Muscle spasms are quite common and almost every person has experienced one happen at one time or another. It occurs when the muscle contract involuntarily and causes a lot of pain. The condition is sometimes referred to as ‘charley horses’. These cramps or spasms may occur at any point of time and is very difficult to predict or prepare for.
There can be several causes behind muscle cramps, which include poor blood circulation and working out too much. Too much physical activity in hot and humid weather can also cause painful muscle cramps. Muscle fatigue, dehydration, absence of muscle stretching exercises can also lead to the spasms. Furthermore, a spinal cord injury or nervous disorder in the neck area can also cause cramps.
Certain medications can also cause cramps as a side effect. In such a case, the person will need to report the same to their doctor and get the medication changed. Apart from this, doctors may also ask patients to perform certain leg exercises or stretches that may help control the pain and frequency of the cramps.
Muscles spasms can sometimes be indicative of an underlying disorder. However, in most cases, the cause may be a simple enough to treat. For instance, if the spasm is caused due to dehydration, simply drinking water and ingesting enough electrolytes for a few days will help the patient get rid of the cramps.
However, poor blood circulation in your legs can be difficult to treat in a single day. For such a condition, the patient may be asked to perform stretching exercises and other leg workout sessions daily. Sitting for prolonged period of time may also cause the spasms to recur. So, the best way to treat poor circulation in the leg is to walk after regular interval.
Massaging the muscle where the cramps are experienced can also lead to relief in some cases. Doctors also recommend taking a bath with Epsom salts if you want to further reduce the muscles spasms.
Preventive measures such as eating foods containing magnesium, calcium and vitamins can also be effective. However, if you experience frequent cramps and none of the solutions listed above help you stop the painful contractions, you should consult a doctor and get checked out.
People who experience painful cramps on a semi-regular basis can seek treatment, although medication is seldom used to cure cramps. If the cramps are caused as a result of side effects from other medications, you may have to change the medication causing it.
If a person experiences cramps once in a while, he/she should not seek any treatment, as such cramps are normal. Needless to say, people who do not experience cramps also do not need to seek the treatments for the same.
There are almost no side effects to the treatment for muscle spasms. Most of the time, medication is not even needed to cure the condition. Simple stretching exercises and proper diet can aid you in avoiding the painful spasms.
There are no guidelines to follow as such, but people who experience cramps should stay hydrated and also ensure that they follow a balanced diet. Furthermore, regular stretching can also help prevent spasms from recurring. Any nerve related disorders or a spinal injury can still cause cramps, but such an injury involves specific treatment procedures, which will also treat any spasms resulting from the same.
Recovery depends on the cause for the spasm. For instance, when the spasm is caused as a result of dehydration, patients may recover as soon as the body gets enough fluids and electrolytes. However, if the cramps are caused due to a spinal cord condition, the treatment may take longer.
The cost for treatment depends on the cause of the spasm. In most cases, muscle spasm treatment will cost around Rs. 100. However, in more severe conditions, the treatment cost can be substantially higher. Patients may have to spend anywhere between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 in such a case.
Results of the treatment may not always be permanent. For instance, in case of spasms caused by dehydration, the treatment with electrolytes may solve the condition for the time being. However, if the person does not drink enough fluids the next day, the spasm may recur. However, cramps resulting from spinal cord injuries may be treated and such treatments are more likely permanent.
Alternative treatments for muscle spasm include leading a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, drinking ample amount of water and fluids, and massaging the muscles where the cramps occur. Keeping a proper posture and applying ice packs on the muscle can be effective in treating the condition, without the use of supplements or medication.