What is muscle spasm?
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A spasm is a painful involuntary contraction of a muscle. Muscles that are too short and too tight are more likely to spasm.
What are the symptoms of spasm?
- Sudden onset cramping with severe pain
- Strong muscle pain that may not feel like a cramp
- Painful and/or restricted movement
- Headaches, heartburn, dizziness and other general symptoms
What causes muscle spasm?
There are seven causes of muscle spasm:
- Accidents, falls and injuries
- Joint degeneration and joint instability
- Poor posture and postural faults
- Overuse of muscles
- Nutritional deficiencies such as lack of minerals or electrolytes
- High levels of stress also cause muscle spasm
Is hypertonicity the same as spasm?
When muscle tone is above normal, the muscle is in spasm.
Will I always know when my muscles are tight?
No. You can have tight muscles for a long time before pain shows up. Physically active individuals are less likely to suffer pain from tight muscles.
Are muscle spasms dangerous to health?
Yes, they can be. Spasm that occurs in the smooth muscles of your organs can be dangerous (example, spastic colon). Muscle spasm can entrap nerves thus causing nerve pain. Forceful muscle spasm can induce tears in tendons and ligaments. Chronic muscle spasm can cause major skeletal alignment problems and gradual joint degeneration. Long-term muscle spasm can also lead to inflammation and circulatory distress. Danger also exists from using NSAID’s and other drugs long term to alleviate the pain from spasm.
Can a muscle spasm really last for years?
Yes. Chronic muscle spasm causes the nerve feedback loops to and from the muscle to malfunction and this can prolong the spasm.
How do I cure spasm?
When spasm occurs, stop activity and carefully stretch the affected area. Massage and moist heat help. When a spasm lasts for several days, a physician will prescribe a combination of anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory drugs. Since it frequently happens that pain returns once the course of drugs is completed, t is wise to seek help from a medical massage therapist whenever spasm lasts over 24 hours.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Joan Sloss, Ed.D. LMT, has treated muscle spasm and other soft tissue pain problems. Joan is joint owner of the Healing Unleashed holistic medical center located in the Spring Hill West Office building in South Lakewood and serving metro Denver and Colorado patients. Joan holds a doctorate in Human Movement and has over 2000 hours certified training in physiotherapy including certification in medical massage and certification in wellness.
Dr. Joan Sloss will review your pain problem with you by phone to determine whether or not muscle spasm is present. Full assessment of the problem and effective treatment take place during your appointment for therapy. Call Healing Unleashed at 303.986.0492 now to make your appointment.