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Muscle Spasm

Muscle spasm, also known as cramps is an involuntary and painful contraction/movement of the muscles. Muscle spasms may cause stiffness or swelling in the muscle. Muscle spasms can occur in any muscle of the body. It is called Charley horse when it occurs in the leg. Spasms are risk-free and die down within a few minutes. The most frequent cause for muscle spasms:


  • Exercising heavily, more than the normal routine.
  • Exhaustion of the muscles
  • Calcium and magnesium deficiency/insufficient levels in the body
  • Dehydration in the body
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Excessive medications
  • Excessive intake of alcohol

Muscle spasm symptoms include rigid or tight muscles and severe pain. The muscle appears to be knotted.

  • Stretch the affected muscles just immediately after the spasm.
  • Stop all activities and relax.
  • Heat therapy will help initially and after a little pain relief, ice therapy will improve on the relief.
  • With severe pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will help.
  • In very severe cases, anti-spasm drugs are prescribed.
  • If any nerve is the cause of the spasm then physical therapy should be given.
  • While active in sports activity and spasm occurs, drink water as dehydration during play causes spasms.
  • In severe cases, massage therapy might be recommended.
  • Injections are given directly to the spot in extreme cases.
  • Acupuncture too helps.

Tetanus

Tetanus or lockjaw is a bacterial disease that affects the nerves and muscles. Tetanus is caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria that enter the body through a skin wound. The bacteria produce a neurotoxin that leads to muscle spasms. The muscles of the face and jaw are first affected. The area of the wound is also affected. The toxin then affects other parts of the body as it travels through the blood and lymph systems. Tetanus can be fatal if not treated promptly. Tetanus can occur in cases of injury such as small cuts, frostbite or burn. Tetanus-causing bacteria are found in soil, saliva or feces and contaminated needles. Newborn infants can get affected by tetanus due to unsanitary conditions during childbirth.


Symptoms of tetanus include muscle spasms in the jaw. The patient may notice these spasms later in the neck, shoulders, abdomen and limbs. Fever and irritability are often noticed. Severe spasms can cause difficulty in breathing. If you have a wound, ensure that it is kept clean. If there is a risk of tetanus infection, the doctor may give a shot of tetanus vaccine. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Sedatives may be given if the patient suffers from muscle spasms. Tetanus usually occurs in people who have not be immunized or haven't had a booster shot.


Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells is damaged. This leads to slowing of nerve impulses. Inflammation along the brain, optic nerve or spinal cord leads to nerve damage.

Those who have a family history of MS are more susceptible to this condition. The symptoms appear in episodes that relapse after days or weeks or even months. The episodes might be triggered by stress or fever.


Symptoms of Multiple sclerosis appear all over the body as they affect nerve cells. There is numbness and loss of balance, tremors in arms or legs, muscle spasms and difficulty in walking. There is an overriding feeling of fatigue. Patients suffering from MS might have eye discomfort with double vision or loss of vision. There might be painful spasms in the facial muscles and stool or urine leakage. The person might experience depressive feelings, slurred speech and difficulty in swallowing.


MS is diagnosed through brain MRI and spinal MRI. Spinal tap of cerebrospinal fluid is done to check for Multiple sclerosis. Medications to reduce the degradation caused by MS include interferon, Methotrexate, azathioprine (Imuran), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Speech therapy and occupational therapy helps the patients to a large extent.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: August 24, 2019