Muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade

What are neck spasms?

A spasm is an involuntary tightening of muscle in your physique. It usually causes an intense ache. This ache can final for minutes, hours, or days after the muscle relaxes and the spasm subsides.

Spasms can occur in any part of your physique the place there’s a muscle, together with your neck.

Muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade

Neck Muscle spasm causes

There are numerous doable causes of neck spasms. For instance, you would possibly develop a neck spasm for those who:

  • pressure your neck throughout the train
  • carry one thing heavy with one or each of your arms
  • place loads of weight on one in all your shoulders with a heavy bag
  • maintain your neck in an unnatural place for a prolonged time frame, comparable to when cradling a telephone between your shoulder and ear or when sleeping in an odd place

Different widespread causes of neck spasms embody:

  • emotional stress
  • poor posture, comparable to slouching or head tilting
  • dehydration, which might trigger muscle cramps and spasms

Much less widespread however extra critical causes of neck spasms embody:

  • meningitis, a critical infection that causes swelling within the mind and spinal twine
  • cervical spondylosis, a kind of arthritis that may affect the backbone
  • ankylosing spondylitis, a situation that causes vertebrae within the backbone to fuse
  • spasmodic torticollis also referred to as cervical dystonia, occurs when neck muscle tissues tighten involuntarily and make your head twist to at least one facet
  • spinal stenosis, which occurs when open areas within the backbone slim
  • temporomandibular joint disorders also referred to as TMJs or TMDs, which affect the jaw and muscle tissues that encompass it
  • trauma from accidents or falls
  • whiplash
  • herniated disc

Neck spasm signs

In the event you expertise a neck spasm, you’ll feel a sudden and sharp ache in several components of your neck, deep within the muscle tissue. The affected muscle may additionally really feel exhausting or tight. It may be painful to maneuver your neck round.


Neck spasm workout routines

Most typical, nonserious causes of neck spasms might be handled without medical intervention. In the event, you assume you might need critical neck harm or a medical situation, make an appointment along with your physician.

Typically, gently stretching your neck may help ease stiffness, soreness, and spasms.

Attempt these three straightforward neck stretches at dwelling or work:

1) Easy neck stretch

Muscle Spasm In Neck exercisesEasy neck stretch
  1. Sit or stand along with your head wanting ahead.
  2. Gently flip your head to the proper.
  3. Flippantly place your proper hand on again your head and permit the load of your hand to push your chin down towards the proper facet of your chest.
  4. Calm down your muscle tissues and maintain your head on this place for 15 seconds.
  5. Repeat this stretch thrice on either side.

2) Scalene stretch

Muscle Spasm In Neck exercisesScalene stretch
  1. Sit or stand along with your arms hanging down at your facet.
  2. Attain your fingers behind your again and grasp your left wrist along with your proper hand.
  3. Gently pull your left arm down and tilt your head to the proper facet till you’re feeling a light-weight stretch in your neck.
  4. Maintain this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this stretch thrice on either side.

Hime / Dwelling cures

Utilizing some dwelling cures would possibly assist relieve neck spasms.

Over-the-counter ache relievers

To scale back neck ache from a neck spasm, it would assist to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, comparable to:

  • aspirin (Bufferin)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Many OTC ache relievers ease muscle stress by decreasing irritation that may worsen the ache of a neck spasm. Learn and observe the dosage instructions supplied on the bundle of the ache reliever. Some ache relievers might be harmful if utilized in extra.


Ice pack

Making use of an ice pack or cold compress to sore muscle tissues in your neck would possibly present a reduction from ache, particularly within the first couple of days after you expertise a neck spasm.

Don’t put ice or ice packs straight in your pores and skin. As an alternative, wrap an ice pack or bag of ice in a skinny material or towel. Apply the wrapped ice to the sore part of your neck for most of 10 minutes at a time.

Reapply the wrapped ice as usual as soon as an hour for the primary 48 to 72 hours after a neck spasm.

Heat / Warmth remedy

Heat therapy may additionally assist soothe the ache in your neck. For instance, you would possibly discover it useful to take a heat bath or press a heated material, heat water bottle, or heating pad to your neck.

Shop for heating pads online.

