Shoulder pain is a common compliant from athletes and non-athletes alike. To complicate things, people often confuse “shoulder” pain for upper back or neck pain referring into the shoulder area.
The shoulder joint itself is a very shallow ball and socket joint that is surrounded by several muscles; four of these muscles make up the famous “rotator cuff”. The shoulder joint provides a large, circular range of motion at the expense of stability, which makes it more prone to injuries. Injury can occur with repetitive movements, overhead activity, or lifting or carrying anything awkwardly.
At the junction of your neck and shoulder is a very important bundle of nerves called your BRACHIAL PLEXUS. This is a gathering of all the nerves leaving your neck to work all muscles in your upper back, arm and hand. Often an injury to the lower neck can affect the nerves in this area, giving over the shoulder pain that is confused with a shoulder injury.
On top of this, an injury to the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder left untreated causes atrophy or muscle loss in the shoulder. This makes the shoulder joint fall forward and affects the muscles and joints of the neck.
So what do you do with a bad shoulder??? SEE DR. JEN!
When any injury occurs, the first instinct for many people is to rest the injured area and let it heal on its own. While rest is important in most injury recovery, not moving an injured shoulder will lead to more problems down the road such as frozen shoulder and neck problems. If you injury your shoulder, please see Dr. Jen immediately to assess the situation and decide the best course of action for your injury.