Muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of the muscle group. It is a forcible uncontrollable contraction. When a muscle is in a continued state of contraction, local circulatory and metabolic changes occur in response causing prolonged contraction of a muscle. The most common sites for muscle contraction are the back, calves, thighs, feet, hands, abdomen, and arms. Altered circulatory and metabolic rate results in muscle- pain. Muscle contraction is self –perpetuating not depending on the presence or absence of irritability due to the primary cause.
Though the actual cause of muscle spasm is unknown one of the following can be the reasons for it:
There are several treatments for muscle spasms, including:
Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help to relieve muscle spasms by relaxing the affected muscles. This can be done by gently stretching the affected muscle and holding the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
Massage: Massage can help to relieve muscle spasms by increasing blood flow to the affected area and promoting relaxation of the muscle. You can either have a professional massage or self-massage the affected area.
Heat or Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help to relieve muscle spasms. Applying heat can increase blood flow to the area and promote relaxation, while applying cold can reduce inflammation and numb the area.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve pain associated with muscle spasms. Muscle relaxants may also be prescribed by a doctor to help relax the affected muscle.