Muscle spasms in one or both shoulders occur when there is an involuntary muscle contraction in the muscles of the middle or upper back or chest. These can include the rotator cuff muscles on the chest, or back muscles such as the rhomboid muscles.
In this article, we will be focusing primarily on spasms in the shoulders caused by issues with the spine, as well as what the best options are when it comes to addressing this cause of the problem.
Why do they occur?
Muscle spasms in the shoulders occur when the soft tissue of the upper back is injured either due to overuse of the muscles in this area from sporting activities, direct injury or poor posture.
Muscle overuse or strain can happen due to playing sports that require repetitive use of muscles in the upper back, such as throwing a tennis ball, or lifting weights at the gym.
These factors can harm the muscles that connect to, support and make the shoulders move, in turn leading to spasms and occasionally to pain.
Another major reason why spasms may occur in this area of the body is that of spinal compression in the middle or upper back. This causes the vertebrae in these regions to become squashed, pushing into each other and obstructing the space that is normally dedicated to other structures in this part of the body.
When this happens, additional pressure can be placed on structures such as muscles, irritating them, and potentially leading to spasms and even pain.
Spasms in the shoulder can lead to:
- Pain in the shoulder, upper back, neck, upper arm, and between the shoulder blades
- Stiffness in the back, as well as the shoulder, which may be accompanied by limited range of motion.
If your pain persists for a long period of time and doesn’t improve, or on the contrary, it tends to get worse despite trying several treatment or management options at home, it is recommended that you seek medical advice from a qualified medical professional who is preferably either a spinal specialist or a sports medicine specialist.
Spasms in the shoulders tend to go away on their own once the affected muscle has been healed, and as such there is no need for major intervention on the part of the patient.
To help facilitate and speed up the recovery, however, there are a few things you can do, such as:
- Taking a temporary break from the activity or activities that have placed a strain on your shoulders, to allow your muscles to recover and heal, so that the spasms stop occurring.
- Performing stretches that help elongate the tense muscles to reduce stiffness and pain
- Taking anti-inflammatory pain-relieving medication to temporarily alleviate the pain if it interferes significantly with one’s daily life
- Using a foam roller to reduce muscle pain and stiffness
- Engaging in physical therapy to reduce stiffness and shoulder pain, as well as to help re-mobilise the shoulder joints
- Using a spinal decompression device and engaging in spinal decompression therapy to help relax the upper back and prevent problems such as pain and spasms from occurring again in the future
Backrack Spinal Decompression for Complete Back and shoulder Pain Relief
Why spinal decompression therapy
Shoulder pain can oftentimes be caused by issues with the spine, specifically along the upper back. Most often these issues can be linked to spinal compression, a process where your spine becomes squashed, altering the structure of your spine, and affecting surrounding structures, in this case the muscles that connect to the shoulder.
By reversing the effects of spinal compression, you reduce the chance of your shoulder muscles being irritated or strained due to improper posture, and thus reducing the prevalence of spasms and pain.
Author: Spinal Backrack