Involuntary muscle spasms

Involuntary muscle spasms

Muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary movement which is not under our control in one or more muscles.

People sometimes call it a charley horse or a twitch. Involuntary muscle spasms can happen in any muscle of the body, and they are quite common. Involuntary muscle spasms often occur as a result of stress, exercise, or sometimes dehydration. They are mostly not a cause for any serious concern.

In this article I have tried to explain why these involuntary muscle spasms happen. Muscle pain, body fatigue, and overuse of muscle are the most common causes of muscle spasms but there are other causes too which include stress or anxiety, these can lead to muscle twitches in the face.

 

What are the causes for involuntary muscle spasms?

What are the symptoms for involuntary muscle spasms?

What is the treatment for involuntary muscle spasms?

How to prevent involuntary muscle spasms?

When to see a doctor for involuntary muscle spasms?

 

 

What are the causes for involuntary muscle spasms?

Muscle spasms are very common they aren’t something serious mostly. They can occur in any part of the body, however they tend to affect the:

  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Thighs
  • Abdomen
  • Intercostal muscles ( that are around the rib cage

Nerve Damage

Involuntary muscle spasms involve small muscle contractions in the body. The muscles are made up of fibers which are controlled by nerves . Stimulation or any damage to a nerve can cause the involuntary muscle spasms. Most muscle spasms  go unnoticed and aren’t cause for a great concern only sometimes intervention is needed and in these few cases, they may indicate a nervous system condition and where one must see the doctor.

Exercise

Involuntary muscle spasms can take place after extreme  physical activity because lactic acid accumulated in the muscles which is used during exercise. It typically  affects the arms, legs, and back.

Stress and anxiety

Involuntary muscle spasms can be caused by stress and anxiety and are often called “nervous ticks.” These can affect any muscle in the body and lead to spasms

Caffeine.

Having too much amount of caffeine and other stimulants can cause involuntary  muscle spasms  in any part of the body .

Deficiencies

Deficiencies of nutrients can cause involuntary muscle spasms, particularly in the eyelids, hands and calves. Some common types of nutritional deficiencies include vitamin D, vitamin B, and calcium deficiencies but other deficiencies can cause these too.

Dehydration

Not drinking desired amount or we can say enough water can cause muscle contraction and involuntary muscle spasms, especially in larger muscles of the body which include the legs, arms, and the torso.

Smoking

The nicotine that is main substance found in cigarettes and other in other tobacco products can cause involuntary muscle spasms, especially in the legs. Muscle spasms can occur in the eyelid and in the area around the eye when the eyelid or the surface of the eye has irritation

Drugs

Some drugs or medications have  adverse reactions including corticosteroids and estrogen pills as these can trigger involuntary muscle spasms which may affect the hands, arms, or legs.

Sports

Mostly athletes who either do not warm up before they exercise or who exercise in very hot temperatures may also experience involuntary  muscle spasms. Drinking water before sports or workout is necessary as drinking insufficient water  can also cause painful muscle spasms. Certain people are more vulnerable to involuntary muscle spasms than others. Those who are most at risk are following:

  • Older adults
  • Athletes
  • Obese people
  • People with overweight
  • Pregnant women
  • Some people who have serious health conditions, like nerve disorders or thyroid-related issues, these all also tend to experience a higher-than-average frequency of involuntary muscle spasms.

Atherosclerosis 

It’s a medical condition where narrowing of the arteries mostly peripheral artery happens, this may also lead to involuntary muscle spasms and cramps, due to inadequate blood supply and nutrients that are delivered to the muscle.

Chronic neck and back pain

This is not very common but these two  can lead to recurrent involuntary muscle spasms. As Large muscle groups make up the trunk area  so in case of injury to these spasms can happen in these muscles

Obesity

Being obese can cause stress and also strain of the core muscles of the trunk, which will result in involuntary muscle spasms of the neck and upper and lower back.

