What Can Cause Muscle Spasms?

Normally, muscles are controlled through signals sent by means of your nerves, but there are all sorts of reasons why these signals can malfunction and muscle cramps or convulsions can establish.

What Causes Muscle Convulsions?

If you can identify with any of the scenarios listed below, this may be the root cause of your muscle convulsions:


  • your diet is somewhat bad, which suggests you might be taking in too much sodium and inadequate crucial electrolytes like magnesium or potassium.
  • you experience poor blood flow (you may have cold hands or feet or a purple/blueish color in your toes and fingers).
  • you have spasms after holding a position for a long time or sitting down for long periods with bad posture (which may affect your lower back or neck).
  • you’re dehydrated, possibly from working out in the heat without drinking enough water.
  • you’ve been working out and putting great deals of pressure on your leg muscles, especially your feet and calf muscles.
  • you have the tendency to avoid heating up or stretching prior to workout and don’t appropriately stretch afterward.feet and athletic shoes
  • you’ve simply finished long-distance exercising, such as running or cycling, which causes muscle fatigue and perhaps electrolyte imbalance.
  • you were just recently injured, especially around your spine, lower back or neck, which might have caused nerves to become pinched.
  • you’re presently pregnant — spasms are more typical in pregnant women, plus a calcium shortage can in some cases cause pregnant women to have muscle cramping.
  • you’re anticipating to get your menstruation soon.
  • you take medications that are diuretics (triggering you to lose water/fluids) that impact your blood pressure or treat high cholesterol (statins).
  • you have an existing medical condition, such as diabetes, liver disease or thyroid disorder, that impacts fluid levels.

For the most parts, muscle spasms or cramps are nothing serious and will go away as soon as you attend to the underlying problem that’s causing them. But sometimes they can indicate that you have a more serious condition that may cause damage to your nerves, changes in blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances or unusual fluid levels.

If you experience muscle spasms more and more often and the lifestyle changes above do not help resolve them, talk with your doctor about having actually some tests done to make sure there’s not a hiding chronic condition that’s triggering your pain.

Here are a few of the typical manner ins which muscle convulsions can establish:

  • Muscles stop getting blood and nutrients: When you have bad circulation and high levels of inflammation, your muscles don’t receive sufficient blood, oxygen and electrolytes to keep them stable. This may happen due to the fact that your arteries remain in poor shape, which cuts off the supply of blood to your limbs most. Because your toes, ankles and calves are some of the farthest body parts from your heart, this is one factor these areas are most susceptible to muscle pains. Low blood supply in your legs is called arteriosclerosis of the extremities and is one of the most typical causes of muscle cramps.
  • Electrolyte levels fall too low: Muscles require enough minerals to move, agreement and relax, so having low potassium, low calcium or magnesium shortage can cause cramping and pain. Some of the methods these ended up being depleted are through exercise or eating a poor diet that’s low in nutrient-packed vegetables and fruits, plus high in sodium. Some medications also cause electrolyte levels to change, such as those for treating hypertension.
  • Dehydration: Muscles can spasm when your fluid intake is low or when you’ve been consuming diuretics that increase urination, some herbal teas, or particular medications and prescriptions. That’s due to the fact that your body just has a lot fluid to walk around, so when you’re running low and experiencing dehydration, fluid is drawn away from muscles. Rather your body focuses on keeping essential fluids in parts of your body that are needed to keep you alive (your brain and other crucial organs). The problem is that there’s numerous nerves that connect to muscles and manage your movements, but these only work appropriately when they’re surrounded by sufficient water and salt. When this ratio is off and you’re dehydrated, muscles become hypersensitive and involuntarily agreement.
  • Nerves end up being pinched or compressed: Sometimes cramps in your leg muscles or lower back are in fact caused by compressed or pinched nerves in your spine. Poor posture can add to stress accumulating in your lumbar stenosis (spine), which can activate spasms when you begin moving or unexpectedly change positions.

Muscle Spasms vs. Pulled Muscles: What’s the Difference?

While muscle spasms have the tendency to be quite harmless and temporary, muscle pulls can be another story. A pulled muscle takes place when your muscle end up being stretched, torn or injured. This can happen due to overuse, built-up inflammation or abrupt movements. There are different types of muscle pulls: acute (which begin all of a sudden from injury, a fall or twist) that last for a much shorter period of time and overuse injuries that develop gradually due to inflammation.

Some examples of intense muscle pulls include twisting/spraining your ankle or “throwing away” your back. Overuse muscle pulls typically happen in athletes or people who are active, particularly if they’ve been using a muscle consistently without allowing adequate time in between activity for muscle tissues to heal. Two types of overuse muscle pulls include tendonitis and bursitis.

How can you tell if you’re dealing with a muscle pull and not simply a convulsion? Pay attention to the scenarios: Did you experience an abrupt blow or injury? Did you hear a pop or snap? Are you perhaps dehydrated? You can likewise try using pressure to the painful area to examine if it feels more like a “knot” or deep pain.

Try to find signs of swelling and inflammation, which can represent a pull. Attempt really carefully moving the stretched area, stretching, or pressing your thumb and fingers into where it hurts. If this helps separate the pain, it’s most likely a convulsion or cramp. If this feels really painful, you’re most likely dealing with a pull considering that pulled muscles do not relax once you extend them.

Takeaways on Muscle Spasms

  • Muscle spasms are uncontrolled contractions of several muscles.
  • Muscle spasms are more than likely to take place in the feet, lower back and legs, but you can get them anywhere.
  • One of the most common and agonizing types of muscle spasms is the “charley horse,” which causes cramping in the calf muscles so bad that it can wake you right up out of sleep.
  • The older you get, the more likely you are to struggle with periodic muscle spasms.
  • You can naturally treat muscle spasms by avoiding electrolyte imbalances, stretching and massaging your muscles, staying hydrated, using ice or heat loads on sensitive muscles, fixing your posture, and taking a bath with epsom salt.
  • Pulled muscles normally arise from injury, while muscle convulsions aren’t always due to injury.
  • The most typical ways muscle spasms establish include muscles stop getting blood and nutrients, electrolyte levels fall too low, you’re dehydrated, and nerves become pinched or compressed.


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