SEPA Pain & Spine
Pain Management located in Horsham, PA & Langhorne, PA
Muscle spasms and cramps are common and usually harmless, but some people experience them regularly or with most physical activities. If you repeatedly get painful muscle spasms, contact SEPA Pain and Spine at the practice’s Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, or Chalfont offices in Pennsylvania. Their highly skilled pain specialists diagnose and treat the causes of muscle spasms, relieving your discomfort. Call the nearest SEPA Pain and Spine office or book an appointment online today for effective muscle spasm relief.
Muscle Spasms Q & A
What are muscle spasms?
Muscle spasms or cramps happen when muscles suddenly contract and can’t relax. They’re very common and can occur in any muscle or part of a muscle, but they’re most common in the:
Leg cramps, which most often affect the calf muscles, are known as Charley horses. When leg cramps occur during sleep, they’re called nocturnal leg cramps.
Muscle spasm intensity ranges from mild discomfort to severe pain. The muscle might feel hard, twitch, and look abnormal. These spasms last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or sometimes longer, and can recur repeatedly before easing off.
What causes muscle spasms?
Muscle spasms don’t have a single cause, but the following are likely triggers:
- Insufficient stretching
- Muscle overtiredness
- Exercising when it’s hot
- Knotted fascia (connective tissue surrounding the muscles)
- Lack of electrolytes (salts and minerals in your body)
- Nerve signal abnormalities
- Restricted blood supply
- Excessive stress
- Overdoing high-intensity exercise
- Sitting for long periods
- Standing or working on concrete
- Poor posture
You can also get muscle spasms if you have conditions like discogenic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
Muscle spasms can happen at any time to anyone and are usually nothing to worry about. However, if you get severe muscle spasms, they happen frequently, don’t respond well to treatment, or aren’t related to obvious causes, there could be an underlying problem.
How are muscle spasms diagnosed?
To diagnose the underlying cause of frequent, severe muscle spasms, your SEPA Pain and Spine provider goes over your medical history, asks detailed questions about your symptoms, and performs a physical exam.
You might also need blood tests and/or diagnostic imaging procedures like a CT scan or MRI.
How are muscle spasms treated?
If you get a cramp, stretch and massage the affected area. Stand and walk if you’re able to and apply gentle heat. Warm water is often very soothing. Painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can ease any remaining pain.
If you have muscle spasms in areas of knotted muscle or fascia, therapeutic massage and trigger point injections can help. Trigger points are knots of tissue that radiate pain. Injecting them with a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid eases the inflammation and massage unknots the tissues. You might also benefit from a vitamin B12 complex dietary supplement.
To prevent muscle spasms, ensure you follow a proven fitness regime, warm up properly before physical activities, and do regular stretching exercises. Drink frequently, preferably water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of troublesome muscle spasms, call SEPA Pain and Spine today or book an appointment online.
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