Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. The cause may be anomalies in any of the steps that lead to muscle contraction, including damage to the nerve pathways. Underlying these anomalies can be a prolonged physical activity or dehydration and mineral deficiency , or metabolic diseases, myotonias (e.g. myotonic dystrophy), stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, neurodegenerative disease, trauma, spinal damage or poisoning of the nervous system caused by substances such as insecticides or strychnine. The spasm may be associated with a muscle cramp that can trigger a localized pain, sometimes very intense. Other times, involuntary muscle contractions lead to contractures that develop more slowly, taking days or even weeks before they manifest with symptoms.


What kind of diseases can be associated with muscle spasms?

The following diseases may be associated with muscle spasms:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Esophageal diverticula
  • Inflammation of the trigeminal nerve
  • Myotonia congenita
  • Neuromyotonia
  • Paramyotonia congenital
  • Anal fissures
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Tetanus

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for muscle spasms?

Most muscle spasms cause cramps that do not require treatment and resolved with a little stretching, massage and patience. Prolonged cramps may instead benefit from taking some medicines recommended by your doctor.

In case of dehydration is good to hire water and minerals. In severe cases, where the oral intake is not enough, you may need to resort to the drip.

If the cramps are caused by a neurological or metabolic problem, it may be necessary to address a specific therapy.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of muscle spasms?

It is good to consult your doctor if muscle spasms are intense, if are not solved simply by stretching, if recur often and if they last long.