Is It Shoulder or Neck Pain?

July 6, 2021
The Maryland Spine Center - Baltimore, MD

Is that pain stemming from your shoulder or neck?

It can be confusing for both patients and physicians. Shoulder problems, like rotator cuff tears and arthritis, can mimic neck issues and vice versa.

According to board certified orthopedic spine surgeon Justin J. Park, M.D., of The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy, with neck issues, patients will often have a herniated disc causing numbness that will go all the way down the arm and into the fingers.

"With shoulder pain by itself, it's usually just limited to within the shoulder joint itself. It hurts a lot more when people are raising their arm above their head. Whereas with a herniated disc, some people actually feel better raising their arm above their head," Dr. Park said.

Dr. Park recommends a period of rest for a few days and taking anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen. If it still doesn't get better, see an orthopedic doctor who specializes in neck or shoulder problems.

To view Dr. Justin Park’s interview regarding treatment for shoulder and neck pain, click here.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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