Do you often get neck pain? Are you never sure what sets it off? Do you wake up with tingling or weak hands? Would you like to know the most commonly missed causes of neck pain I see?
“Chronic neck pain may be caused by shoulder impingement”
One area that should always be assessed regarding neck pain is the shoulder, especially if that pain is aggravated by laying down or sleeping!
The neck and shoulder are not only close in proximity but share functional movement. There are specific muscles that attach from the neck to the shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone that are integral in neck function making mobility and stability of the scapular critical in neck health.
The problem is the shoulder complex is the most mobile joint in the body and abnormal shoulder movement will affect how these muscles stabilise the shoulder, shoulder blade and clavicle and thus effect the ability of the neck to accurately function. The interesting thing is you may not even notice this initially in your neck!
For many, the first symptoms may actually be some degree of shoulder pain or hand weakness that you haven’t even linked to your neck pain.
The ability to stabilise the shoulder requires function of several different muscle groups. When assessing & treating the shoulder all the different muscle groups need to be assessed and corrected – not just the ones directly connected to the neck.
In order to help people like you, you need to be able create a dynamically fixed shoulder blade from which to create stability and mobility of the neck and shoulder.
You need to ensure there is healthy movement of all the small joints within this complex to prevent stability changes as a result of reflex reaction of the musculature surrounding a joint, something we call arthrogenic reflexes.
We often see these reflexes create no symptoms at all for people, but just drive underlying dysfunction. The good news is, for most people, they are easily identified and corrected.
In short, by improving scapular stability we not only improve shoulder function; we improve neck muscle function.
Do you want to see the 3 quick tests I’ve put together for you to see if your neck pain might be linked to shoulder problems…? Keep reading below:
Here are 3 quick tests you can do to see if your neck pain might be caused by a shoulder problem:
- Head rotation test – slowly turn your head from side to side and up and down, making a mental note of the amount of rotation and the pain experienced. Touch the bump at the top of your shoulder – this may be tender. Does touching this area increase the amount of neck movement or reduce the pain you have.
- Shoulder forward raise test – Raise the arm in front of you, with the palm facing up, until the hand is at shoulder level. While holding the arm up, get someone to apply pressure just above the wrist as if trying to gently push your arm down. Does this induce pain or does it feel weak?
- Shoulder blade tenderness – Press on the upper corner of your shoulder blade next to the spine. Is this tender?
If you had a positive result in any of the 3 tests, then there is a good chance that you might have shoulder issues contributing to your neck pain.
If you would like some help I’m giving away free 10 minute phone conversations this month. Just send me a message and I’ll jump on the phone with you and lets see if I can get you some quick advice that might just help you change your path, free up your life and allow you to get back to do doing the things you love.
Want to have a chat? Ready to get some help? Click the message button and let’s have a chat or give us a call on 9318 7758. Here and ready to help you.