Shouldering The Burden: Causes And Treatments For Muscle Spasms In The Shoulder Blade

March 30, 2023

Everyone gets stress knots in their back. It’s just one of those defining features of adulthood. But have you ever felt a strangely tight knot between your shoulder blades? Or perhaps you were overtaken by a sudden, sharp pain radiating from your shoulders? If so, it could be a sign that you just had a muscle spasm in your shoulder blade.

But don’t worry; muscle spasms aren’t fatal despite the pain and frozen shoulder. Sure, they can limit your movements, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cure for it. To find out how to treat a shoulder blade muscle spasm, keep reading this blog.

Common Causes Behind A Muscle Spasm In Shoulder

There are numerous factors that can lead to sudden muscle spasms between your shoulder blades. However, the blame usually falls on the following reasons:

1. Strained Muscles
Overusing your muscles can cause the ligaments to wear off faster. This includes repetitive movements involving your shoulder, such as whisking food, lifting weights, playing tennis, etc.

2. Spinal Compression
When your upper back area starts twitching, chances are you’re having a spasm due to spinal compression. This happens when your vertebrae start pushing into one another, barring off space for other body structures such as muscles and tendons.

3. Pre-existing Health Condition
If you continue to have spasms in the same place over and over again, chances are you’re suffering from something much more severe. In such a case, it’s better to get a professional evaluation.

4. Sporting Injury
Most sports require using your limbs until they tire out. For any such sport where you constantly have to use your arm, a spasm could be a sign you’re overdoing it. Sports activities like rowing, tennis, throwball, volleyball, swimming, etc., all fall under that category.

5. Poor Posture
Poor posture is a gateway to numerous health conditions, one of which is shoulder blade muscle spasms. If you commonly find yourself hunching, it might be time to start fixing your posture.

Symptoms Of A Shoulder Muscle Spasm

A muscle spasm is very easy to identify and detect. Here are some of its most common symptoms you should look out for:

  • Excruciating pain between the shoulder blades.
  • Pain radiating from the upper back to the neck and upper arm.
  • Stiff shoulder and back muscles
  • Shoulder muscle suddenly twitching.

How Do You Treat A Muscle Spasm In Your Shoulder Blade?

Thankfully, shoulder spasms don’t last for long. Instead, they go away on their own in due time. However, if the pain is unbearable, you can try the following tips to alleviate the symptoms and soothe the pain:

  • Alternate between a cold and hot compress, applying it to the affected area.
  • Take a break from strenuous activities and rest.
  • Massage the area.
  • Stretch your body.
  • Use a spinal decompression device to help with the pain.
  • Drink more fluids, especially water.
  • Apply a muscle relaxant gel or cream.
  • Roll your back over a foam roller.
  • Take OTC pain-relieving medication.
  • Seek professional medical help.

Don’t Shrug Off Your Shoulder Pain!

Even though a muscle spasm in your shoulder blade is not severe, it is still better to get it checked out. Recurring spasms can be a sign that something is seriously wrong. For more information on the matter, feel free to contact Mufaddal Gombera, MD for more information. You can reach out by giving us a call at (713) 794-3457 or visiting us inside the Texas Orthopedic Hospital at 7401 Main St, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr Gombera Cover

Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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