What is muscle spasm?
A muscle spasm or cramp is an involuntary contraction of a muscle. Muscle spasms occur suddenly, usually resolve quickly, and are often painful.
Spasms may occur when a muscle is overused and tired, particularly if it is overstretched or if it has been held in the same position for a prolonged period of time.
What Causes A Muscle Spasm?
· Spasms may occur when a muscle is overused and tired, such as if it has been held in the same position for a prolonged period of time
· Abnormal supply of water, glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium can cause the muscle to become irritable and go into spasm.
· Because of adequate blood supply and nutrients are not able to be delivered to the appropriate muscle.
· Systemic illnesses like diabetes, anaemia, kidney disease and thyroid and other hormone issues are also potential causes of muscle spasms.
· Diseases of the nervous system or spinal cord injury can be associated with muscle spasm.
How to treat?
1) Infrared ray therapy
Heat therapy or thermotherapy has been known for generations to be an effective way
to soothe pain and offer relief from muscle spasms. Infrared Rays are active waves of
invisible light produced by the sun and its deep penetrating heat reaches up to 2 inches
into the muscles and bones. Infrared ray cause the vasodilatation of the superficial area,
and will increase the blood circulation thus reduce muscle spasm.
2) Short wave diathermy
Short wave diathermy helps to reduce muscle spasm because heat is produced due to
moving the molecule in the tissue. The heat produce will give the effect to reduce muscle
3) Cold Theraphy
· When ice or cold applied onto the tissue, tissue will try to keep the core body temperature. The result is reducing the blood flow and cell metabolism via the vasoconstriction of the blood vessel.
· Cold also decrease the conduction velocity of gamma motor neuron thus will reduce the muscle spasm.
· Cold therapy also bombard the pain centre by block the pain from receive the pain centre so it will help in reduce spasm.
How can muscle cramps or muscle spasm be prevented?
· doing stretching before and after exercise or sports, along with an adequate warm-up and cool down
· Good hydration before, during, and after the activity is important, especially if the duration exceeds one hour, and replacement of lost electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium.
· Avoid excessive fatigue, especially in warm weather.
Credit to Mr Mohd Adnan Abdul Hamid