A spasm refers to sudden and short-lived bursts of energy and can affect the working of the muscles in any part of the body. The occurrence of spasms may affect the functionality of the body and cause mild to severe pain, depending on the type. While the disease can range from skeletal muscles to smooth muscles, there may be some instances when the spasm affects the transmission of brain signals due to an abnormality.
What Is A Muscle Spasm?
A muscle spasm refers to any condition in which there is an involuntary contraction of a muscle or a collection of muscles. Their incidence is sudden, and in normal cases, spasms tend to resolve rapidly, but they normally cause pain.
As the body is majorly made up of muscle mass, the three forms of muscles in the body are skeletal muscles, smooth muscles and cardiac muscle. These muscles enable the efficient functioning of the body, working collectively together. The physical body part relies on the movement of underlying skeletal muscles to execute an action, depending on the conscious signal from the brain, while the internal parts work with the help of smooth muscles. Whenever there is a problem with the muscles, the functioning of the body is affected as a whole.
Causes and Incidence of Muscle Spasms
When a variety of muscles are involved, the cause of spasms can be characterized by a several reasons. The cause will depend upon the part of body involved, the influential factors, and the external movements of the body. The prevailing reason for the occurrence of spasms is the overuse of muscles and tiredness. If the muscle gets overstretched or remains in the same position for an extended period, spasms may result. What happens internally is that upon such an impact, the energy and fluid runs out of muscle, leaving the muscle to become hyperexcitable, which results in a contraction. This process may affect the whole muscle, a certain part of it, or it may appear in muscle groups.
The incidence of spasms is common for people doing heavy physical activities like sportsmen and even the people doing daily chores, which require heavy lifting or other such movements. Spasms may also result from exercising in abnormal amounts. The typical causes include dehydration and a lack of minerals and electrolytes the muscles need to function well. Other potential causes include chronic illnesses such as diabetes, anemia, kidney disease, and hormonal disturbance.
In normal cases of spasms, no treatment is required other than letting the muscles relax. The spasm occurs and vanishes in a matter of seconds, as generally the contraction is of a sudden impact and quickly dissipates. The situation is aided by soft stretching, which helps the muscle relax and eases the pain. If the incident of spasm gets prolonged, intense treatment needs to be sought that helps fill in the salts and fluid that the muscles require in order to function properly and to prevent cramping.
Topical Treatment for Muscle Spasm Pain
Topical drugs can be used along with oral ones to treat muscle spasms. Treatment of the underlying disease can help surface the symptoms, however. Topical medications are aimed to overcome the pain progression and improve the functionality of the muscles in order to prevent cramps from occurring. The commonly used topical medications for spasms are anesthetics, alpha-adrenoreceptor antagonists, and cannabinoids. These have peripheral action when applied on the skin, and make the muscle contraction easy.
As topical medicines offer instant pain relief, applying topical solutions on the site of injury or spasm allows the muscles to relax. However, there is a limit to the amount of medicine that can be applied, and you must strictly adhere to the amounts stated on the labels or by the doctor’s prescription. Additionally, topical medications are effective for curing the muscle spasms, while there may also be a requirement of oral medications.