Conditions & Symptoms


RSS feed

Syndicate content

Really bad Cervical Spine/Neck Pain + Shoulder problems

Question: Really bad Cervical Spine/Neck Pain + Shoulder problems

Sorry to seem like a hog, but i have injuries pretty much all over my body for no specific reason, and these areas are the most painful everyday.

I put it under Neck injuries because the cervical spine is by far the most painful on the day to day basis of even doing nothing. I must of noticed it perhaps 5 months or so ago, my cervical spine started feeling really weak and started to cause a dull ache. Going from the whole of the cervical spine into the base at the bottom of my skull.

I really can't say how it's got here, because it's happened from no direct trauma or car injury. The only possible reason i can think of is months and months ago when i was weightlifting doing a squat with a barbell on my back, the bar jolted up and whacked me a little in my neck, but that's all i can think of. It hurt a little at the time but i can't say that's the direct cause as surely i would of known about it, but that's something to go on?

Anyway, today again, really bad headache im assuming from the cervical spine pain, ibuprofen and painkillers won't even take the headache away. My neck honestly feels so weak that if i was to get hit with a full power punch that it feels like it would fall off. I have had 2 x-rays on my cervical spine and both times they have come back clear, which leads me to including the shoulder problems as they're connected, the incredible pain in my neck could be from the shoulders?

I have a lot of issues with my shoulders, AC joint, Clavicle, Scapula, here's an example of what's affected;
Skipping/Jump rope - If i were to do this my shoulders would ache too much to the point that within a few minutes the pain would prevent me from carrying on.
Running - Collarbone/Clavicle usually hurts.
Overhead activities (barbell overhead press) - Really hurts my shoulder blades and shoulders all over.
Parallel Bar dips - Hurts my clavicle + scapula.
Day to day activities - using a hammer, my shoulders again similar to the skipping rope will hurt within a few strikes and that prevents me from doing most daily activities.

I have tried external rotations for my rotator cuff muscles but that's not the problem and isn't helping. Not sure what else to say, they hurt me on a day to day basis too, whether im doing nothing or moving stuff around.

My shoulder blades also stick out a little, kind of like a winged scapula condition, but not as severe, for this reason i have been working on some small acessory exercises for the scapula depressors, and scapula retractors.

Again i have no idea where the pain has come from or if it's from a direct injury, any questions i'll be more than happy to answer!

With relevance to the AC joint, if i raise an arm overhead, it feels like muscle covers it up and that provides tightness, i have tried doing pec minor stretches by that doesn't seem to help either.

What would be my best options, x-ray, MRI?

Thanks guys.


Hi Coldfeet,

Under normal circumstances X-rays and MRI are never the primary route to diagnosis. You need to be checked over by a good mechanic ( osteopath, Physio)who knows what they are doing. Your GP, bless him/ her is unlikely to understand what to do or how to assess correctly, nor will they have the time to do so. Do not waste your own prescious time going to the NHS physio, it will take too long ( six - eight weeks possibly).Full motion assessment and clinical tests need to be performed, which are easy to do, when you know how. I might suggest you also need to back off the training until you find out what is wrong otherwise you will just make the situation worse.

Kendall Chew,
Osteopathy Works.


Hey thanks for the feedback.

I saw a physiotherapist on the NHS in the past, took a while, but they didn't really examine my shoulders much, what would be my best options as you said full motion assessment are easy to do when you know how - is this something i can do then? Is there any further information you could provide in relation to this?

I haven't been training for a few months now due to the problem, i feel the problem is usually around the AC joint, as my clavicle's usually hurt, but Ive tried stretching pec minor, thoracic mobility, all sorts, just does not add up to me.


Hi Coldfeet

It looks as if ur ACJ is affected.Try cross abduction and adduction ie try to reach the affected index finger to the opposite scapula.
You need some manipulation on the ACJ.
Many shoulder conditions are not just gleno humeral but ACJ and scapular involvement.
You need Scapular mobilisation with strengthening of serratus anterior muscle.Try not doing weight lifting for a while.


Thanks for adding your advice marthas, it's much appreciated.


Thanks for the feedback Marthas, i was just going to add some more information if it'll help suggest some possible diagnosis.

I would say it is the around the AC and clavicle region. I have tried stretching my pec minor, traps, all sorts including self message using foam roller and tennis balls but it hasn't been greatly successful. Im not sure if i can attach images, but i'll try anyway as Ive circled the direct area of pain.

It could be related, my inner part of my elbows, where the bicep tendon's lie, also hurt. Both arms, a prime example of easily affected movements is the other day i was piggybacking my cousin who is 7 years old and although my back was carrying the load, my elbows being bent were causing immense pain - doesn't seem normal for a 19 year old.

So i have some problems with inner elbow tendons, probably bicep tendons? Also on my left elbow, the outer part is also affected (lateral) and some tenderness along with clicking is associated with movement.

Could this problem be causing my chronic neck pain?

It doesn't seem to go away and a lot of things seem to aggravate it. Another example, yesterday went shopping, carrying grocery bags which weren't necessarily heavy, causing discomfort in the clavicle region, almost as though some muscle is being trapped underneath it.

Another thing is that i have been doing some light rehab based exercises to help strengthen mid and low trap regions, if i were to try to depress my scapula which i don't have much muscle mind connection for as yet, but if i were to do so, it causes pain in that region and clavicle area.

I tried finding information on the internet to do the tests you tried, but couldn't find nothing on them, i tried crossing my arms out in front almost as if you would in a cross grip for olympic front squats and touched each side of the scapula, which was fine although my left side clicked.

What are my best options? I would love to see a chiropractor and not sure if i can get treatment for that on the NHS, i am currently out of work for this and other conditions so am getting very little income to help support myself.

Hope you can provide me with further information!

Thanks and god bless.

Another thing is my upper arm feels tight and restricted in certain movements, where it connects to the shoulder joint, as shown in the picture on the right hand side, at spine of scapula.


Neck and shoulder pain is often caused due to prolonged sitting in a wrong posture. Try improving your postural defects and it will help overcoming pain.
Eric B.