How can neck and shoulder pain be grouped together?

Neck and shoulder pain can be grouped in many different ways. Some people have pain only in the neck or shoulder, while others have pain in both areas.

How are neck and shoulder pain diagnosed?

  • X-rays can be helpful in diagnosing neck and shoulder pain. Plain X-rays can reveal disc space narrowing, rheumatologic disease, destructive lesions, slippage, stenosis, fractures, and instability with flexion-extension views.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive procedure that can reveal the detail of neural (nerve-related) elements.
  • Myelography/CT scanning is sometimes used as an alternative to MRI.
  • Electrodiagnostic studies — electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) — also might help diagnose neck and shoulder pain, arm pain, numbness, and tingling.

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