Part 1 Of 2:treating Your Shoulder At Home
Shoulder Blade Muscle Spasm: Treat Left Right Shoulder Muscle Strain
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.
What Is The Rhomboid Muscle
The rhomboid muscles are a large group of muscles in your upper back. Theyâre made up of the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor.Â
These and other muscles form the shoulder girdle that holds your shoulder blade and shoulder stable. The rhomboid muscles also:
- Pull back your shoulder blade
- Lift and rotate your shoulder blade
- Help you move your arm overhead
- Help you throw
- Help you rotate your torsoâ
Lying Dumbbell Shoulder Protraction
To do this exercise you will need a dumbbell or small weight.
The video below shows this exercise in motion and also some others that you can try.
Head To The Drugstore
Some people find relief with over-the-counter products, such as simethicone and activated charcoal. Of the two, simethicone is considered the better option, although experts are not quite sure how it works. Brand names for simethicone include:
- Maalox Anti-Gas
You should know that activated charcoal may result in constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Therefore, its use is somewhat controversial within the medical community.
In addition, if you decide to try activated charcoal, you may find that it turns your stool black. However, black stools from charcoal supplements are not something to be concerned about.
As with any OTC product, check with your doctor before use. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should generally avoid these products.
Other Possible Reasons For The Pain
a)Referred pain from the Cervical and/or Thoracic spine
Issues originating in the Cervical and Thoracic spine can refer pain to the shoulder blade region.
Obtain a scan to these areas if you suspect this might be the case.
b)Strain to the Erector Spinae muscles
The Spinalis, Longissimus and Iliocostalis muscles are situated underneath the Rhomboid muscles and are often involved with strains.
I find that this is particularly true if you are have a twisted spine.
c)Dorsal Scapular Nerve issues
If the pain tends to present as burning and/or tingling between the shoulder blade and spine, this may suggest neurological involvement of the Dorsal Scapular Nerve.
The Dorsal Scapular nerve originates in the neck and travels downwards to attach to the Rhomboids.
This nerve tends to be overstretched in those who have rounded/depressed shoulders and can lead to nerve pain in the Rhomboid region.
If you feel that this is your issue, I would suggest that you correct the position of your shoulder blades.
Generally speaking you will likely need to hold your shoulder blades in a more elevated and retracted position.
d)Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the compression/irritation of the nerves that pass between the neck and shoulder.
This issue can often refer pain between the shoulder blades.
e)Injuries to the ribs
Any trauma to the back of the ribs can present as pain between the shoulder blades.
Shoulder Exercises And Stretches
Regular exercises and stretches can keep your shoulder strong and flexible. A few things to remember before swinging in to exercises:
- Stop any exercise if you have more shoulder pain. It may be too soon for you to try.
- Watch your form. Exercising incorrectly can also cause or worsen shoulder problems.
- Warm up, even before deep stretching. Light shoulder rolls, gentle movements, or even a warm shower are all ways to warm up your muscles before exercise and stretching.
Pendulum stretch for range of motion
- Stand and bend at the waist.
- Let your arm on the injured side hang straight down.
- Keep your neck relaxed.
- Move your arm in a circle up to 20 times.
- Do once or more times in a day.
Overhead shoulder stretch
- Sit or stand to do this shoulder stretch.
- Intertwine your fingers in front of you.
- Bend your elbows and raise your arms above your head. You can also place your hands on your head or behind it.
- Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together to move your elbows back.
- Continue for up to 20 repetitions. Repeat 5 to 10 times a day.
Youll need treatment along with home remedies if you have a serious shoulder injury. See your doctor if you have any of the following:
Right Shoulder Blade Pain: Causes And Treatments
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Ever get a twinge or a pain that youre not quite sure about? You dont remember moving the wrong way, but for some reason, it hurts. Take right shoulder blade pain, for example. When you get right shoulder pain, often the first thought is that you just stretched a muscle the wrong way.
But if you determine that it isnt a stretched muscle, you may rack your brain trying to figure out what else it could possibly be. As it turns out, right shoulder blade pain has a number of causes. In this article, well discuss the various causes of right shoulder blade pain, how to get rid of that shoulder pain, and when you should see a doctor.
Should Blade Pain Symptoms
If you have shoulder blade pain that persists beyond a few days it is important to make an appointment to see your doctoreven if you have participated in activities that you suspect has caused your pain. Which shoulder blade is affected is an important question, as some conditions are more likely to affect the left shoulder blade, and others more likely to affect the right.
