Muscle spasms can come on suddenly–even waking you at night with pain and stiffness. Learn why these painful cramps happen and what you can do to manage and treat them.
What Are Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasms are mild to severe contractions of skeletal muscles. Typically, they happen suddenly and quickly and may last for a few seconds to several minutes.
Along with muscular rigidity, these cramps can cause excruciating pain, which patients have little to no control over. Spasms usually involve the larger muscles of the legs (thighs and calves), as well as the feet, abdomen, arms, and hands.
Why Do Muscle Spasms Happen?
There are many reasons for muscle spasms. People who have conditions like cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease experience intense and protracted spasms due to a brain defect. People with atherosclerosis, a narrowing of blood vessels due to plaque accumulation, may have episodes of cramping, particularly in the legs. For most people, though, muscle cramps seem to come out of nowhere.
There are predisposing factors that cause muscle cramps in otherwise healthy people. These factors include:
- Poor physical health
- Inadequate stretching before exercising
- Overexertion during a gym workout (muscle fatigue)
- Low electrolyte (salt) levels
- Sitting for long periods of time
How Can I Treat My Muscle Spasms?
One of the best ways to avoid periodic muscle spasms is stretching–both before and after a run or workout. Even simply massaging your calves, thighs, and lower back before and after a run staves off severe cramping.
Additionally, make sure to drink sufficient water during the day and both before, during, and after any strenuous activity. Avoid high levels of caffeine and alcohol, and of course, stop smoking and using tobacco products.
Eat a diet high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, such as B12, potassium, and magnesium. Also, use supplements, as needed.
When muscle spasms are difficult to control and are impacting your sleep and day-to-day function, see one of the experts at Associates in Neurology. Be sure to tell your doctor about your symptoms in detail, including when the spasms start, where they are located, how severe they are, and what, if anything, provides relief.
Your physician will look for underlying medical conditions and assess your medications and lifestyle to see if they may be the cause. From there, you’ll receive ways to control spasms, so you can feel your best and keep up with your active lifestyle.
Muscle Spasm Treatment Near Me
The experts at Associates in Neurology and AIN Imaging routinely see many patients for muscle spasms. Our highly qualified neurologists deliver real solutions and long-term relief, and they can help you, as well.
Call us at (248) 478-5512 for an appointment, or request a consultation online. We have five offices conveniently located in Farmington Hills, Southfield, Brighton, Howell, and Novi, MI. We’re here to help you achieve excellent neuromuscular health and function.