Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of skeletal muscle cells, which are attributed to a host of factors. They occur abruptly and are generally painful, but they resolve immediately. As with any muscles, shoulder blade muscle spasm can also occur.
There are several muscles attached to the shoulder blade which include Triceps, Biceps, Pectoralis Minor, Trapezius, Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Levator scapule, etc. All these muscles are responsible to ensure the posture of the spine and also contribute towards the range of motion at the shoulder joint.
Causes of Shoulder Muscle Spasms
There are a host of causes that are responsible for the shoulder muscle spasms. Some of the common causes associated with shoulder muscle spasms include,:
- Overstretching of the shoulder muscles often due to increase range of motion at the shoulder joint can result in muscle spasms.
- Muscle overuse can also result in muscle pain. Prolonged exercise without adequate warm up sessions are the primary factors responsible for shoulder pain.
- Stress is considered to be an important factor which contributes towards muscle spams.
- Fatigue and generalized weakness.
- Tooth problems may result in referred pain in the shoulder joint. Excessive clenching of grinding of the teeth can also contribute to muscle spasms in the shoulder joint.
- Holding the shoulders in a non-neutral position for a long period of time can affect the muscles.
- Dehydration and the reduction of electrolytes can cause spasms.
- Disorders of metabolism that affect supply of energy to muscles like muscle enzyme deficiency, which are often inherited.
- Nerve damage can also contribute to muscle pain especially around the shoulder joint.
- Side effects of certain medications.
What to Do for Shoulder Muscle Strain
Here are exercises and tips to relieve shoulder blade muscle spasm:
- Stretch but do not overstretch. Warm up exercises are an important part of excercising which improve the flow of blood around the muscles and also help in loosening of rigid muscles.
- Doctors recommend gentle and slow stretching. Do not hold your stretch for more than 30 seconds.
- Apply heat. You can utilize hot compresses, hot tubs, or baths. Heat improves blood circulation not only to the affected area but also to all parts of the body.
- Take your calcium supplements. Calcium plays an important role in ensuring muscle contraction. Deficiency of calcium and magnesium is considered to be primary responsible for muscle cramps and pain.
- Avoid consuming foods high in acid content which include tomatoes and vinegar, can predispose you to have muscle spasms because they hinder calcium absorption.
- Eat foods high in potassium. However if you suffer from renal dysfunction please check with your physician before increasing your potassium intake.
- Most muscle spasms are related to stress. You can avoid this by relaxing and not engaging in activities that are stressful.
Massaging the affected area with lavender or clove oil is considered to help relieve muscle spasms spontaneously.