If your pain is severe or is accompanied by symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, or if you simply have a sense that something serious is wrong, call 911 or your doctor immediately.
Symptoms Of A Pulled Back Muscle
Symptoms of a pulled back muscle depend on where the injury is. The spine is divided into three major sections: the neck, upper back and shoulders, and lower back.
For a pulled muscle in the neck, you might experience:3
- Pain in the neck and upper back area
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Stiffness in the neck
- Pain radiating to the shoulders or arms
Pulled muscles in the shoulders and upper back may cause:
- Pain in the area between the spine and shoulder blade
- Muscle spasms in the upper back
- Knots and tightness in the upper back and shoulders
- Pain when moving the shoulders
In lower back strain injuries, many people experience symptoms such as:3
- Aching and stiffness in lower back muscles
- Pain that worsens with movement
- Pain that radiates to the hips and legs
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle spasms in lower back area
- Pain when sitting, standing, or walking
Questions Your Doctor May Ask
While some questions may be unique to your health history and situation, in most cases be prepared to answer:
- Which shoulder blade is painful? Your right shoulder blade, your left shoulder blade, or both?
- How long have you been having the pain?
- Did the pain come on gradually or suddenly?
- Have you changed your exercise routine lately?
- Do you participate in activities that often cause pain in the shoulder or shoulder blade? For example, tennis, golf, swimming, basketball, badminton, racquetball?
- Is the pain on the same side of your body you sleep on?
- How would you describe your pain? For example, is it sharp or dull, superficial or deep, burning or achy, stabbing, or steady?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, do certain movements, a deep breath, or eating make the pain worse?
- What makes the pain better?
- What other symptoms have you been having? For example, shortness of breath, pain in other regions of your body, coughing, chest pain, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss, or abdominal pain.
- Do you, or have you ever smoked?
Prevention Of Shoulder Pain
- If you have previously suffered from any shoulder injury or ailment, it is well advised to regularly perform a few simple range-of-motion exercises to keep your shoulder muscles and tendons properly stretched and flexible to avoid recurrence or a frozen shoulder.
- If you are prone to shoulder issues, it may be a good idea to follow up your regular workouts with 15 minutes of massaging your shoulder area with an ice compress.
- Drink a few glasses of warm lemon water daily to prevent mineral deposits in the joints that can cause pain in your shoulder and other body parts.
Exercises To Avoid Worsening Shoulder Impingement Pain
Our shoulders are one of the most complex joints in our body. For that reason they can be quite susceptible to injury and inflammation.
The definition of impingement is to have an impact, to encroach or to collide. Overuse of the shoulder leads to swelling of the tendons which consequently collide or encroach on the upper shoulder bone and make it considerably painful to move. Lets look at specific activities and 4 exercises to avoid worsening shoulder impingement pain.
The Serratus Anterior Muscle
The serratus anterior muscle is frequently the main culprit behind winged scapula. Specifically, it has become inactive or very weak.
The serratus anterior starts at the side of the rib cage below the chest and goes round the back below the scapula.
If the muscle is working well, it attaches onto the scapula and pulls it tight to the ribs.
If the muscle is weak, the scapula will float off the rib cage leaving little control over the scapula and shoulder, and most noticeably a protruding shoulder blade.
If theres weakness or loss of function in your serratus anterior muscle, trapezius muscle or brachial plexus, it raises your risk of injuries that cause scapular winging.
People who have an anterior pelvic tilt may also be susceptible to developing a winged scapula because the serratus anterior muscle can become too relaxed in this type of posture.
Thoracic Back Pain Red Flags
If you have thoracic spine pain, these are the alarm features to look out for:
- Recent serious injury, such as a car accident or a fall from a height.
- Minor injury or even just heavy lifting in people with ‘thinning’ of the bones .
- Age under 20 or over 50 years when the pain first starts.
- A history of cancer, drug misuse, HIV infection, a condition that suppresses your immune system and use of steroids for a long time .
- Feeling generally poorly – for example, a high temperature , chills and unexplained weight loss.
- A recent infection by a germ .
- Pain that is there all the time, severe and getting worse.
- Pain that wasn’t caused by a sprain or strain .
- Pain that doesn’t get better after 2-4 weeks of treatment.
- Pain that is accompanied by severe stiffness in the morning.
- Changes to the shape of the spine, including the appearance of lumps or bumps.
- Pins and needles, numbness or weakness of the legs that is severe or gets worse over time.
- Passing wee or poo accidentally .
