What are Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasms can affect anyone and at any time regardless of fitness level. They are a sudden, involuntary contraction or tightening of the muscle, which then fails to relax. They can last a for a few seconds or sometimes up to 15 minutes. The affected muscle can often feel hard and tender to the touch during a spasms. You can sometimes see a visible muscle twitch. These muscle contractions can occur in various skeletal muscles across the body and are often quite painful. The most common areas for a muscle spasm to occur are in the lower leg, foot, back, and often in muscles that cross two joints.
What Causes Muscle Spasms?
They tend to occur more often in athletes who have over exerted themselves, infants, the elderly, the obese, and those taking certain medications. A number of different activities and conditions may bring them on. Often these causes are only temporary and will go away after some rest.
Common causes include:
- Muscle strains and injuries
- Low blood flow
- Potassium and calcium deficiency
- Overuse of muscles
- Poor conditioning and inadequate stretching
Generally, treatment for these spasms can be carried out by stretching out the muscle, massage, using a combination of ice to help numb any pain being caused and heat to promote relaxation of the muscle, here at Conefreys Pharmacy we have heat packs to treat such spasms. Stretching helps lengthen the muscle fibres and allow a more powerful contraction when exercising.
If you continue to suffer from painful spasms, examination by your doctor is advised so that appropriate tests may be carried out.
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