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Old 01-21-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
Leela Corman
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Neck/Shoulder Spasm

I could use some advice. My right levator scap muscle has a tendency to go into spasms. This happens at least 3 times a year. It just happened this morning. It's not at its absolute worst - I can turn my head, though it hurts. I'm icing it right now.

My questions: Can I go ahead and do the WOD, since it's not 100% immobile, or should I skip it and a) do something else or b) rest completely until my dance class tonight?

and, what should I do? I can't go to a chiropractor, unfortunately, because my insurance doesn't cover that. But, I have a friend who's a massage therapist; would it help to have her tackle it? Or would that make it worse?

Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
Bryan Gates
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Spasm

How'd you differentiate it from the trap? Also I beleive you are supposed to heat muscles, not ice them. Massage would probably be the best thing for it.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:52 AM   #3
Jose M. Perez
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Spasm

Was it like a charley horse, in which the muscle just tightens up and takes a while to loosen up? Ice is appropriate for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling. After that, use a heat pad. An NSAID (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. ) is also recommended.

You might be able to do the WOD, but you should make sure that you warm up thoroughly. Spend some extra time warming up. You may want to jog for 5 -10 minutes or something comparable. Add some dynamic stretching to work your shoulders: swing your arms back to front parallel to the ground; there's a lot of stuff you can do. You should also consider scaling down the workout. Be flexible in your workout; if an exercise is painful, skip it.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:21 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Spasm

As Jose said... swelling ice, otherwise MUSCLES get heat.

Also, stretching, massage, maybe tennis ball rolling would be a good idea.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
Leela Corman
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Spasm

Interesting...when this initially happened, I was warned away from heat and told to ice it. I've switched to heat today and it does help.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #6
William Hunter
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Spasm

Generally speaking, you can differentiate the levator b/c it tends to hurt more when you rotate INTO the side of pain. Upper trap pain dominates when you laterally bend away. Often both are affected.

Heat usually works much better than ice unless there is severe swelling within the tissue.

The levator can be stretched by anchoring the hand of the affected side to the bottom of the chair you're sitting on, turning your head away about 45% and tilting downward as if you were trying to smell your opposite armpit.
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