Injury to the muscles, ligaments and tendons is the most common cause of pain in the shoulder and neck, according to MedicineNet. Pain in the shoulder and neck area can also be attributed to a wide variety of medical conditions, including arthritis, bone anomalies, tendonitis or a heart attack, reports WebMD.
Pain in the shoulder and neck may be caused by conditions that directly affect either the shoulder or the neck, or both, according to Healthline. Shoulder pain may be caused by injury or inflammation of the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff, the dislocation or fracture of the shoulder blade, or osteoarthritis. Inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs, can also cause shoulder pain. Conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis can cause chronic pain in shoulder and neck joints.
Pain in the neck may also be caused by a wide range of common conditions, including whiplash injury from an automobile crash; cervical disc herniation and the consequent radiating pain; strained muscles; and natural wear and tear of the joints, according to Mayo Clinic. Medical conditions such as cancer, meningitis and the pain that precedes a heart attack often manifest as radiating pain the neck and shoulders, states MedicineNet.