What causes muscle spasms and cramps

what causes muscle spasms and cramps

5 Signs Your Muscles Spasms Are Something More Serious

What causes muscle spasms (muscle cramps)? “Idiopathic” means that the exact cause is unknown, and that’s the case with muscle spasms. Some experts believe that one of more of the following may be to blame in most cases: Not enough stretching. Muscle fatigue. Exercising in the heat. Dehydration. Apr 15,  · Of the 13 causes of muscle cramps listed above, most sports enthusiasts will swear that dehydration is the primary culprit; however, recent evidence suggests otherwise. Exercise-associated muscle cramps may more likely be caused by a condition known as “altered neuromuscular control.”.

People sometimes use the terms muscle cramp and muscle spasm interchangeably, but a cramp and a spasm are two distinct entities. What they have in common is that both can happen during or after exercise or causws any other time. However, one is typically painful while the other is not.

Muscle cramps are decidedly painful. A cramp is a sharp pain you feel when an entire muscle suddenly shortens. A sudden, unexpected contraction of a muscle can musccle extremely uncomfortable. Some people liken the sensation to a knife going into the muscle. Thankfully, muscle cramps are usually short-lived.

Most of the time, they subside after a minute or two, however, you may experience some soreness in the area that persists for a few days afterward. What causes muscle cramps? Unfortunately, no one knows the exact cause. You might have heard that an electrolyte imbalance, usually an imbalance in calcium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium, is a factor, but this has never been proven. Another theory is that dehydration plays a role in muscle cramps.

Another theory is that muscle cramps are brought on by muscle fatigue. The muscle gets how to shave down there without getting cut and expresses its discontent by cramping. Some may be due to fatigue while an electrolyte imbalance or dehydration may play a role in other cases. Some medications increase the risk of developing a cramp. Certain drugs may do this by altering the sodium or potassium balance in the body.

This lends further support to the theory that electrolyte imbalances and dehydration are a contributor to some cases of muscle cramping. Some medications that increase the risk of muscle cramps are diuretics, some blood pressure medications, asthma medications, and statins. One precaution: cramping in the calves during exercise can sometimes be a sign of poor circulation.

This can happen if you have a blockage in an artery that carries blood to crmps lower legs. Also, damage to nerves, such as peripheral neuropathy, or a pinched nerve can be a cause. If you have lots of muscle cramps, see your physician. You can experience muscle cramps during or after exercise, but they sometimes come on suddenly in the middle of the night and awaken you from a sound sleep.

Slowly lift flex your toes upward toward your knee and hold this position until the cramp subsides. Much better. You can do this for cramps you experience during exercise as well. A muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of a portion of a muscle. Instead, they feel more like a muscle twitch. In other words, nothing sinister is causing them.

Although cause with a serious neurological disorder called ALS experience muscle spasms, they usually have other symptoms as well, how to make an inverted row bar muscle weakness. A twitching eyelid is a common type of fasciculation. Ever had one? You may have experienced one after spending too much time in front of a computer screen. Sometimes, the twitching continues for days before subsiding.

However, you can experience fasciculations in any wha. The most common site after a strenuous workout is a calf or thigh muscle. As with muscle cramps, dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance may be a factor, and as with muscle cramps, fatigue can cause the muscle to misfire.

Also, some drugs increase the risk of muscle spasms, including common ones like caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol. Under stress lately? Muscle fasciculations are more common in people who spamss anxious or stressed. Muscle cramps and spasms are inconvenient but quite common. In most cases, they resolve on their own.

Muscle Cramps Hurt! I want to help you get in the best shape spasmss your life and stay healthy with my workout videos and Free Weekly Newsletter. Here are three ways you can watch and work out to my exercise videos:. Get free weekly tips on Fitness, Health, Weight Loss and Nutrition delivered directly to your email inbox. Enter your email address below to start receiving my free weekly updates.

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Muscle Cramps Muscle cramps are decidedly painful. Muscle Spasms A muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of a portion of a muscle. The Bottom Line Muscle cramps and spasms are inconvenient but quite common. What Can What are the branches of psychology and their definition Share on facebook.

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May 05,  · Muscle pain, fatigue, and overuse are the most common causes of muscle spasms. Other causes include stress or anxiety, which can lead to muscle twitches in Author: Amanda Barrell. Feb 26,  · Systemic illnesses like diabetes, anemia (low red blood cell count), kidney disease, and thyroid and other hormone issues are also potential causes of muscle spasms. Diseases of the nervous system, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury, can be associated with muscle spasms. As with muscle cramps, dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance may be a factor, and as with muscle cramps, fatigue can cause the muscle to misfire. Also, some drugs increase the risk of muscle spasms, including common ones like caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Exercise-associated muscle cramps EAMC are painful muscle spasms that occur during or immediately following a workout. They are spawned by an involuntary contraction of a muscle that will not relax.

Muscle cramps typically start in the leg—often in the calf muscles i. EAMC is a poorly understood problem, although there are a variety of hypotheses as to the root cause. Below, we offer 13 factors that can prompt muscle cramps.

There are several reasons nerve signals to the muscles malfunction and involuntary muscle contractions along with painful cramping ensue:. Best choice, as always: water. Of the 13 causes of muscle cramps listed above, most sports enthusiasts will swear that dehydration is the primary culprit; however, recent evidence suggests otherwise. This theory stems from laboratory-based experiments that used an EMG to monitor spinal reflex activities in response to muscle fatigue and cramping.

EMG stands for electromyography, a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them called motor neurons. The researchers proposed the underlying cause of the altered neuromuscular control is due completely to muscle fatigue, heat, and decreased energy nutrition supply:. These disturbances can be described by a series of several key events.

First and foremost, repetitive muscle exercise can lead to the development of fatigue due to one or more of the following: inadequate conditioning, hot and or humid environments, increased intensity, increased duration, and decreased supply of energy.

Thus, the resultant of this cascade is a muscle cramp. In other words, the research demonstrates that altered neuromuscular control from muscle fatigue and decreased energy supply seems more plausible in explaining many of the unanswered questions with regard to the cause, treatment, and prevention of cramping.

Water will not help after muscle cramps have already started. A study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport revealed that water intake after dehydration and during exercise make muscles more susceptible to cramping, most likely due to a dilution of electrolytes. However, when consuming fluid containing electrolytes, the susceptibility to muscle cramps decreases.

Which leads to treatment 2…. Yes, these drinks are loaded with sugar, but they also contain the proper balance of sodium, magnesium, and potassium needed during high-intensity or long-endurance sports. Drinking too many sugar-laden beverages can lead to weight gain or other health issues such as diabetes.

Therefore, you should drink sports drinks only before, during, or immediately after periods of exercise. You can take electrolyte pills in place of sports drinks. However, if you take this route, know that your body will also require a certain amount of glucose sugar to sustain energy levels.

So if you opt for electrolyte pills, be sure to eat high-carbohydrate snacks before and during exercise. You can take garlic, chili pepper, or peppermint capsules to prevent or stop exercise-induced muscle cramps.

Last, if muscle cramps do start, use a natural menthol, camphor, or peppermint oil or cream to rub on your pain spots. If you begin experiencing cramps in the back of your legs calf or hamstring muscles , turn around and walk backwards.

Walking backwards will change the reactions and demands on the leg muscles and stimulate tissue lengthening and muscle imbalance correction. In fact, many endurance athletes and runners have noticed that simply walking backwards is enough treatment to completely stop leg cramps in their tracks. As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content.

Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Jami Cooley is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant as well as a Registered Nurse, but her interest in integrative medicine grew out of her experience in conventional medicine.

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