Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Shoulder/neck differential diagnosis?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Just wondering if anyone out there has a similar predicament as mine...as you can see in my signature, I have cervical issues that are producing symptoms in my neck and primarily in the right shoulder/arm and hand.

I had a throwing injury a long time ago (before my neck issues started), and I've had problems with my right shoulder ever since. I have an incredibly weak, almost useless right arm and a constant, deep boring ache in my right shoulder.

The question that bugs me: are my shoulder symptoms due to my cervical problems, or are they due to my shoulder problems, or potentially both? I've done exhaustive research on the web about cervical root vs shoulder conditions, and there seems to be potential overlap. I'm confident about the cervical diagnosis I've received, but I'm wondering if I go forward with ACDF, will that do anything for my shoulder?

I'm following up soon with my ortho on the shoulder questions, but just wanted to see if any of you "neckies", and especially "c5-6ers" have experienced a similar situation?


  • Hi Obx4me,

    It is very common to have a neck injury and and pain in your shoulder. The pain is called radicular pain meaning it is radiating from some place else. Depending on what level of the spine you have a problem at will depend on where the radiculopathy pain is. When I was first injured I couldn't understand why they kept looking at my neck and the pain was in my shoulder and arm. Well now several years later, alot of research and some surgery i understand. Here is a video that may explain this better. Use the search function at the top of the page and put in cervical radiculopathy and you will also get lots of articles as well. Good luck and keep us posted on your next appointment.


  • thanks for the info...a lot of stuff i've read suggests that the c5 root is more directly correlated with shoulder issues...my biggest problem is at c5-6 (c6 root)...apparently not everyone is "wired" exactly the same way in terms of how the roots distribute sensory info, so perhaps that is a factor.

    i think my biggest concern is that i clarify with my ortho whether i have "only" a cervical issue, or if i have that and a distinct shoulder issue.

    thanks again...
  • I have similar problems, only on my left side. I had aC5-6 ACDF on 11/03/08. Since then, my shoulder, are, back, and neck have worsened. I had an EMG in Feb, and it shows damage. I am still off work, still in physical therapy, and being given stronger pain meds. It was suggested that I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), and fibromialgia. I have muscle atrophy, limited movement, and numbing. I have seen and heard of better recoveries than mine, so don't let me scare you away from getting your fusion. I am waiting for my pt to be done, and see if my psiatrist will order more tests. I always feel that maybe my problem is in my shoulder and need to look further into it...just sooo busy with therapy, doc appts, migraines, pain, etc to actually DO something about it.
Sign In or Register to comment.