Muscle Pain

Can Muscle Spasms Cause Nerve Damage

Can Muscle Spasms Cause Nerve Damage

There are three groups of muscles they are; skeletal, smooth and heart muscles. There are many things that can cause pain to occur in these muscles. Some are quick fixes while others are more serious.

I will discuss what causes muscle spasms, what you can do to prevent them and if this type of pain can cause damage.

Attack of the Pain

A muscle spasm is different from muscle pain. A muscle spasm will cause your muscle to violently contract involuntary, then relaxes.

It can be a part, all, or even a group of muscles. Sometimes these muscle spasms will continue, until the problem’s resolved.

The most common type of muscle spasm occurs in what’s known as the skeletal muscles. These are the muscles that’s attached to your bones. They are found in your arms, legs, face, back, neck and your body.

The cause for a muscle spasm in your skeletal muscles can be from dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, or lack of specific vitamins.

If a person is dehydrated from sweating excessively, or vomiting this will deplete their electrolytes. Your body has to have the correct amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium to work correctly. Without them, your muscles will violently tense up.

Likewise your body needs B vitamins and vitamin D to work correctly. These types of muscle spasms have a sudden onset and generally lasts for only a few seconds.

When the skeletal muscles contract involuntarily, the muscle will enlarge. Often the person will want to stretch the muscle, which will alleviate some of the pain.

Another thing that can cause muscle cramps, is overworked muscles. Especially if that muscle’s overstretched, or has remained still for a long periods of time.

Sometimes, working a muscle hard in hot temperatures, will cause a muscle spasm to occur. This is often seen in athletes and construction workers.

Usually it’s the larger muscles that give them the problems. If it’s a heat induced, the person will feel this pain after they have stopped working.

Starting a new exercise regimen, can result in overusing muscles. One exercise that’s famous for muscle cramps is sit-ups. This is why an instructor will tell you to start slow and don’t push yourself too hard.

Occasionally, normal daily activities can cause you to overuse your muscles. This would include things like raking the lawn, mowing the grass, shoveling snow. Sometimes writing for long periods of time can cause writer’s cramp.

Atherosclerosis which is Harding of the arteries can also cause muscle spasms. This is because of the lack of blood, oxygen, and essential nutrients to the affected area.

Sometimes, people experience muscle spasms at night. Specific diseases usually cause this. Restless leg, diabetes, neuropathy, anemia, kidney disease and hormone deficiency are a few. Arthritis is another one that can cause nightly muscle pain.

Diseases of the nervous system can also cause muscle spasms. Some of them include. Muscular dystrophy and spinal cord issues.

Some disorders cause muscles to spasm in an uncontrolled repetition. The symptoms are generally mild, but often worsen as the disease progresses.

Some of these include; dystonia, which affects speech, blepharospasm, eye blinking and torticollis where the head uncontrollably moves to one side.

This is usually caused by depletion of certain chemicals in the brain acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin and GABA.

Without the correct amount of these chemicals, the signals to the neurotransmitters are incorrect. This can also be the result of a stroke. If these spasms continue, for long periods of time, you should see a doctor

Stopping the Pain in its Tracks

It’s always a good idea to prevent muscle spasms from happening, whenever possible. This includes not letting yourself get dehydrated.

If you work in a hot area drink plenty of fluids, preferably ones with electrolytes and take frequent breaks. Warming up your muscles before you exercise, will also help stop this from occurring.

If the spasms continue, you might need to take an anti-inflammatory medicine, to help relieve the pain. Sometimes doctors will prescribe muscle relaxers, or other forms of medicines to help ease the pain.

If a person continues to have muscle spasms, despite all the preventive masseuses, I’d advise you to see a doctor. He will do a history and physical.

The physician might order blood tests to determine the cause. The most common blood work is a CBC. This will determine if there’s an electrolyte imbalance, and any specific diseases.

He will look at the creatinine to see how the kidneys are functioning. He might check your thyroid as well. He will look at the CPK to see of this pain is causing you muscle damage.

The doctor might order an EEG or an EMG to decide if it’s caused from a neurological issue. He might do a Doppler study to see blood flow in your lower extremities. Your physician might include a CT scan, or an MRI to check your circulation.

Organs Twinges

Sometimes a person will have a muscle spasms in their smooth muscles. These muscles make up our organ walls.  Some of them include; your stomach, esophagus, intestine, kidney and bladder.

Unlike skeletal muscles, when these muscles contract it squeezes that specific organ. These movements are involuntary and is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, in the brain.

A muscle cramps in these types of muscles are generally caused from things like; kidney stones, diarrhea, gallbladder pain, menstrual cramps, Kidney disease, bladder infections and UTI.

If the problem is severe you might want to be seen by a physician. He will do a history and a physical to find what’s causing the discomfort. Treatment will depend on the cause.

The Painful Ending

Muscle spasms can occur for many reasons. Some of them include; dehydration, vitamin depletion, overworked or strained muscles. Some disease might cause this to occur.

Can these muscle spasms cause nerve pain? Usually they don’t cause damage, but if they continue over time, left untreated, they can cause damage to your muscles and your nervous system.

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