1. Definition

Neck and shoulder pain syndrome is common among people  who works involve standing and/or sitting for a long period of time. Patients feel their neck strains, aches, difficult to rotate or lean overl sometimes the pain and fatigue spread to the shoulder, arm and lasts for several days. Neck and shoulder pain syndrome is not dangerous but it can cause some discomfort, fatigue for patients, affecting work, diminish the quality of labor and life quality. With high work pressure, especially office workers who have to sit in one position in a long period of time, the amount of patients with neck and shoulder pain syndrome has been gradually increasing.


  1. Causes: There are quite many causes lead to this condition, include main muscles and nerves related causes, and in some diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, cancer:
  • Muscles related:

When the muscles in the shoulder, neck have to work strenuously or being stretch for too long (heavy lifts, long bow, same head and neck posture for long periods), which in turn easily lead to muscle strain.

People who often lie side by, curl, when the body weakens, the operating speed of the circulatory system fell, the blood circulation and oxygenation in the body reduces, pain will appear when waking up. Typically, from middle age onwards, vascular system has reduced toughness, elasticity so people usually suffer neck, nape and shoulder pain.

Sitting in front of the fan, air conditioner for long, constant exposure to rain or sunlight, letting sun shines straight to the nape or night bathing,… affects the vascular and nervous systems which controls the nutrients providing for muscles. Wrong sleeping head posture also makes you feel discomfort in the neck and shoulder area when waking up.

  • Nerves related:

A series of problems in the cervical spine can reduce the space available for the nerves branching out from the spinal cord. For example:

– Hardened cartilage discs: As we agem the cartilage discs between the vertebrae become dry and stiff, narrowed the gap in the spine where the nerves exit.

– Herniated disc: This occurs when the disc protrudes, pressures the exit of spinal nerves, causing pain to or weakening the arm.

– Degenerative spine, congenital torticollis, malformation, arthritis, neck injuries also heavily affect nerves in the neck, shoulder, spine, nape area, causing prolonged pain.

Pathology related: Neck shoulder pain syndrome is sometimes due to a number of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer.


  Acute neck and shoulder pain:

 Pain spreads from the nape down to the shoulder, increases when changing head position.

Pain when bending, turning or tilting the head, warped face, stiff neck, have to turn the whole upper part of the body to look horizontally or behind.

Chronic neck and shoulder pain:

Prolonged sore shoulder and neck, ache, pain increases when the weather changes, which last for months, even years, alternating with acute pain with every acute neck and shoulder pain symptoms.

Often accompanied with symptoms of reduced brain circulation: headache, sleep disturbances, memory impairment…

Some cases show signs of arm nerves’ pain: ache, numbness in the arms, forearms, finger, tendon reflexes may increase slightly.


Patients with neck and shoulder pain syndrome who while visiting specialist doctors found no cause of pinched injured will be assigned analgesia, topical medications… or physiotherapy like massaging, reflexology, acupuncture… in hospitals, clinics, traditional medicine, this will bring good results.

In some mild pain, if the patients want to quickly get rid of the pain, they need to solve these three problems simultaneously:

Enhancing blood flow to the shoulder and neck area by relaxing the vascular system, increase the kinetic energy of red blood cells, enhancing blood flow in the vascular system: in order to achieve this goal, the patient should be massaged gently, gradually increasing intensity, combined with topical medications, which includes oil extract, will help the body, relaxing blood vessels.

Soften the muscle to increase muscle metabolism for which the patient should sit, lie down properly, help muscles relax, also external massage can soften the muscles.

The effect on the nerves: pain was caused by the wastes concentrating on the end ò the sensory nerves. Using painkillers will prevent formation of these substances, anesthetize the nerves slightly to help patients quickly lose the pain.

Usually when in pain, patients often turn to anti-inflammatory painkillers, to quickly lose the pain. However, orally anti-inflammatory painkillers can only treat the pain but also cause many side effects to the gastrointestinal. In particular, it injures the intestinal mucosa, destroys epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract causing peptic ulcers.

Prolonged usage of anti-inflammatory painkillers also cause many adverse effects on the nervous system, increase the risk of myocardial infarction, hepatic dysfunction. To avoid those side effects, patients should use medicines which contrin skill messaging oils like menthol, camphor oil. Menthol, camphor help stimulate blood circulation, increase blood circulation to the neck and shoulder area, heaten muscles, vasodilation. In addition, the oil also stimulates the absolute end of muscles and skin nerve (the pain tranduction unit) to help relieve pain quickly and effectively.



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