I have shoulder pain… so why are you checking my neck and back?
Shoulder pain is a common reason for our patients to seek help from the team at Thrive Health Co. More often than not, there is more to a shoulder injury than meets the eye.
Our shoulders are complex joints with lots of connecting structures to the neck and back. Whilst your pain may be in the point of the shoulder, there can be many different causes for this.
So why are we checking your neck and back?
1) Neck pain can commonly refer to the shoulder itself, either from the joints and ligaments in the neck, the nerves from the neck or the surrounding muscles of the neck. The neck can also greatly limit the amount of motion in the shoulder and significantly load the shoulder to a point of injury. This is a major reason why we also check these structures for damage.
2) The mid back can also refer some pain to the shoulder. The back has muscles which attach to the shoulder. These can refer pain into the shoulder joint, or more commonly restrict the motion of the shoulder itself. It is important to assess how the mid back and its associated structures are affecting the movement of the shoulder to ensure the shoulder has a chance to be unloaded and heal properly.
Shoulder pain can be difficult to treat if the whole neck, shoulder and back area aren’t assessed together to ensure that not only the injury itself heals, but the underlying cause is corrected. This will allow you to function optimally and ensure that the pain doesn’t return.
Written by Dr. Michael Singh