkillers, but depending on how you hurt it, a more long-term treatment plan may be needed.

You should schedule an appointment at Orthopedic & Wellness if you have neck pain after whiplash (particularly after a car accident), numbness or tingling, pain that only gets worse, or that keeps you from enjoying your normal activities.

How neck pain is diagnosed

Because of the complex nature of neck and shoulder pain, you may require a thorough examination. We use a variety of diagnostic measures to determine the cause of your pain, including X-rays and other imaging tests. You may be asked to maneuver your neck or shoulder in certain ways so that we can evaluate your strength and range of motion, which can also help us determine the root source of discomfort.

How neck pain is treated

Depending on the cause of your pain, we may recommend treatments such as nerve blocks, steroid injections, physical therapy, or perhaps even spinal surgery.

Learn more about whether your shoulder pain could be in your neck

If you need neck or shoulder treatment, you can schedule an appointment at any of our three locations. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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