How to relieve neck and shoulder pain

Neck and shoulder pain relief usually becomes necessary after a soft tissue injury, such as a strained muscle caused by sleeping with your head in an awkward position or a ligament sprained during a sudden fall. These instances of neck and shoulder pain are mild and common, as many people experience these types of injuries at some point in their lives.

However, more serious conditions can also cause neck and shoulder pain. These conditions may include a bulging disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, cervical spinal stenosis or bone spurs. If one of these spine conditions develops and pinches a nerve root, it can produce symptoms that require treatment for neck and shoulder pain relief. Read on to learn about the diagnostic process for neck and shoulder pain as well as the variety of treatments available to ease your symptoms.

Diagnosing the cause of your neck and shoulder pain

Before you can begin treatment for neck and shoulder pain relief, you must first schedule an appointment with your doctor to receive a proper diagnosis of your condition. Beginning treatment without first diagnosing your condition can put you in danger by worsening your pain and aggravating your symptoms.

To diagnose the cause of your pain, your doctor will first perform a physical examination. This exam often involves your doctor pressing into areas of your neck and shoulder, as well as along your peripheral nerve pathway, to measure the extent of your nerve compression and locate the source of your pain.

Once the location of your pinched nerve has been determined, your doctor will likely order a medical imaging test, like an MRI or CT scan, to view what is compressing the nerve in your spine. If you are diagnosed with a spine condition, your doctor will recommend a series of conservative treatments to help you find neck and shoulder pain relief.

Conservative treatments for neck and shoulder pain

Many doctors first recommend a conservative treatment program for shoulder and neck pain relief. A combination of nonsurgical therapies can help relieve pressure from the pinched nerve and reduce the symptoms of pain in the neck and shoulder.

Common conservative treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Chiropractic care
  • Cortisone injections
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Stretches
  • Intermittent periods of rest
  • Lifestyle changes

Sometimes, surgery is the only option for long-term neck and shoulder pain relief. Typically, surgery is saved as a last-resort treatment when all conservative methods have been exhausted.

Minimally invasive surgery for neck and shoulder pain

If you have been recommended for spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery as well as a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time^ compared to patients who choose traditional open spine surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, our highly skilled surgeons use a small incision that is muscle sparing to ease your neck and shoulder pain and help you get back to your daily routine. Reach out to our dedicated team today for a free MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.