People complain about pain in the upper neck that makes them irritable. The pain that extends down toward the shoulder is often described as tension. They describe things that aggravate it but seldom are able to describe the incident that created the injury. There are other trigger points that produce pain in that area, so I always ask more questions to narrow it down before I start the physical examination.
When asked when it bothers them the most, they may say that it bothers them while carrying a travel bag in each hand. They may also complain that it bothers them while holding the shoulders up to type on a desk that is too high or hold the top of the steering wheel. Athletic people may complain that it bothers them when carrying dumbbells during exercises like lunges. I’ve also had this pattern when I carry a child on my shoulders for a while.
People with sensory processing disorder seem pleasantly surprised pleased when I ask them if a heavy coat bothers them. They are glad to find someone who understands their sensitivity instead of dismissing it. (This is opposed to the sensory defensive clients that are looking for heavy pressure from clothing to calm them) This aggravating tension can make it difficult to focus when shoulders are not properly supported at the computer.