What causes chronic neck and shoulder pain?

chronic neck and shoulder pain

Because of their close proximity and shared muscles and tendons, it should be no surprise that neck pain and shoulder pain often occur at the same time. There are many reasons people can experience pain in this area. In most cases, the pain is mild and inconvenient for a short period of time. However, sometimes you may develop chronic neck and shoulder pain, or pain that lasts for a long period of time.

When you have chronic neck and shoulder pain, you need to evaluate some aspects of your life to eliminate some potential contributing factors like these below.

Poor sleeping position

Sleeping with a pillow that does not provide enough support to your head and neck can cause you tension and pain in your neck and shoulder muscles. Also, sleeping on your front with your head turned to the left or right can strain these muscles. 

Always use a pillow that provides sufficient support for your head and keeps your spine in alignment, and avoid sleeping on your stomach. 


Frequent use of the shoulder in physical activities, such as baseball pitchers who throw fastballs all day, can strain the neck and shoulder muscles. Even simple home activities like cleaning the house or yard can strain these muscles if you do not take frequent breaks or you push yourself too hard.

Poor posture

Sitting and standing with your head hunched forward and shoulders slumped can lead to weak and tense muscles, which is a common cause of neck and shoulder pain. Practice sitting up straight when at your desk. Keep your head up and shoulders squared when standing.

If you have a desk job, take at least one 10-minute break every hour to stretch and move around to help keep your neck and shoulders limber as well as your back.

Carrying a shoulder bag

Do you carry a heavy purse or a messenger-style bag that hangs off one shoulder? This can strain that shoulder and the muscles in your neck on that same side. 

Avoid overloading one shoulder by carrying lighter bags or using ergonomic backpacks that spread the load evenly across both shoulders.

Visit Armor Physical Therapy for neck and shoulder pain treatment

Do you feel like you always have neck and shoulder pain? Whether you have a serious injury or have pain that won’t go away because of reasons like these above, our team at Armor Physical Therapy can help. 

We can provide a personalized treatment designed to help you recover from neck and shoulder pain and prevent future pain from developing. Contact our team today for more information about treating neck and shoulder pain or to schedule an initial appointment.

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