The chances that you experience a muscle spasm throughout your lifetime are very high because it is believed that at least 95% of people do at some point in their lives.
There are many things that can cause a spasm and almost every single muscle in the human body is prone to experiencing it at least once in one’s life.
Muscle spasms are most likely not a symptom of a serious underlying condition.
There are cases when muscle spasms may show that there is a medical condition that has to be treated (such as multiple sclerosis, for example), but other than that, most of the spasms can be treated at home, without the need of a doctor’s intervention.
However, it is more than worth pointing out the fact that muscle spasms that are recurrent, as well as those that are painful and persistent should definitely be examined by a specialist because there may indeed by an underlying cause that has to be treated properly.
What Are Muscle Spasms, Really?
Most of us would describe muscle spasms as sharp throbs of pain in the muscles. What happens is that all the fibers in a muscle contract at once, but they do not return to their initial relaxed state, which consequently makes the person experiencing this feel pain.
A muscle spasm can last a few seconds or a few hours and the pain that comes with it can be alleviated in multiple ways.
Basically, there are 3 types of spasms and each of them has causes that are slightly different. The main type of muscle spasm (and the most commonly encountered one) is the true spasm, which can be caused by factors such as:
Exercising too vigorously. When you do this, you risk straining your muscle and making it not have the power to return to its relaxed state – hence muscle spasms can appear as a result of overdoing it when working out.
Our bodies are very intelligent systems and if you break a bone, it is likely that the muscles around it will try to isolate it, which in itself can cause a muscle spasm.
When they say that we are made out of water, they mean it. Not drinking enough water or over-exercising your body can have a harsh effect on your muscles, which will be depleted of the water they need in order to function properly (and consequently they will contract involuntarily).
Vitamin deficiencies. You don’t eat right just for the sake of how your body looks, but for the sake of how your body feels as well.
It is important that you take your vitamin B, D and A because these vitamins are essential for the good functioning of the muscles and a deficiency in them can lead to muscle spasms.
There are certain types of medication such as some diuretics, some drugs used for treating Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s (and a series of other drugs too) which can cause muscle spasms.
There may be other causes that lead to the so-called “true spasms”, but the above are the most commonly encountered.
In addition to true spasms, one can also encounter tetany spasms, which were named after the fact that it was thought that they are only caused by the tetanus toxin. This toxin affects the nerves, which can send signals to the muscles to contract involuntarily.
However, nowadays, specialists agree that tetany spasms can be triggered by other causes as well (such as vitamin deficiencies, for example).
Last, but not least, dystonic spasms are contractions that appear in groups of muscles that are not used for a particular action.
These are the kind of spasms that appear in the case of writers, for example or in the case of those who play a particular musical instrument. Very frequently, dystonic spasms are associated with medical conditions that fall under the broader category of “dystonias”.
Alleviating the Pain with Lavender Essential Oil
It has been reported that lavender oil may be able to treat and ameliorate muscle spasms regardless of what causes them.
The theory is not as unbelievable as some may be able to think it is though, especially since essential oils have been used in treating various conditions and symptoms for a very long time now.
Certain essential oils have the power to relax the muscles and to relieve the pain because they have antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
As a matter of fact, there are essential oils out there that contain up to 95% methyl salicylate, which is basically the very same main ingredient found in the common aspirin as well.
Coming back to essential oils that can be used to alleviate muscle spasms, it appears that lavender oil is one of them.
It is quite well-known that lavender oil can relax one even just by its smell and that it is one of the most powerful anti-insomnia oils there are. But did you know that massaging it into the painful spot can reach the muscle quite rapidly and help it relax from the contraction?
In addition to being a very good muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory home remedy, lavender oil is believed to be anti-depressant and antiseptic as well.
Furthermore, it has also been used for coughing, influenza and other lung-related health issues and it is believed to be able to defend the body from airborne viruses too.
Essential oils can really make the difference in many ways and not just because they will make a room or the water in the bathtub smell nice.
They have been used in treating a whole variety of symptoms for a very long time now and the fact that we have evolved technologically should not necessarily mean that we should be leaving everything else behind.
One tiny bottle of this essential oil can really come in handy when you are in pain and having it around the house may be one of the best things to do.