Sore and Shoulder Pain


It is common to have pain in the shoulders and neck. For the most part, the pain or pain goes away by itself and is not a sign of any illness. For example, you may have become stiff in your muscles after sitting for a long time or working in a difficult position. Sometimes the pain can also be due to stress or problems with a muscle attachment.

Symptoms of shoulder pain

The most common symptoms when you experience neck and shoulder pain are soreness, stiffness, pain, and pain.

Sometimes, but it is unusual, headaches can be a symptom of a serious illness. Then the pain will usually be severe and come suddenly. Then you can also get a fever and feel sick.

What can I do for myself?

Physical activity reduces the risk of getting back and neck pain. Therefore, it is good if you move as usual even if it hurts your neck and shoulders. You can try to move more into everyday life. For example, you can take the stairs instead of taking a lift and walking a few steps instead of taking the bus all the way. Keep exercising if you already do or try to get started with a new physical activity. It can relieve or even cause the trouble to go over.

Your muscle strength can be impaired if you rest too much. It can make the muscles work worse and also the balance in the body becomes worse.

Take breaks at work

It is good if you who have a sedentary work move on at regular intervals, feel free to interrupt the work for a while so that the muscles can relax properly.

Also, try to avoid too much stress and take care of yourself so that you feel good and comfortable with what you do. Studies show that job satisfaction reduces the risk of neck pain. 

Heat can relieve the pain

Heat can be nice if you have muscle pain. For example, you could try a wheat pillow. 

Prescription-free pain tablets

Painkillers can help you live as usual. It is usually best to take the tablets regularly at certain times to keep you as painless as possible.

There are several different prescription drugs. Examples are drugs containing paracetamol and drugs belonging to the NSAID group, or cox inhibitors.

Here you can read about which prescription drugs are available and which may be suitable for you. 

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a health care center if you suffer from neck and shoulders and do not recover well in two weeks. You can also contact a physiotherapist, naprapathy or chiropractor.

Seek medical care directly at a health center or on-call reception if any of the following is true of you:

  • You suddenly get a strong, persistent headache.
  • You get sore throats or shoulders after an injury.


When examining a doctor, physiotherapist, naprapathy or chiropractor, you will describe your complaints and how long you have had them. In addition, a  body examination is performed with tests of joints and muscles. For example, you may make various movements in the body parts where you are in pain. The investigator pinches and feels on his neck and shoulders.

X-rays may sometimes be needed

In the case of shoulder and neck injuries, regular x-rays are good to rule out that there is damage to the skeleton. For example, it can be if, after an injury, you have radiating pain in an arm and reduced feeling.

Other types of surveys

Some injuries to the shoulder and neck cannot be seen with regular X-rays. This applies for example to injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If the symptoms of shoulder pain are so severe that the doctor is considering surgery, other examination methods as computed tomography  (CT),  magnetic resonance imaging  (MRI) or ultrasound.

The doctor can do an arthroscopy if you have damaged the shoulder or have shoulder pain. It is also called peephole operation. This type of examination is done by an orthopedic doctor. 

The function of different nerves and muscles can be measured with so-called electronurography, ENG and electromyography, EMG. Then electrodes are placed on the skin over a nerve, or inserted into the muscle to be examined. The doctor then measures how a nerve impulse spreads in the nerves or muscles that are suspected of being sick.

Treatment of shoulder pain

Movement and active exercise often help better than passive treatment of shoulder pain methods such as massage, heat treatment, and stretching.

Physical therapy, chiropractic, and naprapathy can reduce the problems

Often, the pain goes away by itself after a few weeks. Otherwise, treatment of shoulder pain by a physiotherapist, chiropractor, naprapathy or general practitioner may reduce the inconvenience.
Physical therapy can be good for relieving the pain, maintaining and increasing mobility and increasing the strength and stability of the neck and shoulders.

Relaxation, stretching and stretching of stiff muscles can also help relieve. You can get advice on how to do it, for example by a physical therapist.

Treatment of shoulder pain with acupuncture and so-called low-energy lasers can also have an effect.

Call handling can help you feel better

Pain in the neck can be different depending on how you are feeling mentally. You who feel anxious and sad can feel more of the pain and have a harder time with it. Often it hurts less if you feel good and enjoys your life.  

Prolonged pain in the neck and shoulders also makes it more difficult to be in mental balance. Call therapy with cognitive behavioral therapy, KBT, helps with long-term pain.  

Cortisone therapy can alleviate inflammation of the muscle

Inflammation around the muscle brackets in the shoulder can be alleviated by injections with cortisone or local anesthesia.

