Due to popular demand…
I will start with saying, listen to BBB. I did and what he suggested has been backed up by a physical therapist I am currently using. And to be honest, given the advice I have seen BBB give, I would have gotten a new PT had it not worked out the way it did. That said, in my case, there is a bit more going on as well.
I have degenerative disk disease in my neck as well but I do not think it is the main issue (though perhaps indirectly…). I have bulging disks and bone spurs as well. It is crowded in there. Because of this, I would be very hesitant to allow chiropractor to yank on me. By the way, the DDD is hereditary and not much you can do about it. Lifting did not cause it nor have I ever been told to not lift because of it (I have known about it for over ten years now).
As BBB suggests, there could very likely be a soft tissue cause/solution. Some of the stuff I can do on my own - rotator cuff exercises, some fascia stretches/massage. The DC broomstick stretch feels good. Some of it my PT has to do (some because my mobility is not good enough, some one cannot do to him/herself).
So there is some structural issues but another aspect I am dealing with is genetic predisposition and previous trauma to the area. For me the issues run from my neck all the way to my hands. Essentially a bad situation made worse. So my experience may be unique.
The only exercises I have been told to avoid are behind the neck BB presses - and this is how the neck gets positioned more than the shoulders. I gave up side lateral raises years ago because my hands go numb mid set. I still do cleans and push presses, DB press and machine work. That said, my hands have gone numb recently during push presses.
The main adjustment I have made is volume. Because it is hard to avoid your arms, shoulders, and traps (these all seem to have an impact) I have had to decrease volume everywhere (even things like hack squats and standing calf raise machines are problematic). Not optimal for muscle growth but I need to be able to use my hands for eating, typing, caring for my child, etc. It is a trade off (and apparently not a very “T-Man” choice according to the bleating herd).
Sorry such a long thread. Take away points:
-listen to BBB
-rotator cuff, stretches, etc.
-plenty of lifting can still be done