Treating pain and spasms with hot or cold therapy can be extremely effective. Stretching the area that has muscle spasm can generally help improve or stop the onset of the spasm. Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain, or simply maintaining a position for a long period of time can cause a muscle cramp. From why they happen to whether pickle juice can actually stop them, here's everything you need to know about muscle cramps.
If you have persistent muscle spasm, especially if it's severe, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant or pain reliever. But if you have frequent muscle cramps, and especially if you have other symptoms of muscle weakness or loss, it's time to see your doctor. Although generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle. If you ever wake up at night or are suddenly stopped by a Charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain.
By doing so, the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous system are activated to trigger muscle contractions necessary for normal muscle movement. Drinking plenty of water and stretching your muscles before any repetitive exercise or movement can help prevent muscle spasms. If you're experiencing muscle spasms as a symptom of fibromyalgia, natural muscle relaxants, such as magnesium and cayenne pepper, may help. Cramps also occur when a muscle can't relax properly (for example, due to a deficiency of magnesium or potassium in the diet) or when it is irritated by a buildup of lactic acid (which can happen if you don't rest your muscle after a lot of exercise).
This is different from muscle contractions, a very mild, repetitive contraction of a muscle that can be seen or felt or not. When you're in a severe muscle cramp, deep breaths and a little time often help your muscles relax. Muscle spasms can feel like a mild contraction or a painful cramp, and can occur in muscles anywhere in the body. Muscle relaxants used for muscle spasms are called centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxants (SMR) and are often only prescribed for periods of 2 to 3 weeks.
In many cases, the muscle contracts to such an extent that the entire limb or body moves physically, especially if they are larger thigh or calf muscles.