Many of us experience muscle spasms on a daily basis. A muscle spasm can be defined as an uncontrolled and sudden tightening a muscle that results in sharp pain. Although they happen suddenly and do not last very long, the pain involved is generally intense. When the spasm is sustained, not ending shortly it then becomes a muscle cramp.
Spasms also differ from twitches. A twitch will cause a section of a muscle to just move or jump suddenly and this is generally just irritating and there is no pain involved. Chronic spasms are often characterized by a soreness in the muscle that lasts for a period of time that is extended.
The torso is the area of the body that extends from the neck down to the pelvic area and does not include the arms. Torsos muscle spasms can be any sort of muscle spasm in this area whether it is in the front or the back.
Medical experts believe that the main causes of muscle spasms have to do with an insufficient amount of electrolytes that happen to be responsible for the proper coordination and interaction of the muscles. When the muscles do not have enough circulation of water, nutrients and oxygen they can become irritated which can then lead to spasms anywhere in the body. Here are a few of the factors that are known contributors to triggering chronic muscle pain:
– Overuse – Many people who suffer from chronic muscle spasms actually cause this condition by overusing or overstretching the muscles in question. This is a reason that muscles frequently spasm.
– Prolonged stress – Using particular muscles for extended periods of time can lead to both muscle spasms and muscle fatigue.
– Narrowing of blood vessels – This is known in the world of medicine as atherosclerosis. It can increase muscle spasms, cramps and pain in the area of the narrowed vessels due to the vessels not being able to get adequate amounts of electrolytes and oxygen to them.
– Nerve disorders – People who experience chronic muscle spasms sometimes have these as a symptom of a more serious condition such as multiple sclerosis or an injury to the spinal cord. Anytime there is damage to the nervous system, many parts of the body can be affected and nervous system damage can many only one muscle spasm, all of them or none at all depending on the type of nerve damage.
– Dystonia – This is actually a movement disorder. Specific muscle groups will all spasm at once in this condition and they will all be painful. Many times, this is associated with strokes although not 100% of the time. Without treatment in a pretty small period of time, this can be absolutely debilitating.
– Systemic Illnesses – Muscle spasms that are chronic frequently occur in patients who are dealing with kidney failure, hormonal disorders and diabetes. The reason for this is because of the disturbance in the circulation of blood.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The sooner that you can get this pain diagnosed, the better it will be for you. It can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as a nerve disorder or fibromyalgia. In order to diagnose you, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms and then go over your medical history, any current medications, the types of exercises you do and any food supplements you take.
There are times when patients are hospitalized for diagnosis and when this happens, if no spasms present during the stay, there are certain tests that can be done in an effort to isolate the cause of them.
Any methods of treatment that are appropriate for the specific condition of the patient are decided with references to the cause and/or disease severity. Here are some of the treatment approaches:
- For instant relief, try moving and stretching the muscles that are spasming. Doing this will assist in relaxing the muscle contractions and treating the spasms.
- If you are suffering from a muscle injury or soreness, then rest is recommended. Avoid stressing the muscles even further so that you can heal faster.
- Applying alternating ice and heat to the affected muscles is also a good non-medicine treatment. It soothes the muscles and reduces the intensity of the pain in the process.
- In truly chronic cases, muscle relaxers are prescribed.
- In cases of severe muscle pain and soreness, injections are sometimes given to numb and paralyze the muscles that are affected.
- Massage therapy is also recommended for treatment if muscle spasms in long-term conditions.