Muscle spasm or cramp is a spontaneous muscle contraction that occurs unexpectedly causing severe pain.
Muscle spasm should not be confused to muscle twitching as it is different and can be caused due to multiple reasons depending on predisposing factors, involving certain body parts.
Muscle spasms are caused due to exertion, injury, strain, tiredness, previous injury, overstretching or no movements for a prolonged period, hyper-flexibility, low fluids, and forceful muscle contractions.
Daily activities involving certain skeletal muscle, exercising in a hot environment, unfamiliar workouts, dehydration, atherosclerosis, chronic back or neck ache, obesity, kidney stones, anemia, diabetes, thyroid, and hormonal problems, are the risk factors.
Nervous system diseases like ALS, MS, and spinal cord injuries may also cause muscle spasm.
The signs of muscle spasm rely on the body muscle involved and on the conditions that triggered the spasm. There are two types of muscle spasms.
Skeletal Muscle Spasm:
Physical exertion, muscle pain during contraction, prominent swelling and tightening of the muscle.
Smooth Muscle Spasm:
Colicky pain that may come and go.
Manage Muscle Spasms
Dehydration, Stress, anxiety, stimulants like caffeine, and certain medications are also underlying signs of occasional repetitive contractions of muscles.
Individuals with muscle spasm may feel an urge to stretch the muscle involved. Stretching exercises are the first course of treatment. A healthy lifestyle, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance is recommended.