Muscle spasms are when a muscle suddenly tightens and moves involuntarily, the spasm itself is very painful and usually doesn’t last long. This is commonly due to overuse, dehydration, and electrolyte abnormalities. Like muscle cramps, when you have a muscle spasm, sometimes it’s temporarily impossible to use that muscle voluntarily and it’s very painful. The difference is that during this short time period, for muscle spasms the muscle moves rather than being unable to move at all. Muscle spasms can also be a symptom of a harmful medical condition such as facet syndrome. If you believe your muscle spasms are a symptom of something worse contact Pegasus Pain Management.
Much like muscle spasms, muscle cramps are caused by dehydration and overuse, but they can also be caused by holding a specific position for a long period of time. A muscle cramp, also known as a ‘charley horse’, is a contraction of the muscles. Physical labor and exercise throughout a long period of time, especially in the heat, can often be the cause of muscle cramps.
Symptoms vary depending on the location of the muscle spasm. The most common symptoms are the following:
The simple “on your own” treatments include hydration, rest (or occasionally change position or walk around, if you are in one position for a long period of time), use an ice pack (helps inflammation), and use a heating pad (improves blood flow). For the pain, you can take muscle relaxants or medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There is also the option of an injection of an anti-inflammatory medication. Overall, muscle spasms are rather harmless, but can be frightening. If pain persists, contact Pegasus Pain Management to find the treatment that is right for you.