When a muscle or a group of muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is termed as muscle spasm. Along with the contraction, sometimes the spasms can cause high degree of pain in the said muscle. They are known to occur suddenly, but are also known to resolve rather quickly. Most of us have suffered from muscle spasm at some point of time in life. The most common of the muscle spasms are the back muscle spasms. Some of the muscles which may go into a spasm are the muscles of the leg, shoulder, neck, etc.
However, it is important to note that the other muscles in the body may also go into spasm. There are different reasons, which can cause muscle spasm. When the muscles are overused, overstretched, tired or they are kept in the same position for an extended period of time, they can go into spasm. There are simple measures, which bring relief from muscle spasm.
When a muscle goes into spasm in most cases it is dehydrated. Therefore, the first measure that should be taken for relief is drinking plenty of water. Although the person can drink other fluids, it is best to stick to water as it hydrates the muscles in a balanced form. Along with water, you will have to take measures to restore the mineral imbalance in the body. Calcium, potassium and magnesium should be a part of your diet. Along with the minerals do not forget the electrolytes. The muscles can go into spasm, if the level of electrolytes in the body drops down.
For relief from neck, shoulder, back muscle spasm, it is important that the said muscle be rested. It is best to lie down and leave the muscle for some time. Massaging the muscle a little can prove to be of use for getting rid of the condition. One of the ways of relaxing the muscles is to breathe deeply. When oxygen and blood supply to the affected muscle is increased, it helps in hastening the healing process.
One of the home remedies for muscle spasms is the use of ice therapy. It helps in reducing swelling as well as relieving pain caused by the spasm. Ice packs should be used at regular intervals for 10 to 15 minutes for the first 48 to 72 hours. However, it is important that ice is not used directly onto the skin, for it can cause ice burns. After the stipulated time, one can make use of hot therapy on the affected muscle. It will help in regularizing blood flow to the affected part, which in turn will help in reducing the symptoms of the condition.
When the pain subsides a little, stretching the affected muscle gently is recommended. It is important that one does not push oneself to do the stretches for it can cause more harm than good. Start stretching a little and it will be seen that movements will become far better with the gentle stretches.
Maintaining the right posture is important for the muscle to heal faster. It is often seen that the spasms in the lower back muscles are caused due to bad posture. We often have the tendency of slouching on our desks, which causes the muscles to go into spasm, due to sitting in the same posture for an extended period of time. Having the right posture goes a long way in lower back muscle spasm relief.
Preventing Muscle Spasm
So that the muscles do not go into spasms again, it is best to take certain measures. The most important point is to ensure one consumes sufficient quantity of water and is well hydrated. Having the right quantity of electrolytes and minerals in the regular diet is important for preventing muscle spasm. Before undertaking any physical activity, warm up should not be forgotten. If the muscles are not prepared for the impending activity, there are chances that the muscles will contract and go into spasm.
In case of severe pain, the muscle spasm medication are over the counter available painkillers. Muscle relaxants may also prove to be of help for relieving the condition. If the measures mentioned above do not bring muscle spasm relief, then it is best to consult a health care professional for the same.