To keep away from burns, all the time test the temperature earlier than you apply warmth remedy to your neck. In the event, you’re utilizing a heat water bottle or heating pad, place a skinny material between it and your pores and skin. Keep away from falling asleep with a heating pad in your pores and skin.


Therapeutic massage

Therapeutic massage is one other dwelling remedy that may assist relieve neck aches and spasms. Making use of strain to your neck muscle tissues can promote leisure and relieve stress and ache. One 2014 study trusted Source discovered that even brief therapeutic massage remedies can enormously scale back neck ache.

You may give yourself a therapeutic massage by urgent gently however firmly into the tight part of your neck muscle and shifting your fingers in a small round movement. Or ask a buddy or member of the family to assist therapeutic massage the realm.

Gentle exercise

Relaxation is a crucial part of the restoration course, however, the whole inactivity isn’t advisable.

Attempt to preserve shifting, whereas taking time without work from strenuous actions. For instance, keep away from lifting heavy objects, twisting your neck or higher again, or collaborating in touch sports activities till your signs subside. Stick to mild stretches and different mild actions that you can do without making the ache in your neck worse.

Neck spasms in the evening

You would possibly expertise neck spasms in the evening for those who:

  • sleep able that strains your neck
  • use a mattress or pillow that doesn’t present sufficient assist
  • clench or grind your teeth whereas sleeping

To reduce pressure in your neck, attempt to sleep in your back or your facet as an alternative to your stomach.


Think about using a feather or reminiscence foam pillow that conforms to the contours of your head and neck. Your pillow must be supportive however not too excessive or stiff. An agency mattress may additionally assist.

Find memory foam pillows online.

In the event, you assume you may be clenching or grinding your enamel in the evening, make an appointment along with your dentist. They may suggest a mouthguard. This machine may help defend your enamel, gums, and jaw from the dangerous results of clenching and grinding.

Neck spasms in youngsters

Typically, neck spasms in youngsters are attributable to muscle pressure. For instance, your little one might need to be strained their neck whereas:

  • spending lengthy intervals of time a smartphone, laptop, or tv
  • enjoying sports activities or collaborating in different bodily actions
  • carrying a heavy backpack full of faculty provides
  • sleeping able that strains their neck

Gentle instances of neck ache and spasms can normally be handled with relaxation, OTC ache relievers, and different dwelling cures.

In the event, you suspect that your little one has injured their neck in a fall or automobile accident, or whereas collaborating in a contact sport or different high-impact exercise, name 911. They may have a spinal cord injury.


If they’ve neck stiffness and a fever over 100.0°F (37.8°C), take them to the closest emergency division. It may be an indication of meningitis.

Neck spasms and anxiousness

Muscle stiffness and ache might be attributable to emotional stress, in addition to bodily stress. In the event you develop a neck spasm at a time in your life if you’re dealing with excessive ranges of hysteria or stress, the 2 may be linked.

In case your neck spasm is linked to anxiousness or stress, leisure strategies would possibly assist ease your signs. For instance, it would assist to:

  • meditate
  • apply deep breathing exercises
  • participate in a session of yoga or tai chi
  • get a massage or acupuncture remedy
  • take a calming bathtub
  • go for a stroll

It’s regular to feel anxious typically. However for those who regularly expertise anxiousness, stress, or temper swings that trigger vital misery or intrude along with your day by day life, speak to your physician.

Relying upon your signs, your physician would possibly refer you to a psychological well-being specialist for prognosis and remedy. They may suggest remedies, counseling, or different remedies.

When to call your physician

Some causes of neck spasms are extra critical than others. You should name your physician if:

  • your neck pain is the results of harm or a fall
  • you develop numbness in your again, limbs, or different physique components
  • you will have hassle shifting your limbs or lose management of your bladder or bowels
  • your signs make it tough to sleep in the evening or participate in regular actions
  • your signs don’t get higher after every week
  • your signs return after subsiding

Search emergency medical consideration for those who develop symptoms of meningitis, together with a stiff neck and excessive fever over 100.0°F (37.8°C). Different potential signs of meningitis embody:

  • chills
  • headache
  • purple areas in your pores and skin that appear to be bruises

Your physician may help diagnose the reason for your signs and suggest an acceptable remedy plan.

Muscle spasm in neck and shoulder blade

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