Neck and shoulder injuries can present with physical symptoms which could be caused by either a neck or shoulder injury. Diagnosis can be complicated if the injured person reports that they suffered an injury to their neck or shoulder because that is where they feel the ache or pain. In fact, it could be one or the other, or both.
An aching shoulder may not be due to the shoulder, and a sore neck may not indicate a neck issue. The neck and shoulder are intimately connected by multiple nerve pathways and injuries in one area often results in referred pain to the other. Thus the importance of a thorough medical exam of both neck and shoulder by your doctor is key to getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment program.
Work-related complaints of the arm, neck and shoulder develop as a result of repetitive movements, awkward postures and impact of external forces such as work with vibrating tools. These conditions severely hamper the working population, and in WA state, lost work days due to neck, arm, and shoulder represent 60% of workers’ compensation claims (WA L&I).
Our firm has encountered many cases where an incomplete diagnosis early after an injury led to legal complications down the road when an effort was made to obtain allowance of an additional condition under a claim. Often, the initial diagnosis is a shoulder injury but only later is it discovered that a neck injury is also involved. Now, the Department of Labor and Industries, through its ongoing program of medical education seminars, will address this common dilemma – is it the neck, or the shoulder?
The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Grand Rounds Lecture series will cover this topic on February 20, 2020 in Seattle, with a simultaneous viewing event in Olympia. Read the full release, here, for more information, including details about the two physicians that will speak at the event. This lecture may be of interest to you, even if you are not a doctor. The cost is only $50 and includes a light meal.