Sometimes surgery is necessary

Sometimes you may need surgery. It can be if you have problems with the shoulder joint, especially if the stability of the joint is poor or in the so-called frozen shoulder. Severe problems with squeezing the shoulder can also be operated.
An artificial joint can be operated in, for example, if you have severe osteoarthritis, leg fractures or a rheumatic disease with very poor function in the joint between the upper arm and the shoulder joint. 

Disk herniations usually heal without surgery but in severe pain, you may need surgery.

What can it be because I have neck and shoulder pain?

There are many things that can affect the interaction between joints, connective tissue, discs, muscles, and nerves and cause neck and shoulder pain. Sometimes these are things in your environment, such as poor work environment. The risk of neck pain increases if you are stressed or worried. It can also be due to illnesses and disorders such as age changes and inflammations.

Pain and stiff muscles in neck and shoulders

It is often unclear exactly what the stiffness, soreness and pain in the shoulders and neck area due to. Muscle tension, stress and anxiety are often important.


At the neck barrier, the pain starts quite suddenly and you have trouble moving your head. The neck latch is due to a cramp in the muscles of the neck.

Age Changes

Over the years, the neck and shoulders change with age. It’s called osteoarthritis. The joints then become stiffer.

The changes in age are usually visible on X-rays. But there is no clear link between age changes on X-rays and neck and shoulder pain. Many changes can be seen on the X-ray without you being hurt. It can also be that you are very sore without any X-rays.

Age changes not only need to be about age but can also depend on heredity. Sometimes the changes can occur even when you are in your 20s.  

Injuries and accidents

Injuries and accidents can affect muscles, joints and connective tissue. The neck has high strength and it is uncommon for bone fractures in that part of the body, except for violent accidents.

Whiplash injury is a special injury as the pain comes from injured muscles, connective tissue, and nerves. Whiplash injury is also called whiplash. 

The shoulder joint and the legs around the shoulder are more susceptible to injury than the neck. For example, you may experience a leg fracture or the shoulder goes out of joint.

Monotonous work

Monotonous work with constant muscle tension can cause aches and pains with muscle attachments. This is especially true if you work with your arms outstretched in front of you. Work that loads the shoulders a lot can probably contribute to osteoarthritis in the joint between the shoulder blade and the clavicle.

Other causes of neck and shoulder pain

Sometimes pain in the shoulders and neck can be due to a disease. For example, it can be any of the following diseases:

  • bursitis, mucosal inflammation
  • herniated
  • muscular rheumatism
  • frozen shoulders
  • RSI
  • rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bechterew’s disease
  • inflammation of the pulmonary artery, temporal artery.

The pain may also be due to any of the following illnesses or disorders:

  • Squeezing in the shoulder, or impingement means that the tendons and muscles get pinched. The term impingement is a collective name for several different types of disorders that cause pain and movement difficulties in the shoulder, especially when you move the arm from the body straight sideways. Sometimes other movements in the shaft are also affected.
  • Lime shaft is usually due to a precipitation of lime in late tissue or in a mucus sac. The symptoms of shoulder pain may be that you suddenly get very sore and very difficult to move the shoulder.
  • Cervical rizopathy is a pain that radiates from the neck to the arm. Then you may have neck pain, at the same time as you have radiating pain in one arm and perhaps impaired sensation or tingling in the arm. The cause may be tension in the muscles or a nerve has become trapped in the neck. In unusual cases, it may be disk hernias.

What happens in the body?

The muscle tension increases in the body part where you are in pain. Tense muscles can increase pain. Stress and anxiety can also cause increased tension in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and chest. 

Endorphins relieve

To balance this, the body has its own system that relieves pain and helps the muscles relax. Among other things with the help of so-called endorphins. Physical activity, massage, relaxation, peace, and quiet and joy stimulate this system.

How you feel affects how bad it hurts

How you feel can affect how you respond to pain. If you are depressed, worried, sleep poorly, experience a lot of stress or have problems at home or at work, the pain can be more difficult to manage. If you are not in mental balance, it can, in turn, help the pain to last and be prolonged. You end up in a vicious circle. Think about which parts of your everyday life you feel good about and which parts you feel worse by and which, for example, make you stressed. Maybe you can change something to reduce stress.

That it hurts does not mean that something is seriously wrong or damaged. If you know that the pain is harmless, it often goes faster. On the other hand, if you perceive the pain as dangerous and feel strong fear, it can hurt more. It is also often easier to endure being in pain if you know what the pain is due to and that it goes over.

It is important that you understand the information

In order for you to be active in your care and to make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare personnel. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information printed so that you can read it peacefully.

You also have the right to get help from an interpreter if you have a hearing loss.

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