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Exercises for Spasming Shoulders

by
author image Aubrey Bailey
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.
Exercises for Spasming Shoulders
Muscles often spasm on top of the shoulders. Photo Credit Deagreez/iStock/Getty Images

If you've ever felt like your shoulder was pulling up toward your ear or felt a bump in the middle of one of your shoulder muscles, you might have had a muscle spasm. Although spasms can develop after injury, they can also be caused by stress and poor posture. Exercises often help relieve tension in spasming shoulders.

Read more: Exercises for Upper Back Muscle Spasms

Your shoulder mimics a clock pendulum with pendulum exercises.
Your shoulder mimics a clock pendulum with pendulum exercises. Photo Credit photoneye/iStock/Getty Images

Pendulums

Pendulum exercises gently stretch your shoulders in all directions.

Step 1

Stand by a firm surface and bend over at the waist. Use your non-spasming arm to help support your body weight. Dangle your other arm down toward the ground.

Step 2

Move your body to swing your arm forward and backward 10 times. Repeat in a side-to-side motion 10 times.

Step 3

Circle your arm clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times in each direction. Keep your shoulder muscles relaxed throughout these movements.

Step 4

Hold a 1- to 2-pound dumbbell in your hand as your perform pendulums to increase the intensity of the stretch.

Have a partner gently assist you to increase the intensity of shoulder stretches.
Have a partner gently assist you to increase the intensity of shoulder stretches. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Cross-Body Stretch

The cross-body stretch targets spasming muscles in the back of your shoulder.

Step 1

Reach across your body and place your hand on your opposite shoulder. Use your other hand and gently pull your elbow further across your body until you feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder.

Step 2

Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax, and repeat three times.

Stretch spasming muscles several times throughout your workday.
Stretch spasming muscles several times throughout your workday. Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Hands Behind Back

Stretching with your hands behind your back helps relax spasming muscles in the front of your shoulder.

Step 1

Stand up straight and maintain this position throughout the exercise. Reach both arms behind your back and interlock your fingers.

Step 2

Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders.

Step 3

Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.

Tightening and relaxing spasming muscles helps them relax.
Tightening and relaxing spasming muscles helps them relax. Photo Credit SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images

Shoulder Shrugs

Tightening and relaxing muscles helps reduce spasms. Shrugs help relax muscles on the top of your shoulders.

Step 1

Sit or stand up straight. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears as far as possible.

Step 2

Hold the shrug for up to 10 seconds, then completely relax your shoulder muscles. Repeat three times.

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls can be performed right at your desk or while you watch t.v.

Step 1

Sit up straight. Keeping your arms relaxed by your sides, slowly roll your shoulders forward 10 times. Make the circles as big as possible.

Step 2

Perform 10 shoulder rolls in the opposite direction.

Use a tennis ball to treat shoulder spasms.
Use a tennis ball to treat shoulder spasms. Photo Credit Steven Pike/Hemera/Getty Images

Trigger Point Massage

Muscles spasms often have trigger points -- particularly tight parts of the muscle that feel rock-hard. Use a tennis ball to treat trigger points.

Step 1

Roll the tennis ball on your shoulder until you find a trigger point. Hold the ball in place with firm pressure for 30 to 90 seconds. Repeat several times.

Step 2

Treat trigger points in the back of your shoulder by placing the tennis ball on a wall. Lean against the ball and slowly adjust your position until it is on the trigger point. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds and repeat several times.

Read more: Self Myofascial Release Techniques Using a Lacrosse Ball

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