Muscle Spasms

Introduction

Muscle spasms occur when a sudden burst in muscle activity or increase in nerve signals force the muscle to contract and remain in the contracted state. Causes for muscles spasms include dehydration, excessive muscle strain and lack of electrolytes. The symptoms of a muscle spasm can range from severe pain to small twitches.

Overstretching a muscle when the body is poorly conditioned can lead to muscle fatigue and a depletion of the oxygen supply to the muscle, causing spasms to occur.

Dehydration can be a cause of a muscle spasm when exercising in hot weather. When sweating, the body’s fluids and nutrients (such as potassium, magnesium and calcium) are lost which can cause the body to react with spasms.

Muscle spasms typically go away on their own without needing to see a doctor. It is advisable to stop doing whatever activity triggered the spasm. Stretching and massaging the muscle and applying heat to muscles until the cramp stops, will aid in stopping muscle spasms as well.

Muscle swelling can be alleviated by applying ice packs to the area. Utilizing painkillers like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also aid in easing the pain of muscle spasms.

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