Muscle spasm is a sudden and involuntary contraction, tightening, or trembling of muscles. Spasm often occurs as a result of trauma, stress, overuse, weakness, or pain. In the cervical spine, muscle spasm may or may not cause the head to turn or move without warning. Cervical spasm that occurs near the spinal cord or nerve roots can put pressure on vital arteries. The cervical spine nerves provide sensation and motor control to the neck, shoulder, arm, and lower arm
Your neck connects your head to your body. Your neck muscles are responsible for moving your head to detect and prevent blockages in your path. To explain the causes of your neck spasm, it needs to look at the different structures that make up your neck and their connection to each other. These structures include the joints of the neck, disc, arteries, veins, blood vessels and muscles. You may get pain or stiff neck due to damage to any of these structures.
When a muscle becomes stiff or tired?
Because your neck is involved in many activities, muscle spasms in the neck can prevent exercise, driving, lifting and even working at a desk. Neck muscle spasms can cause muscles to try to protect themselves from abuse, stress or fatigue. Lack of spine or abnormal nerve pathways may also contribute.
You can get different levels of stiffness of the neck muscles. If the spasm attack emerges as a strong tension that pulls your head to one side, you may also experience dizziness, anxiety, vision changes, blurred vision and fatigue from ongoing muscle tension pain. Check in Define Health Care to ensure that your neck muscle spasms are not chronic.
When does the muscle begin to spasm?
The muscles begin to spasm as a result of self-protection from excessive use or restlessness. In some cases, it is because it receives inappropriate nervous signals, resulting in similar responses. You may experience neck muscle spasms while performing routine tasks such as lifting a bag that can be very heavy. It also happens when you sleep in a difficult situation or use a pillow or mattress that is not supportive. Sometimes, it is caused by things like poor posture, dehydration.
Maybe you have a spasm of the neck muscles. This can happen in one area of your neck, or in several places at the same time. The discomfort ranges from passing to extremely painful. Sudden pain caused by spasms of the neck muscles can occur within your muscles. Muscle spasms in your neck cause feeling tight or frozen. You need to flex or flex the muscles to get better.
Symptoms of muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade
If you experience any of the following along with your muscle spasms, seek emergency treatment. These can be signs of a spinal warning that you cannot ignore. Is together with;
- Deep, slight pain in your neck or shoulders. In your personal treatment you have found that this pain is relieved by moving, relaxing or warming or cooling.
- Twisting or moving your neck and head in a certain position produces the expected pain.
- Limited range of movement. You can’t move as far as you can before. Or stuck in a certain position, you can’t turn your neck or head.
- Severe, recurrent pain is not improved by any changes in posture, temperature or medication
- Pin and needle, or loss of sensation, in your hand when your neck is in a certain position
- General stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
Causes of muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade
Spasms of the neck muscles can occur at any time and in any neck muscles. But it is more common for people who do manual labor or office work. Both activities put stress and strain on your neck. Among the many possible causes of muscle spasms in the neck, the most common ones include;
Stress or anxiety; The psychological effects of emotional stress or anxiety can also contribute to the pain of neck spasm. It can be caused by a regular, but low, level of activation of the upper shoulder muscles throughout the day. Imagine a day when you had a change of heart at work, a complete list of tasks to complete at home or a week when you felt like you didn’t get a chance to stop breathing.
Poor posture; Because of our hectic lifestyle, most of us spend most of our day sitting at a desk or in a car. It is easy to get caught up in bad posting habits unless we do good posture. For example, if you spend most of your day on a small computer, it can cause excessive posture on your neck and upper back and cause muscle spasms that cause pain.
Nerves damage; Peripheral nerves that extend from the spine to other parts of your body can be damaged or injured. Also called neuropathy, these symptoms can burn very often or not often enough, causing muscle spasms, emotional and emotional disturbances and motor function issues.
Carrying heavy objects with one hand or with both hands; If you carry heavy objects every day of your day, especially on one side, this can also contribute to the pain of neck spasm. Repeated stress on one side of your body can create muscle imbalance, i.e. the muscles on one side become shorter and the muscles on the other side become longer.
