Muscle Spasms Can Be Quite Debilitating
The human body is an incredible network that works together to keep us healthy and upright. Most of us will experience some ailment or injury during our lifetime – some more than others. One of the most common complaints from people of all ages is muscle pain, tightness, or spasms. Today we are going to look at muscle spasms and how to treat them naturally at home. Depending on the location of the spasm and what’s causing it, relief can come quickly. Others might face the frustrations of dealing with a persistent spasm that won’t go away. Whichever lane you fall into, it is essential to know how to treat the spasm and find relief.
At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we want to give you the knowledge and tools to live your happiest, fullest life. We understand how frustrating and nagging muscle twitches and spasms can be. Because there are so many potential causes (physical, neurological, or systemic) of muscle problems, it is important to be patient. Our team of experienced doctors, nurses, and staff will work closely with you to find the problem. As a leading regenerative medicine clinic, we have many tools, tests, and treatments at our disposal, including stem cell therapy and injections. We have seen firsthand how effective they can be for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including muscle spasms.
Today’s blog is devoted to at-home treatment options for muscle spasms. However, if you have tried the tips below and are still suffering, please contact the nearest Texas Partners Healthcare Group location to you. Our friendly staff are here to help and will do everything we can to get you back on your feet and feeling 100 percent.
What are Muscle Spasms?
Before we look at treating muscle spasms, let’s go over what, exactly, they are. Also referred to as muscle cramps or Charley horses, spasms can occur in any muscles, including the legs, back, hands, feet, eyes, toes, and hands. This sudden, involuntary contraction of the muscles can be excruciating and can occur in the largest or smallest muscle in the body. How long a muscle spasm lasts will depend on a host of factors, but most people have them for as long as several seconds to 15 minutes or more. Muscle spasms can affect the skeletal muscles along the limbs and spine or the smooth muscles that incase our internal organs. If you are experiencing widespread chronic muscle spasms, it could be connected to a more severe condition that could be vascular, hormonal, or nutritional. Even though muscle spasms are so common, the way they show up can be frustrating.
How to Recognize a Muscle Spasm
Understanding the signs of a muscle spasm will help you find the best treatment for your needs. They can range in intensity from a mild annoyance to severe pain. Muscle spasms do not discriminate. They affect the young, old, healthy, sick, sedentary, and active. If you’ve experienced a muscle spasm before, chances are you know what it feels like. Sometimes, signs of muscle spasm are less obvious. Here are a few tips to help you recognize muscle spasms:
- Muscle pain
- Involuntary twitching of a muscle
- The muscle may feel harder to the touch
- The muscle appears visibly distorted
- Obvious signs of twitching
- The spasm lasts for a few seconds to minutes
- The spasm is recurring
Common Causes of Muscle Spasms
In most cases, muscle spasms are responses to overexertion, pain, or fatigue in a specific muscle. They can happen during the day or in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep cycle. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 60 percent of adults have experienced nocturnal muscle cramps. However, they may also be a sign of a systemic or neurological condition. This is why timing, frequency, duration, setting, and any potential pattern are so important. All of these things can tell us a lot about the muscle spasm and what may be causing it. It is important to note that anyone can experience muscle spasm, even those that are healthy.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Muscle fatigue
- Physical exertion in hot temperatures
- Imbalances in potassium, magnesium, and calcium
- Unfamiliar exercises
- Peripheral artery disease
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Systemic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and anemia
- Thyroid and hormone imbalances
Tips for Treating Muscle Spasms at Home
Muscle spasms are somewhat of a mystery for many reasons. The good news is there are many ways to treat them at home and naturally. Some of the most effective treatment for muscle spasms include:
- Stretching – This is a big one. Before any physical activity, you must stretch the muscles to warm them up. Stretching can also offer relief amid a muscle twitch. Muscle spasms treated with stretches often occur in the calves, thighs, back, and neck.
- Massage – Another great way to find relief is through massage. If you can reach the area, gently rub the muscle that is twitching. If the spasm persists, pinch the area (not too hard) until the twitch dissipates.
- Hot and cold therapy – Using hot or cold therapy can also be useful in treating muscle spasms and the associated pain. For recurrent spasms, use an ice pack on the area for 15 to 20 minutes, several times a day. You can also use a heating pad to ease the discomfort, but this should generally be followed with an ice pack.
- Stay hydrated – One of the leading causes of spasms is dehydration. If you are experiencing a spasm, drink some water and try to up your water intake to prevent additional spasms.
- Light exercise – Many people have found they can prevent muscle spasms (especially at night) by doing some mild exercises before bed. Some simple examples include jogging in place, walking up and down the stairs, riding a stationary bike, or bouncing on a trampoline.
- Supplements – There are numerous herbal remedies and supplements thought to be effective in treating muscle cramps. Vitamin B12, magnesium, salt tablets, chamomile, cherry juice, blueberries, cayenne pepper, and vitamin D are all examples.
If you are experiencing persistent muscle spasms, and you need help managing your symptoms, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today. The above tips may offer some relief, but in some cases, additional therapies are needed. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.