A complete guide to: Chronic Muscle Spasms

Many of us have experienced muscle spasm, a sudden and uncontrolled tightening of muscle, resulting in sharp pain. This is A complete guide to: Chronic Muscle Spasms.  It occurs all of a sudden and resolves within a short time, but the intensity of the pain is usually severe. If the spasm is sustained, it is known as a muscle cramp. Also, a muscle spasm differs from a muscle twitch, as the latter condition causes sudden movement of a section of the muscle. Chronic muscle spasms are characterized by soreness of the muscle that persists for an extended time.

Causes

According to medical experts, the root causes of muscle spasms are related to the depletion of electrolytes that are responsible for proper interaction and coordination of the muscles. Without adequate circulation of nutrients, water, and oxygen, muscles irritation occurs, which in turn leads to muscle spasms in the back or any other body parts. Some of the factors that are known to trigger chronic muscle pain are highlighted below.

Muscle Overuse:

In a majority of patients with persistent muscle spasms, overuse or overstretching of the muscles is the main cause. This is the reason as to why, the frequently used body parts (hands, neck, and back) are prone to muscle pain. Prolonged Stressing: Using a particular muscle for a longer period causes muscle fatigue and muscle spasms. For example, muscle spasms in neck and back are more frequent among laborers, whose profession requires lifting of heavy objects over the head. Blood Vessel Narrowing: Narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels, a condition medically referred to as atherosclerosis, increases the risk of muscle pain and cramps in specific areas, where the muscles are deprived of the oxygen of electrolytes. Nerve Disorder: Chronic muscle spasm is also an associated symptom of nervous system problems. Hence, patients of spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis often experience muscle spasms recurrently. Dystonia: Dystonia is a movement disorder, in which specific groups of muscles contract at a time, causing spasms and cramps. At times, it is associated with strokes. Without timely treatment, dystonias can be debilitating.

Systemic Illnesses:

Chronic muscle spasms are frequently manifested in patients with kidney failure, blood sugar problem (diabetes), and hormonal disorders. The reason being the disturbance in the normal blood circulation. In most patients, the areas adjacent the spine are affected, which include the neck, shoulder, and back. The symptoms depend upon the cause and preexisting disease (if any). Also, the degree of pain and the duration of symptoms vary according to the organ involved.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Early diagnosis of this painful condition is crucial, as it can be an indication of some severe medical problems like fibromyalgia and nerve disorders. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms, medical history, workout type, current medication, and food supplements (if any). In case the muscle spasms do not occur at the time of hospital visits, the doctor may perform certain examination tests to identify the cause for muscle spasms. (Muscle Pain Relief )Treatment methods appropriate for the patient’s condition are then decided with reference to the underlying cause and disease severity. The following are some treatment approaches for chronic muscle spasms. In order to get instant relief from muscle spasms, try stretching and moving the affected muscles. Doing so will help relax the contraction and treat spasms. For those having muscle soreness and injury, taking adequate rest is suggested. The point is to avoid further stressing of the muscles, and ensure quick healing. Applying cold and/or hot compresses does work in soothing the affected muscles, thereby reducing the pain intensity. For a chronic case, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers to treat the muscles that are prone to contractions.

In case of severe muscle soreness and pain, injections are delivered to paralyze and numb the affected muscles. Long-term treatment of muscle spasms can be achieved by practicing massage therapy. Prevention At any point of time, preventing the onset of muscle spasms is the most effective treatment. If exercise is the triggering factor for muscle contractions, consult and seek advice from the gym instructor for relieving muscle spasms. Learn how to perform muscle relaxation techniques that work wonders for muscle cramps and pain. Also, one common mistake observed amongst people who perform rigorous physical activities is skipping warm-up exercises. Instead of working out abruptly, prepare the muscles by doing stretching and bending exercises. The same is applicable for relaxing the muscles after workout sessions. Most cases of muscle spasms that are not related to preexisting health problems are caused by dehydration and abnormalities in the electrolyte balance. Remember that excessive perspiration drains out water along with sodium and potassium from the body, which needs to be replaced to avoid muscle fatigue. For such a case, consuming a healthy diet that includes lots of fluids can help prevent muscle spasms effectively.

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