Neck and Shoulder Pain

There is an old chiropractic expression that says “show me a shoulder problem and I’ll show you a neck problem. Show me a neck problem and I’ll show you a shoulder problem.” Oh, how true…

In paddle, the serve and the overhead require a precise harmony between movement of the neck and movement of the shoulder. Limitations in either can result in any of the following:

1. Neck Pain
2. Shoulder Pain
3. Rotator cuff strains and tears
4. Pain between the shoulder blades
5. Chest pain
6. Numbness and tingling in the arms or hands
7. Headaches

Neck and shoulder imbalance has many underlying causes:

1. Repetitive overuse of the same muscle
2. Poor posture (often at the computer)
3. Old neck injuries (whiplash, concussions)
4. Chronic stress, worry, and / or anxiety

Self test at home for neck and shoulder problems:

1. Neck range motion – sit in a chair and move your neck in seven directions and note and pain, restriction, tightness, clicking, grinding or grating ( like sandpaper )
a. Turn neck to the left and right
b. Turn neck from side to side (ear to shoulder)
c. Put chin down to chest
d. Tilt head all the way back
e. Roll head in full circles in both directions

2. Shoulder range of motion
a. Take a 5 lb weight at your side and do a complete shoulder circle from back to front and front to back.

All of these motions should be full and complete and painless. If not something is blocked injured, or restricted and needs to be evaluated and treated. If the cause is found and the treatment is successful, the motion will return, the function will improve, and the pain will go away.

Dr. Nicholas S. Bogannam has been caring for athletes in Fairfield County for over 32 years, often helping them avoid surgery and the side effects from prescription medications.