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Don’t Be Fooled By Shoulder Pain!

Pain felt in the shoulder area can sometimes be coming from your neck. This is because the nerves and muscles that arise from your neck pass through your shoulder on their way down the arm. The nerves from your neck (Nerve Roots) also travel down your arm (via the Brachial Plexus). Thus neck pain may extend down your arm.

Pain from your neck is usually felt mainly at the top of your shoulder over your trapezius muscle, whilst pain from your shoulder is normally felt over your upper arm.

The pain is NOT made worse with movement of your shoulder, so your shoulder moves freely without aggravating the pain. This is the simplest way to know that the pain is not from your shoulder, but from your neck!
However, it can become confusing because many people with neck-related shoulder pain also develope weakness of their shoulder rotator cuff muscles and get subacromial impingement of the shoulder. It takes an experienced clinician to help you to differentiate the two sources of pain.

If the pain is from your neck joints (cervical spine) and ligaments the pain is often a dull ache. If the pain is from a trapped nerve then the pain can be very, very severe. You may also get pins and needles or numbness in your hand. This is typically in the distribution of the affected nerve (known as a dermatome).

An MRI scan of your neck is the most useful investigation to see the inner anatomy of your neck and any problems therein.

The common causes of shoulder pain from the neck are:

  1. Cervical spondylosis – arthritis of the spine
  2. Spinal Stenosis – narrowing of the spine, usually due to arthritis
  3. Disc prolapse – the spongy disc is pushed backward and presses on the nerves to your arm. This can be very painful.
  4. Ligament or muscle injury – usually after a fall or motor accident.

As mentioned above, neck pain can also weaken the muscles of your shoulder, leading to subacromial impingement and scapula problems.

Acromioclavicular joint pain can radiate to your neck in the same area as referred pain from the neck.

Therefore, an experienced shoulder or neck specialist is needed to assess both your neck and shoulder to differentiate between the two. Neck and shoulder specialists often work together to optimally treat the pain.

SOURCE: http://www.shoulderdoc.co.uk/article/1529


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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