Systemic illnesses

Some systemic medical condition like diabetes, anemia or, kidney disease, and thyroid and other hormone related issues have a potential to cause involuntary  muscle spasms.

Diseases of the nervous system

Some neuronal medical diseases like  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, or any injury to spinal cord  can be associated with involuntary muscle spasms.

Involuntary muscle spasms typically aren’t anything to worry about, however in some cases, they can be a sign of an underlying neurological health condition where we need to check with the doctor. As neurological that conditions affect the brain, which is responsible for making the muscles move and for all other functions in our body.

 

What are the symptoms for involuntary muscle spasms?

  • Not all involuntary muscle spasms are painful  only some can cause pain. It may feel like as if the muscle is jumping or we can say moving on its own, with this feeling typically lasts just for few seconds. Sometimes this happens people might  be able to see the muscle twitching.
  • Few times it feels as though the whole muscle has cramped up and is not movable at all this effect typically  happens in the legs, and its quite painful most of times . The affected muscle may even feel hard to the touch. While this muscle spasm feeling tends to pass within several minutes , the muscle may continue to hurt for quite some time afterward.
  • If involuntary muscle spasm is part of a neurological health disease , the person will usually experience other symptoms too. These might include following:
  1. Pain in the back, in the neck, or head
  2. Weakness in the muscles all over
  3. Skin numbness
  4. A pins or needles like sensation
  5. A tremor
  6. Paralysis
  7. Poor coordination
  8. Slow movements
  9. Double vision

 

What is the treatment for involuntary muscle spasms?

  • Involuntary muscle spasms usually resolve on their own. They might take a few seconds or sometimes even several minutes  to stop, however they do not often need any treatment in normal cases. Drinking good amount of water can help ease dehydration related involuntary muscle spasms.
  • If a person has a painful cramp, they can try a few methods to ease the symptoms of spasms. Its better to stop any activity that led to the spasm like running, if happens do these :
  • Massaging the affected  muscle gently
  • Stretching the affected  muscle gently
  • Using a heating pad to relax the muscle that is having spasms
  • Applying an ice pack to soothe the affected muscles
  • If in case the pain is in the calf muscle, the person should try putting his weight on the affected leg and bending the knee slightly as doing this will stretch the muscle and help in to relive the pain.
  • If cramping affects the quadriceps muscled that is the ones at the front of the thigh area the person can try holding the foot of the affected leg behind them like bending and gently pulling it up toward near the buttocks, keeping the knees together this may help too.
  • In more severe cases where some underlying neurological issue is causing the involuntary muscle spasms, doctors may recommend an antispasmodic medicine or further testing for diagnosis

 

How to prevent involuntary muscle spasms?

  • Staying hydrated that is drinking plenty of water and stretching the muscles before any workout or exercise or repetitive movements can help prevent involuntary muscle spasms.
  • There are people who experience Involuntary muscle spasms in the legs during the night, stretching the limbs before going to bed can help prevent this from occurring.

 

When to see a doctor for involuntary muscle spasms?

Be it spasms or muscle cramps they are not usually a cause for concern as they are normal to happen, typically  in athletes and other people who exercise on regular basis. But, In some cases, they may indicate a serious  underlying health condition, like multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease kidney disease , or cirrhosis of the liver. So anyone who regularly experiences severe and painful involuntary muscle spasms should speak to a doctor as it may be something serious

 

Outlook

Involuntary muscle spasms are very common, and people do not usually need to worry about them as they aren't that serious or anything . Typically  excess exercising, dehydration, and anxiety  are the most common causes for them .

These spasms happen when the muscle suddenly moves involuntarily that is without the knowledge of a person. Involuntary muscle spasms can feel like a  twitch or sometimes a painful cramp, which can occur in the muscles anywhere in the body.

These spasms can last only for a few seconds or up to few minutes, however they tend to go away on their own without any special  treatment. Gently stretching or massaging the affected muscles where spasm is happening or using a heat pad or cold pack may help too

 

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Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA

Email: info@MarsoClinic.com

Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

Terms of Use