I understand that unilateral chronic neck and/or shoulder pain from decades of computer work, in an otherwise healthy person, is likely to occur due to one of these conditions (and maybe also some others)1:
- Mouse shoulder due to inappropriate arm position during working with a computer mouse (CCOHS, Acta Inform Med)
- Myofascial pain syndrome: muscle pain associated with a forced posture, repeated movements and stress (Mayo Clinic, Indian J Anesth)
- Pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy): compression of the nerve that goes from the cervical spinal cord to an arm and may or may not be associated with the pain and tingling in the other parts of the arm and neck (AAFP)
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis): an inflammation of the capsule of the shoulder joint; risk factors include shoulder immobilization, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. (BMJ, OrthoInfo)
(I don't know if Degenerative Spine disease might also cause that, as "degeneracy" can be genetic or due to "accidents").
From learning on the above conditions (with maybe the exception of the last one), I understand that Ultrasound, MRI and Orthopedic tests (such as Spruling's test for Cervical radicolupathy), are often used to suggest diagnosis.
But, usually, will physicians also use X-ray to diagnose unilateral chronic neck and/or shoulder pain from decades of computer work, in an otherwise healthy person?