Muscle Spasms

What is Muscle Spasms ?

When your muscles contract or tighten, you experience a medical condition known as Muscle Spasms. Usually, it is an involuntary movement that involves more than one muscle. This disorder is also commonly referred to as ‘Charley Horse.’ These are types of cramps that can occur very often within any muscle. Many causes trigger a spasm in muscles. However, usually, they do not prove to be severe or concerning for the individual. Muscle spasms frequently occur in the hands, arms, calves, ribcage, stomach, and the arches of your foot.


How do Muscle Spasms Occur in Your Body?

When your muscles involuntarily contract, you experience muscle cramps or spasms. Usually, in this condition, the affected part of the body cannot relax. Muscle Spasms which you can also term ‘Cramps,’ is accompanied by sudden bouts of severe pain. It can occur in many parts of your body and when it affects your calves is when it is termed a ‘Charley Horse.’ Several underlying medical conditions such as ‘Dystonia’ (hyperkinetic movement disorder) contribute to the generation of spasmodic muscle contractions called Muscles Spasms.


What are The Contributing or Causative Factors of Muscle Spasms?

 When picking the exact reasons that trigger Muscle Spasms, there is generally no clarity on it as the cause is ‘Idiopathic’ or unknown. However, given below are a few general causes that can trigger Muscle Spasms:

  • Exercising in hot and humid conditions
  • Involuntary nerve discharges
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Limitation in blood supply
  • Not performing enough stretching exercises before engaging in physical activity
  • Possible muscle fatigue
  • Standing in the wrong posture
  • Sitting in an improper manner


Signs and Symptoms of Muscle Spasms :

Muscle spasms or cramps usually are not painful. However, some types may cause pain. On experiencing Muscle spasms, you may feel a ‘Twitch’ under your skin, which may be hard to touch. Meanwhile, the cramping sensation tends to go away after several minutes. As a result, you will continue to feel the pain for some time. If muscle spasms occur because of certain underlying neurological conditions, then you can experience the symptoms below. 

  • Numbness of skin
  • Tremor
  • Poor coordination
  • Paralysis
  • Double vision
  • Slowing of movements
  • Lack of sleep or insomnia

How to Treat Muscle Spasms and What Diagnostic Tests can You Use?

Unfortunately, no magic injection or spray can make the pain caused due to Muscle Spasms go away just like that. Moreover, there are five steps you can take to eliminate it as soon as possible. They are as follows: 

  1. Stand and walk around for some time. 
  2. On the area in the body you are experiencing Muscle Spasms, you need to apply ice or heat using a pack or a pad. 
  3. Using your hand or roller, you need to massage the area in your body afflicted by Muscle Spasms. 
  4. Stretch the region in your body that is experiencing Muscle Spasms 
  5. Suppose all the above mentioned methods do not work effectively for you. It means that it is time for you to take pain relief medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. 

In terms of diagnosis of Muscle Spasms, your doctor will initially study your medical history and perform a physical examination to provide you with the solution for it. Moreover, you may be asked to do a blood test if they do not work. It is done mainly to check for your body’s sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium levels. Besides, you may be asked to undergo a creatine phosphokinase CPK blood test to detect muscle breakdown.

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