Improper posture during sleep; Your sleeping posture can also be an important factor in getting a sore throat spasm. Most people stay in the same place for most of the night. If you are lying on your stomach or near, your head and neck are unlikely to be in a neutral position.
Mechanical dysfunction; Any lack of mechanics in your neck and shoulder that loosen the joint, muscles, nerves and supporting tissues from the normal range of motion. These dysfunctions may include injury, poor posture, bone spurs or poor birth control.
Diagnosis of muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade
You can expect us to test your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons in the affected area. These tests give us a better understanding of your unique injury and help identify the underlying basic structure that is causing you pain.
- MRI; A referral to a health care professional is required for MRI examination. An MRI scan helps us to see all the structures in the neck, as well as the muscles
- X-ray; Soft tissue, like muscle, is not visible on X-ray. If we suspect that a muscle has been injured, it is not necessary to go for an x-ray. X-rays only show us the integrity and arrangement of the cervical spine.
- Sonar; shows a clear picture of the soft tissue in the neck. If there is tears, bruises or inflammation within the muscle, sonar imaging will reveal the specific location, depth and length of the muscle strain.
Treatment of muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade
There are a good number of options to remedy spasms of the neck muscles. Some of them are perfect for short-term relief to relieve symptoms. But in reality, experts advise finding the root of the problem and finding a lasting solution.
1. Use cold / heat therapy
Cold therapy can reduce internal inflammation, which can help reduce pain from your neck pain. Fill a plastic bag with ice and water and wrap it in a thin cloth, then press it on the sore area around your neck.
You can also get relief through heat therapy. Apply a heating pad, lightly lit, to the tender area of your neck. If you prefer, stand in the shower with a gentle flow of warm water hitting your neck. Heat can increase blood flow to the affected area, relax muscles, and soothe your pain.
Surgery may be recommended for neck spasm if it does not change through first-line treatment, or if you experience any of the following symptoms: severe pain, pain in the neck and shoulders, or inability to turn your head because of the pain.
Surgery may also be recommended if diagnostic tests detect damage to the record, spinal cord or nerve roots, or if spinal surgeons anticipate any serious risk of future deterioration. Living with neck spasms can be painful, and can lead to a lack of activity you like. If medication or treatment fails to relieve neck pain, spinal surgery can provide the relief you need to live the life you desire.
3. Stretch after muscle spasm
If your neck muscles tighten, one of the best ways to relax is to straighten them. Stretching is the best way to keep your muscles relaxed and smooth again after becoming very stiff after a spasm.
You will need to do a stretching exercise for your neck muscles. Keep your shoulders in place and then continue to lean your ear against your shoulder. Keep doing this until you feel the side of your neck straightening. In addition, you need to remember that the key to this stretch is to test the water. If a certain movement causes pain, just try to be different.
4. Over-the-counter pain medication
Many types of over-the-counter medications intended for spasms of the neck muscles are similar to those of body pain relief. You may be advised to take ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, or acetaminophen, all of which you can find in your medicine cabinet.
These over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications will go a long way in reducing any inflamed tissue that is present because of your muscle spasm. Examples like naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and others will relieve the pain caused by neck spasm. No, they will not address the underlying issues that you brought up on your neck, but they will give you immediate relief to alleviate your neck pain.
If you have a neck spasm, then it is likely that it could mean that you have had your neck in some abnormal condition. So, one of the things you can do is just relax your neck muscles. One good technique would be to use a cervical pillow and lie on your back, allowing it to rest directly under your neck. You can also put a pillow under your knees. Keep relaxing music or a good podcast and it will help increase the atmosphere of peace.
When completing any difficult exercise, keep in mind how your body is moving. This can help determine if you are flexing your neck muscles unknowingly in response to physical stress. Instead of finishing the exercise without thinking, take a moment to look at the position of your neck and shoulders during each exercise to make sure you are not putting undue stress on them.
When to see your doctor
Most neck spasms occur due to sudden muscle strain and should be cleared within a week. Pain that persists or worsens may indicate a back problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a herniated disc. For any unexplained neck pain that does not begin to feel better within a week or more, visit your doctor. If your neck pain is accompanied by severe headache, dizziness, nausea, numbness / weakness, or other disturbing symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.