Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps can occur when a muscle involuntary and forcibly contracts and cannot relax. Muscle spasms are very common and can affect any muscle. They can involve a part or all of a muscle, or even several muscles in a group.
Spasms in skeletal muscles are common and are often due to overuse, repetitive motion, muscle fatigue, dehydration, and electrolyte abnormalities. Spasms occur abruptly, are painful, and are usually short-lived.
Muscle cramps are generally harmless, and they usually go away after a few minutes. It’s recommended to contact your health care provider if the spasms are severe, frequent, are accompanied by redness or warmth, and don’t resolve with stretching and fluid replacement.
Ways To Prevent Muscle Spasms
- Stay Hydrated. It’s important to drink enough liquids every day. The amount on liquids needed can depend on your diet, your sex, age, your level of activity, the weather, your health, and medications you take. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces ie. if you weigh 150 lbs, then drink 75 oz of water per day. Fluids are needed to help your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated. During exercise or high activity, it’s important to replenish fluids at regular intervals and continue drinking water or other fluids even after you’re finished.
- Stretch Your Muscles. Stretching before and after you use any muscle for an extended period is very helpful. If you tend to have leg cramps at night, try to stretch before bedtime. Light exercise, such as gentle yoga or a relaxing evening walk for a few minutes before bedtime may also help prevent cramps while you’re sleeping.
Natural Treatments For Muscle Spasms
- Heat. Heat can increase the blood flow and circulation to muscles in spasm or painful tissues and joints. Heat also relaxes tight muscles to decrease stiffness and increase flexibility.
- Massage. Massage is a very good option for muscle spasm treatment. Massage can increase blood flow and circulation, relax the muscle and improve flexibility, and bring back the normal contractility and function of the muscle.
- Supplements. Supplements are worth considering when looking for treatment for muscle spasms since its possible that the spasms are occurring due to deficiencies. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and B and E vitamins can all be extremely healthy and is a subject of value to discuss with your wellness provider.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is also an effective alternative for relieving pain, treating muscle spasms and restoring range of motion. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation locally, can reset neural pathways and decreases pain, and promotes the re-oxygenation of the tissue.
- Chiropractic Care. In order to treat the origin of the muscle spasm, seek the professional guidance of a chiropractor. A Chiropractor will be able to examine your condition closely and determine the best course of treatment. An array of joint and/or soft tissue manipulations may work out tension or abnormalities triggering spasms. Chiropractors are trained in the mechanical functions of the body. This combines everything from the way muscles, ligaments and bones work together to assist your body in moving as it was intended.
The Takeaway: Preventing And Treating Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms or cramps often catch you by surprise. You might be relaxed and preparing to sleep or engaged in vigorous exercise when your muscle or muscles contract without warning.
Typically, the pain tends to pass within a short period of time and, hopefully, does not occur very often.
However, for folks who do find themselves dealing with muscle cramps and spasms on more than an occasional basis, it may be important to take steps to prevent and resolve the primary issue.
If you are interested in learning more about health and wellness, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted practitioners at SHIN Wellness. We offer many other holistic treatments such as Decompression Therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Neurofeedback, Psychology, Reiki, Nutrition, Massage, Rolfing, and Corrective Exercise. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized consultation. Our Wellness Center and Chiropractor office in Miami Florida specializes in restoring your health!