Neck or Shoulder Pain? Could it be ShNeck?



What to Do for “ShNeck” Pain


Did you realize that pain in one part of your body can be telling you there is a problem somewhere else in the body?  Here are a few common examples. Heart attack symptoms can first be noted by pain in the left arm. Sciatic pain is a signal in your “leg” that you have a problem in your low back. Gallbladder pain can manifest in the shoulder blade.  Arm and shoulder pain, numbness and weakness, may be your body trying to tell you that you have a problem in your neck. Conversely, you may have neck complaints that are signaling that your shoulder is in trouble. 


We’ve just mentioned a few of the confounding “body signals” that are ultimately crying out for help.  How do you respond when your body signals are calling out to you? Do you run to the medicine cabinet? Do you keep throwing ice at the soreness?  Or, do you try to get to the bottom of it, find the cause, and get an examination? Ignoring the body’s “dashboard lights” is really no safer than ignoring the dashboard lights on your car.  With your car you ignore them at your peril, at least at the risk of doing greater damage to your car, and at worst, you are possibly operating an unsafe vehicle endangering your life and the lives of others.  You also ignore body signals at your peril. When your body is warning you, you should listen and learn what it is telling you and change your behavior, your diet, your exercise plan accordingly.


Let’s go back to the “ShNeck” problem.  Many, many, many…shoulder problems arise from the neck and are easily treated.  Relief of shoulder pain is common if treated correctly. Causes of shoulder pain can be very simple, but potentially very serious. Positional misalignment of a vertebra in the neck, or stress on a disk in the neck can cause what is referred to as radicular (radiating) pain.  In a sense, this is like sciatic pain’s shoulder cousin. Where the injury/irritation is at one location, like the back or neck and the pain manifestation is in the leg, or shoulder or arm. Think of that low oil pressure gauge on your dashboard. The problem is not the dashboard light, it is under the hood somewhere, with several possible causes.  You wouldn’t like your mechanic to put a piece of tape on the dashboard to get rid of that annoying light would you? Neither should you settle for over the counter (OTC) or prescription medications to shut down your body signals. You also wouldn’t appreciate your mechanic crawling under the dash to remove the fuse or disconnect the wire that leads to the dashboard indicator.  You want him to fix the problem, not hide it. So too, we want to avoid invasive surgeries if we can get to the cause. We are suggesting, treat the cause… not the effect. 


So.. How to fix the ShNeck problem.  Let me recommend you see a chiropractor and let them evaluate your spinal health.  See if they can get to the cause of your problem. This might include a postural exam, orthopedic and neurologic exam, and perhaps x-rays.  If we can pinpoint the level of dysfunction, then we can devise a plan to correct the problem and restore health and make those doggone lights turn off. 


We will examine the neck and shoulder, look for evidence of head forward posture, (ears well in front of shoulders when visualized from the side.) We will evaluate for the  loss of normal curve in the neck, disk degeneration and arthritis in the neck, and of course we will look at the shoulder itself. Treatment will likely include comfortable, safe and effective chiropractic adjustments, and probably some exercises to address proper tone and balance, and if necessary some advice about getting inflammatory things from your diet.  Give us a call and we can talk about it on your first visit.

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