Natural Treatment For Shoulder Pain Relief
As far as minor shoulder pain is concerned, you can effectively manage or even treat the problem at home, too. There are several remedies, simple exercises, and certain lifestyle changes that can help you shake off that shoulder ache and keep you safe from falling victim to it again.
However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms seem to be worsening.
Here are some home remedies for shoulder pain.
Regularly Stretch The Shoulders
Starting with a short warm-up session, a typical shoulder stretching routine includes multiple exercises designed to alleviate tension and build muscles, which helps to minimize injury or reinjury. In between each group of stretches, patients are often advised to take a periodic break of 10 to 30 seconds. Before undertaking any physical therapy or regular shoulder stretching routine to treat pain, however, patients should consult an orthopaedic specialist.
Does Anxiety Cause Back Pain
Adults tend to carry stress in their shoulders. When we are anxious, these muscles tense and put pressure on the back, which can lead to pain. Feelings of emotional stress often lead to chronic pain in the shoulder blades. This is because emotional anxiety often affects the nerves and muscles that run through the neck and upper back. Anxiety or psychological stress has a profound impact on a persons physical symptoms, says Dr. Bhavik Sheth, Physical Therapist. It is very common for neck and shoulder pain to be worse at times of high stress, and less symptomatic at times of leisure or pleasure.
Rest On A Supportive Mattress
As we mentioned above, resting on an unsupportive mattress can cause the muscles between the shoulder blades to strain. If body weight is not evenly distributed throughout the night, you may end up in uncomfortable sleep positions that tense up the back muscles. Over time, this can lead to chronic upper back pain.
The best mattress for back pain is one that keeps the spine resting in a safe, neutral position so back muscles can fully relax and recover. When the spine is kept in alignment with the hips and shoulders and the joints are cushioned, you will experience deeper, more restorative sleep and wake with less pain.
Trigger Points For Rhomboid Muscle Pain
A trigger point is a part of the muscle where there is a significant amount of increased tension.
Having trigger points in certain muscles can refer pain between the shoulder blades.
What to do:
The following postural distortions will specifically influence the shoulder blade region:
Rounded Shoulders places the shoulder blades in a position where the Rhomboids will constantly be active to counteract the forward pull of the shoulder.
Check out this post to fix your Rounded shoulders!
Check out this post to fix Scapula Winging.
Check out this post to fix your Uneven shoulders.
A hunched upper back can cause the shoulder blades to slouch forwards.
Check out this post to fix your Hunched back.
If your spine is twisted to one side, it can force one of the shoulders to go too far forwards.
This can result in over activity of the shoulder blade muscles in the attempt to counter-rotate the twist in the spine.
Check out this post to fix your Twisted spine.
Be Persistent & Fix It For Good
If you have scapular winging to any degree, be sure to make correct posture and muscle balance a priority to prevent or improve your shoulder blade alignment.
Recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the cause, the nerves and muscles involved in the injury or misalignment, and the treatment method used.
However, its always ideal to check with a professional who can diagnose scapular winging and get you on track with the best treatment for you. This can help speed up your recovery and ensure youre not at risk of worsening your injury.
Once youve corrected scapular winging, you want to continue using the same home exercises that helped you fix it, in order to prevent it from recurring in the future.
Regularly stretching, strengthening and massaging the muscles in your shoulders, back, arms and neck will help you maintain correct posture and prevent injuries that could cause scapular winging.
How Do I Know The Rotator Cuff Is Hurt
If the rotator cuff is involved, the pain is usually in the front or outside of the shoulder. This pain is usually worse when you raise your arm or lift something above your head. The pain can be bad enough to keep you from doing even the simplest tasks. Pain at night is common, and it may be bad enough to wake you. It also may worsen when lying down or onto that side.
Adjusting Your Posture To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain
It might not be obvious, but posture has a cascading effect on other parts of the body. Paying attention to your core strength and lower back can ease strain on your neck and shoulders.
Take the wall test to adjust your standing posture.
- Stand with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall
- Keep your heels around 2 to 4 inches away from the wall
- Put your hand behind the curve in your back and touch the wall with your palm
Your hand should fit neatly inside of this space.
- If the fit is too loose, tighten your abdominal muscles
- If its too tight, arch your back
Remember what it feels like when you find the right spot. This is the standing posture you want to maintain as much as possible. Do the wall test daily as many times as you need to.
Adjust your sitting posture
If you spend a lot of time behind a desk, fixing your sitting posture is especially important.
