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Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, refer to painful contractions and muscle tightening.These are common, unpredictable, and involuntary. Although spasms can be treated and prevented, but it is often said that the methods for this are not reliable. However, stretching, massage, and muscle relaxants are likely to help during the attacks. Let us get acquainted with everything you need to know about it!
What are Muscle Spasms?Muscle spasms are the cramps that occur when a person’s muscles involuntarily and forcibly contract uncontrollably and cannot even relax. These are common and can affect any muscle in the entire body. This can include any part of the muscle or the whole muscle or a group of muscles; anyone can be affected; however, the most common muscle spasms attacks are on the calves, thighs, hands, feet, abdomen, and arms.
When do you need to see a medical doctor?The muscle spasms are experienced and generally disappear on their own, and rarely require emergency medical care to relax. However, you must see your medical doctor if the spasms are experienced often and also:
- Causes severe discomfort
- Associated with the muscle weakness
- Associated with redness, skin changes, or leg swelling.
- Occurs very frequently
- Are not associated with a defined cause
- Do not even improve with self-care.
Causes of Muscle SpasmsDehydration, muscle strain, muscle overuse, or simply holding the same position for a long time can lead to muscle spasms. However, in most cases, the cause is not known. Though the muscle cramps are harmless but do, you know that some of them may be associated with some underlying debilitating condition? Yes! The commonly associated debilitating conditions may include:
- Nerve compression
- Mineral Depletion
- Inadequate blood supply
Risk factors included!Several factors that may augment the risk of experiencing muscle cramps may include:
- Debilitating conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and many more
Prevention from Severe Muscle SpasmsSeveral steps may help in preventing muscle spasms. This includes:
- Avoid Dehydration Drink plenty of water and liquids daily. However, the amount and quantity of fluids completely depend on the age, sex, activity levels, health, and medications you consume. Liquids help your muscle contractions relax and keep the muscle cells well hydrated.
- Stretch Your Muscles Stretch your muscles before and after using any muscle for a prolonged time. Suppose you experience cramps in your legs at night; you must stretch before bedtime, and light exercising or stretching in the morning may help.
Treatment for Severe Muscle SpasmsThe muscle spasms can often be treated with several self-care measures. The medical doctor may provide you with several stretching exercises to help reduce the chances of experiencing muscle spasms. But you also must ensure to stay well hydrated, which may help you cope with it. However, in case you are experiencing recurrent muscle spasms that often disturb your sleep, you must visit the doctor immediately, who may prescribe some medication to relax the muscles.
Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes!Since Selfcare is the way out to deal with the health condition, several home remedies and lifestyle changes can also help cope with the disease. This includes:
- Stretching and Massage Stretch the cramped muscle, and gently rub it to relax. However, putting some weight on your cramped leg may help in case of a calf cramp. If you are unable to stand properly due to the cramp, sit on the chair or floor with the affected leg extended.
- Apply Cold or Heat Use a heating pad or a warm towel on the tensed muscles. You can also try taking a hot water shower that may help relax the cramped muscle. Massaging the cramped muscle with a cool pack may also help relieve the pain.
What you must do before visiting the medical doctor?Before visiting a medical doctor, you must
- Make a note of the symptoms you are experiencing
- How often do you experience cramps?
- What are the most affected body parts?
- Your key personal information
- All the other medications, supplements, and vitamins you are consuming
- Any other queries
Bottom Line!Muscle Spasms are indeed hard to deal with, but with appropriate self-care, one can at least manage them pretty well. However, if you are experiencing recurrent muscle spasms, you must visit the medical doctor immediately to get medical help.
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