Painful muscle spasms in should/trap

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/24/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been suffering from very large and painful muscle spasms in my left trap and shoulder. Sometimes they are so bad that my left trap appears significantly larger than my right. I've tried several muscle relaxers- soma, flexeril and valium and none of them have done any good. Currently I've started on baclofen, which so far has actually given me some relief, but it has not eliminated the spasms. Along with muscle relaxers, I've tried heat, massage, rest and ice, all with little effect. I also exercise 4 times a week and I stretch almost every day, which helps a little. The muscle is basically contracted all day, and it's been going on for about 2 years now. A massage feels wonderful, and I can the muscle feels like a rock when it's rubbed, each masseuse has been shocked and commented on how hard/tight it feels. The muscle will relax a little, but not completely after a massage, but within 10-15 minutes it feels just as tight as it did before the massage. Does anyone know of anything that can help reduce or eliminate this problem? Any certain stretches or therapies that might help? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.
I've also tried icy hot patches and cream, tiger balm patches and cream, capsacin cream, lidoderm and flextor patches- all with very little or no relief.

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/24/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
   Mr 82  Welcome to the Healing Well CP Forum!.......can you tell us alittle more about your health? Have you had an MRI for your neck? Do you have possibly DDD in your neck? Have you seen your PCD? It might help some of us to know this, so that we may suggest some sort of direction for you. It sounds like you may have a problem in your neck, and this can cause problems where you are talking about. I'm sure someone will be along here shortly to help you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9657
   Posted 11/24/2009 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried Physical Therapy (PT) with them using the ultra sound machine?
it helps me along with everything else you mentioned....
I also have a home tens unit which my physical therapist instructed where to place the pads...
do you see a pain management doctor? or just your pcp (primary care physician)?
ask your doctor about a neck and shoulder MRI and or nerve testing...
Good Luck to you and hope this info helps...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 11/24/2009 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
My question is the same as Screaming have you had a MRI of the neck, sometimes shoulders, arm and neck pain are related to the neck. I never had neck pain but my ortho told me I was a whiplash away from being a paraplegic. I had shoulder and arm pain but never thought it was my neck.
Good luck and keep up posted.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/24/2009 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds strange, but I had a similar bout with shoulder pain and found out is was my acid reflux showing up in my shoulder. It made my left shoulder hurt so bad and it was also swollen up. My PCP tried muscle relaxers and they didn't help. They ordered an MRI, but I decided to try my left over PPIs and after 15 to 20 minutes it went away. I had been dealing with this for about a month and was going crazy from the pain and nothing would stop it. Not saying this is the same thing, but if you happen to have this problem also you might want to give it a try. I took 2 of my Prevacid and it went away in less than a half and hour. They did find some arthritis in the shoulder, but it doesn't hurt that bad.

Take care,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 11/25/2009 4:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I was thinking on the same lines as Chart. A few sessions with the ultrasound machine can do wonders for muscle spasms. Welcome to the forum MrTom, hope you stick around. Sorry to hear about your pain issues and hope you can get them resolved soon.
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 11/25/2009 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mrtom82,

Welcome to HW ,

i would like to introduce myself name is leisa from Australaia.

Sorry to heaar of your pain, i do hope you can find some effective pain relief, we deserve it!
I have the exact problems as you shoulder pain, muscles spasam trap pain ,neck pain .
Everything you have explauined is exactly what i am going through, my muscles are to constantly contracted casusing severe burning pain, & pins & needles numbness.

Like you i to have not been able idenify the causes.
I to have had massage theraphy etc... and a few other treatments and like you said within 15 to 20 minutes pain comes back.

I Would suggest you see a gp or specialist to identfy the causes. you need to find out why this is occuring, to know how to deal with it.
and have a care plan in place.

I am speaking with my gp tommorow and kindly demanding a x-ray or mri , or cat scan , sl should you.
See how we go, i couldnt believe you post as its exactly the same senario as i am in. But i do have also a few other medical conditions such as scoloiois of the spine 45 degree angle- DDD -osteoarthritis- lateral wedge disc closure- axial twisting of the spine, Bone Spurs,anxiety and clinical insomnia.

Seek medical advise and keep us posted, goodluck
Keep well
Punchfit_ Leisa

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3671
   Posted 11/26/2009 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Mrtom82 and Punchfit (Leisa)

You both really need to have some test done, Cervical MRI, and EMG testing both would probably be the best, there are so many things that can cause this type of thing, but without the Doctors ordering the proper test you might never know! Baclofen is an excellent medication to treat muscle spasms, but this medications has to be started off in low dosage and gradually increased by your Doctor till it gives you the desired relief! I know I started off at 5mg every eight hours, I am now taking 25mg every 8 hours except my 10 PM dose which I take 30mg. This is one medication that you cannot just stop taking! and you just can't take in now and then, and definitely you do not want to take to much of it! It is an effective medication, often used with MS patients and spinal cord injuries, but it is not a benign medication either and has to be used carefully! It also helps control pain. Anyway I do hope that both of you get the proper test and find out what is causing your problems and hopefully then get the proper treatment for it!

But in the mean time you sure have found the best place to come for advice and support, and just to vent your frustrations, Welcome to our family here! Of course Punchfit already knows that!

White Beard

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3546
   Posted 11/27/2009 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi mrtom,
Welcome to the chronic pain board.  I hope you find good support here.  I am glad to hear that the baclofen is helping some.  That is a wonder med for me.  I agree with the others in that you need to aggressively search for a cause.  I really don't have a lot of good advice and I really just wanted to show my support.  I know someone that has the baclofen pump.  That is when you have a pump inserted and the drug is then administered directly into the spine.  She has found it to be a Godsend.  I have had trouble with severe spasticity in one leg that resulted in my leg actually turning and becoming "toe-in" (pidgeon toed on one side).  I got botox on a series of muscles and that really helped me.
I hope you can find some relief soon.  Meanwhile, please stay and let us get to know you. 
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Randy in VA
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/16/2014 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I have muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder area, specifically trapezius muscle. I've tried lots of different treatments by a pain specialist. We are now trying botox to relax the muscles. I've had one treatment and will have another in 30 days. You may want to look into botox treatments. Can't say yet how well it is working but it makes sense to me to do something that will relax that muscle.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4906
   Posted 7/16/2014 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, yeah. The old pain in the shoulder. I had pain in one shoulder, radiating down the bicep and arm to the hand, last year and got an injection in the lumbar region that migrated up the channels to the head and neck, made me dizzy and also fixed the shoulder problem.

Now I have shoulder pain, just the same, in the opposite shoulder right now from bad neck injury. Neck injections and even nerve ablation and loads of PT have not gotten rid of it. Today I had a different PT that deliberately stretched my bicep vigorously and it's a little better. I know it's from a pinched nerve in the neck, just haven't gotten the right treatment yet.

I've tried all the pain meds, muscle relaxants I tolerate, including baclofen, and have not had any relief from any med.

Pain is often not caused by something going on where it feels like it is.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15153
   Posted 7/17/2014 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Randy & welcome to the chronic pain forum. Randy, we ask all new members to make their own intro post so that all members will see it & be able to give you a proper hello & welcome aboard. By posting on an older thread like this not many members will see it. In fact the person that started this thread is no long er active here at the forum.

To start a new thread please look to the left & click Post New Topic. Type in a heading and then start typing away at your intro post.

I will lock this thread so that no other members will pos ton it as we like to keep these older threads from taking up space on the front page.
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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