- Avoid crossing your legs
When Should You See A Doctor
As a general rule, if you are concerned about the pain in your right shoulder blade, dont hesitate to see a doctor. Its better to be overly cautious than to catch something too late. In the case of breast cancer, if you are suffering from disease and begin to have pain in your shoulders, see your doctor as soon as possible. The shoulder pain could be a sign that your cancer has spread into other systems.
If the shoulder pain is accompanied by symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, it may be a sign of an underlying condition.
If the pain does not go away or lessen after some of the above treatments, its best to get a doctors opinionto diagnose what the actual cause is and set you onto a path to get rid of that right shoulder blade pain quickly.
Strengthen Your Scapula Muscles
Strengthening the muscles that are responsible for optimal shoulder blade placement is vital in addressing Rhomboid muscle pain.
- Stand with your back to a wall.
- Keep your back and arms pulled backwards as to remain in contact with the wall throughout movements.
- Whilst remaining full contact with the wall, slide your arms up and down the wall.
- Repeat 10-20 times.
Note: If you cant keep your whole arm on the wall, step your feet slightly away from the wall until you can.
b)Rhomboid strengthening on floor
- Lie face down on an inclined bench.
- Whilst holding weights in both hands, slowly lower your hands down towards the ground.
- Let your shoulder blades be pulled forwards.
- Pull the weight up by squeezing the muscles between your shoulder blades together.
- Keep your arms straight throughout this movement.
You Have A Muscle Knot Or A Tense Muscle
The most frequent reason for shoulder blade pain is a tense muscle or a muscle knot. The area around the muscle will feel tender to touch or tight. A way of thinking about it is imagining you pull on a loose thread in a sweater. This will create a hard knot in the fabric.
Why do the muscles become tense? It can come from doing too much, too soon, which is often the case in sports or exercise. For example, repetitive throwing may result in a muscle knot or tender spot under the shoulder blade. They may also develop as the result of pain in the neck and the shoulder.
These knots limit your functionality and impact your day-to-day life. You may find it hard to reach for an object on a high shelf or have difficulties twisting your torso.
Luckily, muscle knots are often easily treated with a massage technique known as myofascial release. Myofascial release is where moderate pressure is applied to the spot to release the stuck tissues. A popular example of this technique is foam rolling .
Rest Your Upper Back From Activity
If your pain worsens when you do certain movements or physical activities, such as household chores or exercise, rest for a day or two. Pausing from physical activity may help reduce your pain and prevent overuse. Dont cease from activity for too long or altogether, though. Many people report that a sedentary life makes the upper back pain worse. Remaining in one position for too long, as in sitting behind a desk, may also aggravate the symptoms. Try taking frequent breaks and change the position to allow for a reset before getting back to sitting.
What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors
Say you havent seen the doctor yet about your upper back pain, but youre pretty sure its not an acute injury. After all, you havent taken up a new sport. Maybe you barely have time to exercise, much less overdo it.
Believe it or not, that actually increases your risk of back injury. When youre physically active, the muscles in your belly and backyour corehelp support your spine. If youre sedentary, you might have weak muscles that contribute to upper back pain.
Lack of exercise is one of several factors that can increase your risk of upper back pain. Others include:
Excess weight. Since your spine supports the weight in your torso, excess weight could stress your back. Belly fat, in particular, is a problem: If you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it can strain the soft tissues in your back. Conversely, weight loss can reduce pain though research suggests it may be even more effective as part of a holistic strategy that includes pain management strategies.
Belly fat can contribute to upper back pain, but weight loss can help relieve it.
Psychological conditions. Experts arent sure why, but you might be more likely to have back pain if you have depression and anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that people who have depression have worse back pain than people without depression.
Shoulder Blade Pain: Your Guide To Pain Relief
Pain in the shoulder blade area is a common phenomenon. We guide you through the common causes, pain relief techniques and ways to prevent shoulder pain.
The area around or under your shoulder blade is achy. Its sore. It may even get worse when you perform certain activities, such as turning your head or reaching for an object with your arm. Pain, in general, poses an irritating problem.
Yet, shoulder blade pain doesnt have to take over your life. There are various treatments and methods that can ease your pain. However, your specific way to pain relief may depend on what is causing your discomfort or injury in the first place.
To help you find a solution that works for you, this article describes the most common causes of shoulder blade pain and how to relieve the pain.
Looking for a solution to your shoulder pain problem? Try the Injurymap exercise app now.