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3 possible explanations for that burning sensation in your neck and shoulders

2 minutes, 22 seconds

What's the cause of that burning sensation in my neck and shoulder, and what can I do about it?

We hear this question all the time. After all, chronic or acute pain in the neck and shoulders can make life unpleasant, and our patients reasonably want their pain relieved. A burning sensation can be startling, even if it doesn't hurt, because it may start to hurt at some point.

So, let's discuss why you feel a burning sensation in your neck and shoulders, and what you can do about it.

Why do I feel a burning sensation in my neck and shoulders?

Here are a few common conditions that can cause your neck and shoulders to feel hot:

  1. Strains or sprains ” Neck strains occur when the muscles or tendons in your neck are torn or overstretched. Neck sprains occur when your ligaments are torn or overstretched. These conditions can be caused by whiplash or other neck injuries, and both can cause a burning sensation in your neck that runs down to your shoulders over time.
  2. Stretched brachial plexus ” Your brachial plexus is a group of nerves that send signals from your spinal cord to your upper extremity. When these nerves are stretched, compressed or separated from the spinal cord, you are likely to feel pain and burning in your neck, shoulders, or both.
  3. Nerve compression ” Aside from the brachial plexus, you also have your cervical plexus network, an occipital nerve, an auricular nerve and others. A herniated disc (a spinal disc that slips out of place) can put pressure on these nerves, resulting in pain or a burning sensation. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a common example of this type of nerve compression.

Note that these are just some of the conditions that can cause burning in your neck and shoulders. Age-related muscle and bone degeneration can create a burning sensation in your neck and shoulders, as can nerve disorders like neuropathy and multiple sclerosis.

How do I stop my neck from burning?

Every case of neck pain is different. Your doctor or physical therapist can assign a customized treatment for your case, but here are some strategies that will likely be included in your treatment plan:

Together, these treatment methods will help to relieve your neck pain, and they may even limit the chances of it coming back.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for neck and shoulder pain

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and that can help you address neck and shoulder pain.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.