Muscle Spasms are involuntary contractions of muscles and they can be related to many different things or caused by many different things.
It can either be constant, sustained or intermittent. It causes a contraction of the muscle without shortening at the joint. Initially it may not be painful, but with a chronic spasm pain can develop from decreased circulation and the build up of waste products from cellular metabolism.
When you sit at a desk all day long with your muscles contracted as a result of stress, poor posture, long hours of not moving, your muscles can become contracted or go into spasm.
Other things like dehydration, poor diets consisting of things like caffeine and high levels of sugar or other foods that you are intolerant of or allergic to can cause muscle spasms too. A spasm may be the result of muscle fatigue, trauma, a virus, cold, inflammation, too much exercise, exercise that is done with the body when it is out of alignment and emotional tension. Muscle spasms can be caused by not getting enough calcium and/or magnesium or an imbalance of the two. Hormone levels such at the thyroid and estrogen/progesterone/testosterone balances also can cause muscle spasms.
Muscle spasms can occur as a result of an injury. The muscles contract in an effort to protect the injured area and can cause secondary problems.
They can also be caused by side effects of various drugs.
They can also be a symptom of diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia.
Cramps can result from having muscles spasms that don’t relax or in combination with other internal factors such as proper nutrition to the muscle. Cramps are really having a muscle contracting without shortening which is why moving the muscle into a shortened position is what will relieve it.
Muscle spasms that are not treated or do not go away can lead to muscle strains and or sprains which are tears in the muscle or tendon or other conditions like tendonitis. Knots can form in the muscle that is chronically in spasm causing pain. A muscle knot is really just the fibers of the muscle folding over on each other which is what happens when a muscle contracts but it doesn’t release.
Relieving Muscle Spasms:
There are many ways to relieve muscle spasms the most popular being massage therapy, Doing self massage techniques may help relieve the symptoms as well as getting professional massage.
Stretching lengthen muscles.
Ice for inflammation.
Heating pads for chronic spasms
Alternating hot and cold.
Introduction to Massage Therapy – Mary Beth Braun