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Neck and Arm Pain

While neck pain can exist all by itself, it is often accompanied by other symptoms. Common symptoms are headache, shoulder pain, arm pain or numbness and even pain between the shoulder blades. And these symptoms can have their own causes as well. So a thorough exam can determine how these conditions are related.

Joints, muscles and ligaments in the neck are supplied by a rich network of nerves. When these structures are injured, or under increased stress and tension nerves become irritated and painful. Nerves from the neck also supply the arms and muscles of the shoulder and upper back. If these nerves become compress or irritated symptoms may radiate from the neck. Similarly nerves travel over the back of the head and can trigger headaches even over the forehead.

While injury can bring on immediate neck pain, often minor injuries or poor posture lay the ground work for changes that bring on pain gradually. Pain, then, just kind of shows up or is brought on with a seemingly insignificant event.

To request our special report on Neck Pain and Arm Numbness click here. If you have a more immediate question please use the "Ask the expert" link on the right side of this page.