Muscle spasms often occurs at times most unexpected. You might be dreaming about your next promotion and a nasty spasm jolts you back to reality.
Your calf muscles will suddenly get hard or your foot twisted in a funny way. It will be an extremely painful experience and this sudden tightness is called a muscle spasm.
Muscle Cramps or Charley Horse
Muscle cramps are sometimes called as Charley Horses, particularly when the cramps affect the calf muscles. These cramps occur due to muscle spasms or involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. Muscles of the front and back of the thigh, hands, arms, abdomen as well as the muscles of the rib cage can suffer from muscle spasms.
Causes of Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms can occur due to a number of reasons. Some of the factors of muscle spasms include:
- Poor blood circulation in the legs
- Improper or insufficient warm up and muscle stretching before exercising
- Muscle fatigue
- Working out or exercising in heat
- Deficiency of magnesium or potassium
- Deficiency of calcium in pregnant women
- Pinched nerve in the neck or back
- Spinal cord injury that causes malfunctioning nerves
Muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of certain drugs. The medications that can cause muscle cramps include:
- Diuretics that help remove fluid from the body
- Medications for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
- Medications for treatment of myasthenia gravis
- Medications for angina and high blood pressure
- Drugs to treat osteoporosis
- Medications for treatment of Parkinson’s disease
- Medications for cholesterol
Age is also a factor to see increased events of muscle spasms. Other medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disorders and thyroid disorders.
Symptoms for Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are often harmless and little self-care will help take care of them. The symptoms of muscle cramps include:
- Cramps in the legs, especially calf
- Sudden, sharp pain in the muscles
- Feeling or visible hard lump in the muscles under the skin
Treatment for Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms do not need special diagnosis. Usually a one-time event, muscle spasms occurs due to muscle overuse or fatigue. The best way to ease a muscle spasm is to try to stretch the muscles, massaging the leg, ice compress or warm compress, taking a bath with Epsom salt.
If recurrent muscle spasms trouble you, speak to your doctor. He may prescribe vitamin B complex supplements or medications to relax your muscles.
This was all about muscle spasms. It is not a very serious condition in most cases and simple self-care at home will help treat muscle spasms.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: June 13, 2016