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  • Ericka Mizuta, DPT

Treating Muscle Spasms


With the summer months approaching, there is a tendency to try out a new sport or activity. With new adventures comes the possibility for new injuries. One common injury is muscle strain or spasm. If you are the individual who decides flying over Mission Bay in your new water jetpack is a great idea, the chances of sustaining an injury such as muscle strain are significantly increased. However, not all muscle strain or spasm is caused by such extreme circumstances. Muscles can rebel against the body for a lot of different reasons.

Muscle spasms and strain may occur when a muscle is overused and tired, particularly if it is overstretched or if it has been held in the same position for a prolonged period of time. In effect, the muscle cell runs out of energy and fluid and becomes hyperexcitable, resulting in a forceful contraction. This spasm may involve part of a muscle, the whole muscle, or even adjacent muscles. Once the muscle contracts, it can remain in that position for prolonged time, and it will feel like it is cramping, stuck or tight, and can be very painful (Wedro, 2013).

Some other common reasons for muscle spasms to occur are from:

  • Overuse

  • Depletion of electrolytes or water

  • Unfamiliar exercises

  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries)

  • Recurrent pain

  • Poor posture and sleeping positions, sitting, standing, driving, bending, or lifting

  • Arthritic changes in the spine

  • Diseases of nervous system such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, etc.

Many people seek outside intervention to reduce muscle spasms and cramping because of chronic and periodic moments that can lead to increased pain and decreased function. Intervention for muscle cramping can be reduced and prevented with proper techniques demonstrated by a physical therapist.

Some techniques include using:

  • Foam roller

  • Thera ball

  • Tennis ball

  • Theracane or small massager

  • Biofreeze

  • Neoprene sleeve

It is imperative to speak with a medical professional and receive a proper diagnosis before using any of these techniques to treat any muscle damage. Some people who experience muscle cramping or spasming may be more appropriate to receive medication or further testing to rule out additional pathologies of the body. If you are concerned about recent muscle spasms or strain or have recently seen medical professional for help, but have not improved, we at Mizuta & Associates encourage you to come in and have an evaluation to help determine a proper diagnosis and how to treat the issue. For more information on muscle spasms click below:

http://www.medicinenet.com/muscle_spasms/page2.htm

#MuscleSpasms #dehydration #fatigue

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