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Shrug Off Your Shoulder Pain

Pain across the shoulder blades or weakness in the upper arms could be symptoms of C5 radiculopathy, a condition caused by the malfunction of a nerve in the neck that affects the shoulders and arms. Symptoms include pain of the shoulders and upper arms, and weakness in those areas, especially when you attempt movement. The pain may worsen over the course of a day and is sometimes described as sharp.
 
The C5 nerve can malfunction when inflamed, or when it is compressed or “pinched.” Both conditions result from a variety of causes, such as the sudden trauma ofan athletic injury or from heavy lifting and other stressful or repetitive activities. Often, degeneration of the spine due to aging or disease is a factor. All of these may result in a narrowing of the space around spinal nerves or a deterioration of the discs that provide cushioning of spinal bones, leading to pressure and pinching of the nerves.
 
With a physical examination, an x-ray or an MRI (magnetic resonance image), we can determine whether C5 radiculopathy is causing your shoulder pain and design a treatment plan to ease pain and restore function. Treatment usually involves
• rest
• pain medication
• anti-inflammatory drugs
• prescribed muscle relaxants
• controlled sleeping positions

  • physical therapy

 
Wearing a neck collar to rest neck muscles not more than 2-3 days or using at-home traction to relieve compressed areas may be recommended. We may also prescribe massage, gentle manipulation and an exercise program to stretch and strengthen neck muscles.
To assist in your recovery and help maintain long-term spinal health, we will work with you to establish healthy daily habits, such as improving your posture. Most patients will see a usually go on to be symptom free after six to 12 weeks of treatment.
 

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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