Manage Back Pain

Neck, Shoulder and Arm Pain.

What is the Connection?

Neck, Shoulder, Arm pain? Is there really a connection?



Have you got pain in your neck, shoulder AND arm? If so, please read what I have to say about this common complaint which I see daily in my clinic.

Neck, shoulder and arm pain often come as a unit. This is usually due to nerves in the neck being trapped, damaged or impinged.

The causes of neck, shoulder and arm pain that I see usually result from sports injuries, road traffic accidents (whiplash) or from work-related injuries due to poor sitting posture - especially computer posture.

Even as I write this article - I have a mild ache from my neck through my arm - but as I correct my sitting posture this ache starts to disappear! Sometimes it really can be that simple.



Your neck is made up of 7 bones and between each bone a nerve comes out on either side and travels down your arm. The bone level at which your nerve is trapped will influence where in the neck, shoulder and arm that you feel your pain. Pins and needles as well as numbness can also be associated with neck, shoulder arm pain.


The most common pattern of neck, shoulder arm pain that I see combines one side of your neck, your outer upper arm and down into your little and index finger.


As always, the diagnosis of your neck, shoulder and arm pain is of vital importance. Whatever is trapping or impinging your nerve must be corrected. Usually this requires the help of a chartered Physiotherapist.


Following 1-2 sessions with a physiotherapist, your movement problem will be resolved - and then appropriate exercises need to be carried out to prevent a relapse. Finally, posture exercises will be given so that your neck, shoulder and arm pain does not re-occur.


If your neck, shoulder and arm pain does not respond to treatment within 3-5 days then seek an x-ray under the advice of your doctor or physio to eliminate any other possible cause of your symptoms.


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The information on this web site does not replace specific medical advice. It should only be used to complement advice from your doctor. Always seek in-person advice from a doctor or other qualified health provider for your particular condition.