Many people will experience a pins & needles type of sensation in the shoulder area, at the spot where your top inside corner of your shoulder blade is near the base of your neck.
This tingly feeling will appear when using a computer, driving, or reading. Sometimes it is made worse by overhead activities such as painting or exercising, or just reaching up to grab something from a cabinet.
The root anatomical cause of this odd sensation is pressure on a nerve, either a nerve root or a peripheral nerve. A nerve root is where the nerve branches off of the spinal cord right next to a vertebrae and spinal disc. A peripheral nerve is a smaller branch that came off the nerve root and which can be irritated by muscle fibers, fascial adhesions, or other things.
The C5-C6 disc, when irritated or bulging, can create unusual sensations in the area at the top of the shoulder. Similarly, that C5-C6 nerve root branches off the become numerous smaller peripheral nerves, and one of these nerves can be inflamed or irritated and then create the same type of odd sensation.
One way to try to figure out of the problem is at the nerve root in the neck or at the peripheral nerve is to look as far over the shoulder to the side of the pain as you can and see if that worsens the symptoms. If the symptoms worsen, it is likely that the problem lies in the neck. If the symptoms do not worsen it may be fair to assume the problem is not in the neck.
Now, of course, I should point out the obvious fact that you should not diagnose yourself via a website. You’re much better off seeing a health professional. Any nerve-related pain or dysfunction is worth looking more closely into.
If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before then this may present a great opportunity for you to call one. Adjusting the neck (the cervical spine) may very well allow your body to reduce pressure on an irritated disc and nerve root, and a chiropractor trained in manual therapy and trigger point work may be able to address any peripheral nerve issues.
Each spinal segment in your body corresponds to a specific area of skin and a specific set of muscles and joints in the body. Quite often a chiropractor can not only work on the specific painful area, but also adjust the corresponding spinal segments and provide a more robust treatment compared to only addressing the obvious issue and ignoring the area that is generating the referred pain.
Feel free to call our office to come in for an appointment or a consult if you’re interested. Have a great day!