Are you experiencing severe neck and shoulder pain?

Pain in the neck can be caused by a wide assortment of factors that all cause varying amounts of discomfort and irritation. Fortunately, many of these can be easily remedied or managed.

Depending on the specific cause, neck and shoulder pain can have lasting effects that interferes with your lifestyle. To help you understand the many causes and how to alleviate the pain, we have put together this guide.

Chronic Injury or Misalignment

Numbness in the Neck

Chronic injury or misalignment is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain. This can be caused by poor posture, repetitive motions, or an improper worksite setup.

When pain results from poor posture or motion, an evaluation to find out the cause for the misalignment is important. Addressing the cause can often reduce the pain or at least make it more tolerable.

Treatment usually involves activities like:

  • stretching
  • massage
  • ice/heat therapy
  • exercises

In certain cases, physical therapy or chiropractic adjustments, which you can find at, may be necessary to restore proper alignment and improve range of motion.

Furthermore, ergonomic changes at work and home, as well as paying attention to posture while sitting and standing, are also recommended. If pain persists, it is important to seek medical advice.


Stress causes tension in the shoulders and neck which build up and can lead to chronic pain. People with high-stress or fast-paced lifestyles may be more prone to these types of injuries as they are unable to relax and unwind due to their on-going hectic routines.

It’s important to take the time to relax, engage in activities to help reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation or walking, and to ensure that you are taking regular breaks from work to rest and stretch.

Poor Posture

Poor posture can be caused by sitting or standing with your spine in an awkward position, hunching your shoulders, or cradling a phone between your shoulder and your ear.

Long periods of performing these activities can cause the muscles and ligaments in your neck and shoulders to tighten, leading to aches and pains. To combat poor posture, it’s important to make conscious efforts to sit and stand with your back straight and your chin parallel with the ground.

Additionally, taking regular breaks throughout the day can provide relief and prevent more severe neck and shoulder pain. Exercise, such as yoga and stretching, can help to strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders and improve your posture.


Nerve in the Neck

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints, leading to pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder. It is often associated with aging but can be present in many younger individuals too.

Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, tenderness, reduced range of motion, and noise in the area due to the friction of the bone surfaces against one another.

Treatment options for arthritis in the neck and shoulder area vary depending on the severity of the condition, but often and include:

  • physical therapy
  • prescription medication
  • regular exercise
  • stress management
  • weight loss

If the pain becomes extremely severe, surgery may be needed.

Muscle Injury

Neck and shoulder pain can be caused by muscle injury due to the strain of everyday activities. When a muscle gets injured, the surrounding tissue can become inflamed. The inflammation or swelling can cause pain, stiffness, or limited mobility.

Poor posture, spending long periods of time in one position, and repetitive motions are the most common causes of muscle injuries that result in neck and shoulder pain.

If a muscle tear or strain is suspected, it is important to stop the activity that might be causing the pain and rest the area for several days. Ice, heat, or over-the-counter medications can also provide relief.

Weak Core Muscles

Weak core muscles can be at the root of severe neck and shoulder pain. Weak core muscles can transfer the load from the upper body to the neck and shoulders, leading to the development of a muscular imbalance.

People may not realize that their neck and shoulder muscles are doing too much work to stabilize their body. To address this imbalance, individuals should incorporate core strengthening exercises such as planks, sit-ups, bridges, and yoga poses into their exercise routine.

Repetitive Movements


Repetitive movements can cause strain on the muscles and supporting structures in the neck and shoulders, triggering the pain. These repetitive movements may include activities such as

  • excessive mouse or keyboard use
  • operating large equipment
  • carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder

To combat this type of pain, it is important to take frequent breaks throughout the day, particularly during long computer sessions, and use an ergonomically designed workstation to alleviate strain on the neck and shoulders.

Strength training and specific exercises tailored to the individual and targeting causes of severe neck pain and shoulders can help maintain the muscles, aiding in prevention and providing relief from the pain associated with repetitive movements.

Manage Your Severe Neck and Shoulder Pain Now

By understanding the common causes of severe neck and shoulder pain, we can take preventative steps to reduce the risk.

Incorporating lifestyle changes, stretching and strengthening exercises, and correcting posture can help to relieve neck and shoulder pain. Take action now to reduce neck and shoulder pain and improve your quality of life.

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