Common causes of neck and shoulder pain include muscle strains, poor posture, abnormal or unstable joints and trauma. Neck and shoulder pain is diagnosed with X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and electrodiagnostic studies, states WebMD.
Additional causes for neck pain include tumors and degenerative diseases. Other causes for shoulder pain are tendonitis, frozen shoulder and pinched nerves. Some people with these issues experience pain in both the neck and shoulder, while others experience it in only one place, says WebMD.
Treatment options for neck and shoulder pain include over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen or Tylenol. Muscle relaxers and the application of heat or ice to the affected area are additional treatment methods, states WebMD. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes at least four times a day but no more than eight.
Certain exercises help with pain management and movement ability, adds WebMD. Additionally, depending on the cause of the pain, antidepressants may also help. If the pain is caused by an issue with the nerves, surgery is sometimes necessary. Pain that gets worse or doesn't go away within a few days needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Immediate medical care should be sought if the pain is the result of a serious injury, radiates from the neck down to the legs, or is accompanied by a fever, vomiting and sensitivity to light.