Muscle spasms can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, ranging from benign to serious. In some cases, they may be the result of neurological problems. To understand the connection between neurological issues and muscle cramps, it's important to understand what muscle spasms are and how they can be treated. A muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
It can be very painful and severely limit the range of motion of the affected muscle. Muscle spasms can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, including exercise-related muscle cramps, benign leg cramps, and more serious conditions. In cases where muscle spasms are caused by other underlying conditions, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, or Botox. For more serious conditions, your doctor may order an electromyography (EMG) test.
This test involves inserting a small needle into a muscle to record its electrical activity when the muscle is at rest and when it contracts. One neurological disorder that can cause muscle spasms is Issacs Syndrome (also known as neuromyotonia, Isaacs-Mertens syndrome, continuous muscle fiber activity syndrome, and quantum waste syndrome). This rare neuromuscular disorder is caused by hyperexcitability and continuous activation of peripheral nerve axons that activate muscular fibers. Symptoms include progressive muscle stiffness, continuous muscle contraction or contraction (myocymia), cramps, increased sweating, and delayed muscle relaxation.
These symptoms can occur even during sleep or when people are under general anesthesia. If you experience arm or trunk cramps or muscle spasms, it's important to see your doctor to determine if the cause is a disorder such as a hormonal or electrolyte disorder or a drug. In contrast, benign leg cramps and exercise-related muscle cramps tend to affect the calf muscles and other muscles in the extremities, back, neck, and voice.