Difference Between Sore And Spasming Back And Shoulder Muscles

Difference Between Sore And Spasming Back And Shoulder Muscles

Patients who experience sore or spasming muscles may wonder if their symptoms indicate a particular condition, disease, or ailment. For individuals with sore muscles, the first thing to ask is how the symptom developed in the first place. Sore muscles caused by an intense workout or a day spent moving or landscaping are not necessarily things to worry about. Overuse or injury during physical activity, stress, or tension can cause muscles to ache, and over time these symptoms should subside on their own.

However, if your muscle soreness lasts several days or weeks with no sign of easing up, you may want to consider seeing a pain management physician; especially if your muscle soreness was not the result of a strain or sprain during physical activity. Conditions that may cause muscle soreness include fibromyalgia, the flu, lupus or polymyositis.

Before rushing to your nearest Southwest Spine and Pain Center location, try to rest the area causing pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, or apply ice (to an injured muscle) or heat (to a painful muscle) to ease discomfort. You can learn more about ice or heat for muscle pain in our blog. If your pain does not go away after several days, you’re unsure of the cause, or if the soreness accompanies redness, a rash, or swelling, schedule an appointment with a SWSP pain management physician right away.

Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that may occur suddenly and/or frequently. Much like muscle soreness, there are a number of possible causes of muscle spasms. They may develop if your muscle is overused, overstretched, dehydrated, or if it has been held in the same position for an extended period of time. Diseases that often produce muscle spasms include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, or a spinal cord injury.

A physician should check out recurrent muscle spasms that cause chronic pain, chest pain, numbness, or tingling. Unlike muscle soreness, if your muscle spasms become more aggressive, do not ease up after a number of days, or cause a variety of other symptoms (like the ones mentioned above), you should seek treatment immediately.


  • Muscles in the back and shoulders are essential for movement, supporting the skeletal system, and protecting internal organs and bones.
  • If these muscle groups become damaged in any way, they may cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms including pain, weakness, numbness or spasming.
  • The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center discuss the difference between sore and spasming back muscles in this blog.

If chronic pain is keeping you from doing the things you want, it's time to schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With multiple locations across the state of Utah, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to. To schedule an appointment, click here!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.