This can give rise to 'referred' pain (the irritation of the nerve in one area can sometimes lead to pain, known as 'referred' pain, in other parts of the body) or numbness or 'pins and needles' in your shoulders, arms and hands. If pain has not improved progressively after several days' rest, a visit to your chiropractor is advisable.
As it supports the weight of your head with the aid of a highly mobile system of muscles and ligaments, the neck is very vulnerable. Nowadays, we spend a great deal of time sitting, or working at computers, or performing repetitive tasks. This often causes postural problems and muscle tension in the neck, which may give rise to abnormal nerve function and pain.
The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, it is an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. This instability increases the likelihood of joint injury, often leading to a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well.
Shoulder pain may be localized or may be referred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Disease within the body (such as gallbladder, liver, or heart disease, or disease of the cervical spine of the neck) also may generate pain that the brain may interpret as arising from the shoulder. Conversely, pain felt in the region of the shoulder blade or scapula nearly always has its origin in the neck. Chiropractors are trained to recognise the origin of the symptoms and refer patients back to GP when chiropractic treatment is not suitable.
Where appropriate, specific chiropractic manipulation, massage and active rehabilitation of the muscles and other soft tissues will help restore normal movement to your neck and shoulders and relieve the pressure on the nerves in your cervical spine. Your chiropractor may also prescribe exercises to help you regain strength and flexibility and help relieve any long-term pain and discomfort.