When muscles contract, or tighten up, involuntarily, it is known as a muscle twitch or spasm. In other words, you are not the one controlling the movement in your muscles.
Muscles twitches can occur for a variety of reasons, such as stress, consuming too much caffeine, poor diet, wrong type of exercise, or as a negative effect of medication.
Muscles in the shoulder, calf muscle, eyelid or thumb commonly contract without your volition. These kind of muscle twitches usually recede on their own and are often related to anxiety or stress. However, if the twitching persists, you should definitely go to a doctor as it could be a sign of some other underlying nerve problem.
Fortunately, shoulder spasms can be easily treated. Here are some simple remedies anyone can follow:
If you are doing any sort of physical activity when your spasms start, stop whatever it is that you are doing. Spasms can happen anytime, during exercise or even when you are going about your daily chores. So, if spasms happen, stop your activity and try to rest. Although spasms are painful, there are usually no continuing concerns. Try rubbing or massaging your shoulder blade muscles. This will relax your muscle and increase blood circulation.
After a spasm occurs, rest for a few days is advisable since soreness is typical after it. Your muscles are usually strained, so use this time to recover from extra stress. Move your muscles gently during this time to avoid stiffness. You can move during this period of rest, but stop if you feel pain or a cramp coming on. You can try gentle stretches or walking, just don’t bend or twist the torso.
Stretching can help if you experience a muscle spasm in shoulder. When stretching, you are pulling your muscles in the opposite direction, which elongates and pulls the muscles, thus reducing pain. However, never overstretch the muscle. If you begin to feel pain, stop immediately. Pull the shoulders back, as if you are attempting to touch the shoulder blades close. Hold the position for 5 seconds, then gently release the muscles. Rotating your shoulders counter-clockwise and clockwise for 10 times can also help.
To relax the muscles and stop the spasms, heat is beneficial while cold will reduce the pain and swelling. When the spasm occurs for the first time, use a cold press. If the spasm occurs again, use heat.
Spasms can occur if you are dehydrated. Thus, it is important to get plenty of hydration. Electrolytes and water can replenish your reduced supply. If you know you are going to exercise or going to vigorously use your muscles, make sure to substitute the nutrients you lose with electrolytes or water.
Sometimes spasms in the shoulder blade muscles can cause pain. You can consult with your doctor and get him/her to prescribe you some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen sodium or ibuprofen. These will reduce any excessive inflammation, or swelling and increase blood flow to the affected area.
Muscle injury-induced spasms or continuous spasms can be best treated with muscle relaxers. Your doctor can prescribe certain medications to ease your muscles and promote blood circulation.
Besides consuming water, make sure to eat enough of the following nutrients if you wish to prevent spasms.
1. Sodium: This mineral balances fluid in your body, thus it is not uncommon if you crave salt after a vigorous work-out. Eating foods which contain sodium, such as celery, can help.
2. Calcium: Muscle contractions are controlled by calcium. So if you are running low on calcium, spasms can become a common occurrence. Consume dark leafy vegetables, dairy and fish to prevent spasms.
3. Magnesium: Magnesium is important for your muscles to relax. Eat plenty of spinach, nuts, lentils, whole grains, bananas and yoghurt to keep your muscles relaxed.
4. Potassium: Muscle formation is boosted with potassium. Beans, leafy vegetables, bananas, salmon and mushrooms are good for your muscles.
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