Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain

Pain has the ability to manifest itself in almost every part of the human body. But there are three body parts that seem more prone to the aches and pains of everyday life. The neck, shoulder and back all tend to attract more than their fair share of painful problems.

Pain that manifests in a person’s neck can be traced back to one of many causes, such as whiplash, tissue damage or a herniated disc. This pain is also referred to as cervical pain. Neck pain is more often than not felt as a dull aching sensation. Though that is the normal manifestation, there are other symptoms that may occur. The sufferer may also experience shooting pains, numbness, pulsations, tenderness or tingling. At times, one may also experience swallowing problems, dizziness, gland swelling, or lightheadedness. These sensations can worsen with movement.


Neck pain can be diagnosed using varying techniques. A medical professional normally begins with routine questions to get a better feel for the patient’s history. During the examination, the doctor should try to try to determine the pain’s intensity, location and duration. It is also important to determine the pain’s radius.

Questioning will also help to verify if the pain stems from an injury, recent or past. Afterwards, the doctor should proceed to examine the patient, both in motion and at rest. A palpation will establish the degree of tenderness. A nervous system examine will either confirm or rule out nerve issues.

When back pain has a root cause that cannot be established, it is normally referred to as nonspecific. Symptoms will vary. Some sufferers may experience radiating pain from their back down to their upper legs, while other feel pain in either their upper or lower back

Normally back pain is traced back to muscle strain and is helped by four or five days of rest along with pain medications. If spasms occur, relaxants may be needed. Other possible causes include muscle disorders. Injury or poor posture. There are certain groups of people that may be predisposed to back pain, such as pregnant women, those that do repetitive movements on a daily basis and smokers.

Back pain is diagnosed via physical examination that is performed by a doctor or practitioner. The medical professional will concentrate on the sufferer’s back, extremities and abdomen. X Rays and CT scans are also very common in these exams.

Shoulders are also prone to pain. This pain is often found in the person’s muscles, ligaments, tendons and surrounding tissues. Bone problems are rarely the root cause of shoulder pain. Normally, shoulder pain is associated with arthritis, injury or tendinitis.

A medical professional should perform a thorough examination in order to diagnose and treat the pain. Patient interviews will help the doctor establish medical history, duration, pain radius and if there are any abnormalities. Upon completion, the doctor will begin a physical exam. The professional will want to establish the shoulder’s complete range of motion, any tender spots, swelling and any deformities. X Rays or CT scans may be needed.

Filed Under: Neck Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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