Shoulder and Neck Pain

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Is follow-up necessary after treatment of shoulder and neck pain?

Timely follow-up visits to your doctor plus following his or her recommendations will enable you to recover faster. Eventually gradual exercises and/or rehabilitation with physical therapy can be used to help recovery and prevent further injury.

How can I prevent shoulder and neck pain?

  • To prevent injuries, examine your home for potential hazards and correct them to reduce the chance of accidental injury.
  • Proper exercise of the shoulders and neck can reduce the risk of injury.
  • When performing hazardous tasks, have someone present to reduce the likelihood of injury. For example, when climbing a ladder, have someone hold the base of the ladder to keep it from sliding to either side.
  • Know your limitations. Do not perform activities that you do not have the training, skills, tools, or strength to accomplish.
  • Wear seat belts and use other safety equipment to reduce injuries.

What is the prognosis for shoulder and neck pain?

Because most neck and shoulder pain is caused by sprains and strains, you can expect a full recovery or to recover with minor limitations on your activities.

Some conditions require hospitalization, surgical repair, physical therapy, or other rehabilitative measures. The extent of recovery may be complete or limited. Some conditions can be recurrent or persistent; thus, you should have a treatment plan to learn how to deal with and adapt to any limitations.

REFERENCE:

Firestein, Gary S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 9th Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2013.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2016
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