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Can a Torn Rotator Cuff Cause Neck Pain?

rotator cuff syndrome

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Have you recently injured the rotator cuff in one of your shoulders?

More than three million Americans suffer a rotator cuff injury each year. Rotator cuff syndrome is a condition where the tendons in your rotator cuff become trapped and/or compressed as you move your shoulder.

While this can cause significant shoulder pain, you may also notice increasing levels of discomfort in your neck.

Lots of our readers are asking, “I have a torn rotator cuff, why does my neck hurt?” Read on to learn how rotator cuff syndrome can affect your neck.

Overuse of Neck Muscles

When you have a rotator cuff injury, you may unknowingly overuse your neck muscles to compensate for weakness in your injured shoulder.

For example, when you bend down to pick something up, you may use muscles in your neck, you usually wouldn’t if your shoulder was healthy.

This can cause strains to your neck tendons and other muscles that will further exacerbate your shoulder pain.

Unfortunately, your rotator cuff can cause further neck pain that may not show any symptoms when you are first injured after an accident.

Nerve Pain in Your Neck

Your neck is an epicenter for nerves that have a significant impact on pain levels throughout your body. When these nerves are irritated or injured, this can cause you to feel pain in unexpected areas like your head, neck, and arms.

Did you know the cervical plexus is located in your neck?

The cervical plexus is where eight spinal nerves branch off from your spinal cord to your neck. It functions to connect the muscles in your head and neck.

Your injured rotator cuff can cause a pulsating pain in your shoulder that works its way up your neck to cause nerve pain in the cervical plexus.

Issues Caused By Shoulder Stabilization

Your rotator cuff injury will cause your shoulder to work harder to stabilize itself during lifting and/or rotation.

Secondary shoulder stabilizing muscles like the trapezius and elevator scapulae insert into your neck. A weakness or tear in your rotator cuff can put tremendous stress on the secondary stabilizers.

These overstressed stabilizers can cause neck strain or muscle spasms in your neck.

Wrapping Up: Rotator Cuff Syndrome and Neck Pain

Rotator cuff syndrome can cause pain in your shoulders, neck, and more.

Your rotator cuff is made up of four main muscles: the teres minor, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and supraspinatus. Each of these muscles plays a crucial role in the proper function of your shoulder.

At WORKERSCOMPDOCTOR.COM we are your source for information about the most qualified doctors in your area. Our comprehensive list of board-certified doctors will help connect you with the best professionals where you live.

After you’ve injured your neck, you want to limit the amount of time spent researching medical doctors so that you can get the treatment you need fast.

Call (888) 590-4030 today to learn more about how we can help connect you with the right doctor near you!


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