A muscle spasm, often known as a charley horse, cramp, or twitch, is an uncontrollable movement of one or more muscles. Stress, exercise, and dehydration are common reasons, although nerve abnormalities and thyroid problems may enhance the risk
These motions can occur in any muscle in the body, but they most commonly affect the calf muscle. They are fairly frequent and usually do not cause concern.
Muscle spasms are a regular occurrence. They can occur in any portion of the body, however they most commonly affect the:
feet, hands, arms, thighs, abdomen, and intercostal muscles that surround the rib cage
The most prevalent causes of muscle spasms include muscle discomfort, exhaustion, and overuse. Other reasons of muscle spasms in the face include tension or worry. Back spasms can be caused by pinched nerves.
Athletes who do not warm up before exercising or who exercise in extremely hot settings may have muscle spasms. Charley horse, for example, is a name used to describe calf muscular spasms in runners. Muscle spasms can also be caused by not drinking enough water before exercising.
Muscle spasms affect some persons more than others. Those who are most vulnerable are:
older folks, athletes, persons who are overweight or obese, and pregnant women
People with certain medical illnesses, such as nerve diseases or thyroid issues, have a higher-than-average frequency of muscular spasms.
Muscle spasms are normally not a cause for concern, but they can be a sign of an underlying neurological health condition in some circumstances. Neurological health issues influence the brain, which controls muscular movement.
Not all muscle spasms are painful, but some are. It may feel as if the muscle is jumping or moving on its own, but this sensation usually lasts only a few seconds. Some people may even notice the muscular twitching.
It may feel as if the entire muscle has locked up and is unable to move. This reaction is particularly common in the legs and can be rather uncomfortable. The muscle may be tough to the touch. While the cramping sensation usually goes away after a few minutes, the muscle may continue to pain for some time afterwards.
If a person has a muscle spasm as part of a neurological health problem, they will likely have accompanying symptoms. These could include:
Muscle weakness caused by back, neck, or head pain
Skin numbness, a pins-and-needles sensation, and paralysis due to tremor
a lack of cooperation
Muscle spasms normally resolve themselves. They may take a few seconds or even many minutes to end, but they rarely require treatment. Drinking enough of water can help relieve muscle cramps caused by dehydration.
If someone gets a terrible cramp, they can try a few different strategies to assist relieve the pain. According to the American Osteopathic Association,
Stopping any activity that caused the cramp — for example, jogging — gently massaging the cramping muscle stretching the cramping muscle softly using a heated pad to relax tight muscles
Using an ice pack to relieve muscle pain
If the discomfort is in the calf muscle, the person can attempt putting weight on the affected leg and slightly bending the knee. The muscle will be stretched as a result of this.
If cramping affects the quadriceps (the muscles in the front of the thigh), the person can try putting the affected leg’s foot behind them and slowly bringing it up toward their buttocks while maintaining the knees together.
Doctors may prescribe an antispasmodic medication if the muscular spasms are caused by an underlying neurological problem.
Muscle spasms can be avoided by drinking enough of fluids and stretching before any exertion or repetitive movement.
During the night, some persons have leg muscle cramps. Stretching the limbs before going to bed can help prevent this.
When should you see a doctor?
Muscle spasms, twitches, and cramps are typically not cause for alarm. They are quite natural, especially in sportsmen and other persons who routinely exercise.
However, in certain situations, they can signal an underlying health condition, such as multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, or liver cirrhosis. They may also indicate issues with:
Anyone who has severe or painful muscle spasms on a regular basis should see a doctor.
Muscle spasms are extremely common, and most people are unconcerned about them. The most prevalent reasons are overexertion, dehydration, and stress.
Spasms occur when a muscle abruptly moves involuntarily. Muscle spasms might feel like a tiny twitch or a terrible cramp, and they can occur in any section of the body’s muscles.
Muscle spasms can last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes, but they usually go away on their own. Stretching or massaging the affected area gently, as well as using a heat or ice pack, and medicine like Lioresal 10mg may be beneficial.
Muscle spasms can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health problem. Anyone who has frequent or severe muscle spasms should see a doctor.