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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65671
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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Severe muscle spasm under shoulder blade on left side

Customer Question

Severe muscle spasm under shoulder blade on left side
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Sohaib replied 4 years ago.

Hello and Welcome to Just Answer.
Thank you for the question. Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace an exam by an in-person.
I am Dr. Sohaib, a Medical Internist (who deals with diseases of all the organ systems of body) and I will do my best to find an answer for you.
You need to answer a few questions first which will help me assist you in a better way.

Since how long do you have this?

Is there any associated shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations?

Any treatment taken so far?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Started about 4 days ago in centre of back left to spine has graduated to side and pain comes in sharp spasms - severe.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations.

Expert:  Dr. Sohaib replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for the useful information Joan.

This is most likely a result of spasm of the muscles around the spine and the shoulder blade.

This happens due to many reasons including;

Un-accustomed exercise

Weight bearing

Abnormal posture (for example at night while sleeping)


Low calcium

Low magnesium

And most important a "Pinched Nerve" in the spine. It is a condition in which there is abnormal excessive pressure over the nerves as they exit the spine, and happens due to age related vertebral degeneration, or a prolapsed intervertebral disc.

At this point, you should see your doctor for a comprehensive clinical examination discussing the possibilities i have mentioned and get a management plan chalked out that suits best to your needs.

An MRI of the spine will be the most useful test here.

Muscle relaxants (prescription drugs) will also help a great deal here.

At home following measures will be helpful.

Keep yourself adequately hydrated.


Can use ibuprofen and/or paracetamol for pain control.

Muscle relaxants like tizanidine or cyclobenzaprine.

And the best muscle relaxant is "application of heating pads".

And if the pain is severe (unbearable) you should head towards ER for urgent assessment and management.

I hope this clarifies and answers your question.

I would have been worried too if I were at your place, but let me reassure you that this is a treatable condition and carries a good prognosis with appropriate management.

It was a pleasure assisting you and thank you very much for visiting us.

My goal is to provide you with Excellent Service - if satisfied with the response, Please do not forget to Rate my service.

If you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindest Regards.

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.
Hello from JA

IN fact pain in this area can also represent problems with the pancrease, spleen or stomach.

Magnesium deficiency does not typically cause a focal spasm only in one location.

Even heart or major vessel problems in the chest can refer pain to this area....atypical angina can do it as I would advise you not to wait to go to emergency , unless your doctor can see you now.

You then need to see your GP asap , as you are in the UK, and if there are no organ problems, and it appears spinal you need a referral to a non-invasive orthopedist for therapy.

OK. If you have further questions or details, use reply to expert.
Otherwise please choose a positive rating . But, still come back if you need to…think of something later, etc. Bonuses are appreciated.