Neck pain is a very frequent medical problem which is generally accompanied by headaches and a stiff neck.
An estimated 2 in 3 people develop a bout of neck pain at some point during their lives. The pain may radiate between the shoulder blades or down to the shoulder.
This type of pain can feel like any of the following:
- pain that radiates up into the head;
- stiff neck which makes turning the head difficult;
- pain which radiates down into the arms, shoulders, or fingers;
- tenderness or soreness in a general area;
- stabbing or sharp pain in one spot.
Some common causes of neck pain include:
- carrying a heavy purse or backpack on one shoulder;
- muscle strain;
- cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis);
- degenerative disc disease – it can cause the intervertebral discs to become less hydrated, and they lose their elasticity, flexibility, and shock-absorbing capabilities;
- herniated disk;
- a pinched nerve – it may be due to the narrowing of your spinal canal, arthritis, or a herniated disk;
- trauma from falls or accidents;
- cervical spondylosis;
- tension headache;
- cradling your phone between your neck and shoulder;
- spinal stenosis;
- sleeping with too many or too few pillows or on the abdomen;
- emotional stress;
- rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease);
- fibromyalgia – it is associated with painful, achy muscles and joints;
- bad posture, especially when sitting at a desk for a long time;
- cervical osteoarthritis – it causes excessive friction in the neck’s facet joints;
- meningitis – it is inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. Because it is composed of a few structures like cartilage, tendons, and bone, the shoulder can be affected by numerous conditions.
The most common symptoms include:
- limited mobility;
- aching pain;
Common causes include:
- torn cartilage;
- death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow;
- thoracic outlet syndrome;
- brachial plexus injury;
- broken arm;
- tendon rupture;
- broken collarbone;
- tendinitis – it is a result of inflammation of the tendon;
- bursitis – bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs which are located in joints throughout the body;
- strains and sprains;
- cervical radiculopathy;
- septic arthritis;
- dislocated shoulder – you may also have numbness, swelling, and bruising;
- separated shoulder;
- frozen shoulder – it occurs when the tendons, muscles, and ligaments inside the shoulder become stiff;
- rotator cuff injury – it can occur due to overuse or in a fall;
- rheumatoid arthritis – it is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints;
- heart attack;
- polymyalgia rheumatica;
- osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints);
Treatment options for shoulder and neck pain vary depending on the diagnosis but they may include:
- surgical procedures may be required, especially for cases in which spinal cord or nerve roots are involved;
- local corticosteroid injections;
- local application of moist heat or ice;
- drugs, such as – muscle relaxers and antidepressants;
- pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol);
- anti-inflammatory medication like – ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).
Spiritual Meaning of Shoulder Pain
The shoulder represents the deep conceptual axes of our ability and will to act and master. The shoulders bear the unconsciousness trace of our relationship with the action and the will to master the world.
The ability to act, voluntary will, prejudices, and intentions belong to the symbol of the shoulder. Everything that is related to our deep desires to take action will have a direct somatic relationship with it.
The tension we feel in our shoulders indicates a difficulty in taking action.
Pain in the left shoulder is related to the symbol Yang (paternal) and pain in the right shoulder is related to the Yin dynamics (maternal).
The neck represents the part of the body which is located between the head and the rest of the body. It connects the brain and its performers, which are the arms and legs.
Starting with the cervical plexus, which is at its base, all wishes and decisions of action or relationship will be sent to the organ or member best suited for their fulfillment.
Therefore, the neck is the keeper of desires before they come out; they haven’t appeared yet nor did they trigger any physical gesture. They have not yet made contact with the exterior.
In other words, the neck represents the point of transition from the conceptual (brain, ideas, concepts, desires, etc.) to real (action, accomplishment, relationship, expression).
Tensions, sufferings or neck blockages express our difficulty or inability to make our desires, ideas, and concepts come true. However, unlike the shoulder strain, which has almost the same meaning, we are at the stage where ideas have not arrived at the “gate” of action.
This means we can not make things happen because we think we are not capable. We are the ones that cause this inability, unlike the shoulder blockage, which is caused by others, from the outside world.