Muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. In some cases, the spasm can be a result of a condition called dystonia, a condition characterized by uncontrolled muscle movements. While it can occur anywhere, it is most commonly a muscle cramp. Most muscle cramps are harmless, and the reason why they occur is because of an ion imbalance. Muscle overload and ion imbalance cause the muscles to contract involuntarily.
Treatment options for muscle spasms
Medical professionals can offer a variety of treatment options for muscle spasms. For some people, these spasms are the result of repetitive movements or overstretching. They occur when a muscle runs out of energy and nutrients and contracts involuntarily. An athlete who fails to warm up properly may experience spasms when they are not warm enough. Other causes of spasms include kidney or spinal cord disease, a sleeping disorder, or an underlying medical condition.
Fortunately, most muscle spasms are harmless and short-lived. Self-treatments, such as stretching and using anti-inflammatory drugs, can be effective. However, if muscle spasms are frequent, painful, or affect your daily activities, you should seek medical attention. This will help your doctor determine the most appropriate course of treatment for your specific situation. If you can’t find relief from your spasms, your physician can order blood tests and imaging tests to help determine the underlying cause.
Tests to diagnose muscle spasms
Muscle spasms may be caused by many different medical conditions. Blood tests can be performed to determine if there is a more serious condition. An elevated creatine phosphokinase level may indicate a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. In some cases, prolonged muscle spasms can result in a kidney failure condition called rhabdomyolysis. Electromyography may also be necessary to determine the cause of your muscle spasms.
While some types of muscle spasms are caused by a variety of conditions, the most common are those caused by electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or overuse of a specific muscle. In addition to overuse, other causes can lead to muscle cramps, including pregnancy and older age. In some cases, muscle spasms are tied to a serious condition like arteriosclerosis or nerve compression. Your clinician may suggest testing to determine the cause of your muscle cramps.
Common sites for muscle spasms
Muscle spasms can occur anywhere in the body and can be quite painful. The affected muscles may twitch or appear hard to touch. These spasms are usually involuntary and can last anywhere from seconds to minutes. Muscle spasms are often not immediately noticeable, and it is important to understand that they can occur during exercise, during bedtime, or during other stressful situations.
Usually, muscle spasms are harmless, but in rare cases, they are a symptom of an underlying medical condition. These may be due to a narrowing of an artery or a nerve compression in the lumbar spinal cord. This can lead to cramping in the legs and worsen with long walks. Muscle spasms are associated with neurodegenerative conditions. You can seek medical attention if you notice that the muscle spasms are caused by a specific health condition.