Shoulder pain is the third most common cause of pain complaints reported in primary care. Restricted
shoulder movement due to pain, stiffness, or weakness is prevalent among nearly 26% of the population as
explained in a study published by the BMJ. Shoulder pain can be debilitating and can affect daily life and work.
What causes tingling or burning shoulder pain?
If you experience the sensations of tingling and burning shoulder pain, the likely cause is not your shoulder but
most likely due to a pinched, irritated, or compressed nerve.
The shoulder is supplied by nerves originating from the neck or the cervical spine which is the uppermost
portion of the spine. The cervical spine is a complex yet delicate and flexible structure responsible for neck
movement in all directions. The top of the cervical spine is connected to the skull and the bottom portion is
connected to the upper back.
When any of these nerves or nerve roots of the neck or the cervical spine are pinched, irritated, or
compressed, you may experience numbness, tingling, or burning shoulder pain.
What causes a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve affecting the shoulder happens due to several reasons:
A trauma, inflammation, or infection in the nerves of the brachial plexus causes brachial plexopathy. A
brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate from the neck or the cervical spine and upper back or
thoracic spine. The branches of the brachial plexus supply nerves to most of the shoulder muscles. This
condition is commonly seen in those involved in vigorous physical activities like weightlifting,
gymnastics, and wrestling. Pain experienced because of injury to the brachial plexus may be
experienced as sharp, stabbing, or throbbing pain.
A spinal disc herniation or bone spur in the neck can compress, pinch, or irritate the nerves of the
cervical spine causing cervical pinched nerve also referred to as cervical radiculopathy. Cervical
radiculopathy or pinched nerve is experienced as radiating arm and shoulder pain or numbness. The
condition is more prevalent with increasing age, with the age group between 50-54 being at highest
risk as per a study by the American Family Physician Journal. The study also reported that it is prevalent
among men compared to women.
Trauma or injury
Direct trauma to the shoulder due to a fall or accident may also compress, irritate, or pinch the
shoulder nerves causing pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, or shock-like sensation.
This is a hereditary or genetic disease affecting the peripheral sensory or motor nerves. When this
disease affects the nerves of the shoulder, in addition to shoulder pain, patients experience numbness,
tingling, burning, and electric shock-like sensation.
The shoulder joint is highly unstable and is most prone to dislocation. A shoulder dislocation can cause
rotator cuff injury or tear. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilizes the shoulder.
Injury to the rotator cuff can cause inflammation, compression, or damage to the shoulder nerves This
causes shoulder pain, numbness, or tingling sensation.
In addition, medical conditions like diabetes, obesity may cause inflammation in the nerves causing
numbness, weakness, or tingling sensation in the shoulder.
Treatment for burning shoulder pain
If you have shoulder pain or the sensation of tingling or burning that lasts for more than three months you
need to seek professional medical care and treatment.
Typically, the first line of treatment is focused on resolving pain and improving movement with prescription
medications to reduce pain and inflammation. However, prescription pain medications are not recommended
for long-term usage and offer only brief relief from your symptoms. Surgery is recommended only when all
other treatment options fail to provide relief, or you have sudden worsening pain or a medical emergency.
If you experience numbness in the shoulder and chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, seek emergency
Chiropractic care can relieve pressure on the compressed nerve and reduce inflammation through chiropractic
techniques, traction, manipulation, and adjustments. Adjustments and manipulation in conjunction with
massage therapy and chiropractic exercises can help resolve the underlying cause of your complaint and
provide effective long-term relief.
Chiropractic care can help resolve your tingling, numbing, or burning shoulder pain
Avoid the multitude of side effects caused by prescription pain medications. Treat your shoulder pain and related symptoms of weakness, tingling, burning or shock-like pain caused due to a variety of medical conditions naturally and effectively. Chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive, and natural way to relieve your symptoms and a natural way to treat the root cause of your shoulder pain.
Contact Cianci Chiropractic today to discuss your pain, treatment options available to you and next steps.