Muscle spasms, when chronic, can be very painful. They can interfere with how you go about your daily activities. There are many causes of chronic muscle spasms that you should know. The knowledge of this and how a chiropractor can help provide relief is important in reducing the frequency and severity of your muscle spasm(s).
What Is A Muscle Spasm?
Muscle spasms, often called muscle cramps, occur when there is an involuntary contraction of the muscles and the muscles do not immediately relax. A muscle cramp can happen to any muscle, but it is common in the back, abdomen, feet, hands and legs.
Most muscle spasms are minor and only cause a short bout of pain or an occasional twitch before being released. Typically, a spasm subsides in a few minutes. However, muscle spasms can be severe, causing intense pain that lasts longer. For example, the affected muscles, when touched, may feel stiff and may also appear distorted.
Cramps in the feet and legs often relax when you walk around, but they may get worse before getting better. Gently stretching the muscle, rubbing it and applying heat and ice often gives relief. However, the proper treatment if you often get muscle spasms is to treat the root cause. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help.
Causes Of Muscle Spasm(s)
There are many reasons for muscle spasms, which is why they are so common. Some of the more common causes may include:
- Having bad posture
- Standing for hours on a hard floor
- Sitting for long hours
- Having inflammation or nerve damage
- Having nutrient deficiency
- Overworking the muscles
- Not stretching properly
A minor spasm that happens now and then should not be a medical concern. However, muscle spasms, if frequent, may disrupt your life. At this stage, chiropractic care is needed to get the situation under control.
Symptoms Of Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms cause pain, but not all are painful. It can feel as if the muscle is jumping or moving involuntarily. This feeling usually lasts for a few seconds. For some people, the muscle twitching will be visible.
When muscle cramps happen, it may feel as if the whole muscle is cramped and cannot move at all. This effect, which can be very painful, is usually felt in the legs. The muscle, when touched, may feel hard. Although the cramping sensation may disappear in a few minutes, the muscle may continue to feel sore for a while afterward.
Muscle spasms may be a result of neurological health conditions. In this case, the person who has them will experience symptoms that may include:
- Sleep problems
- Double vision
- Slow movements
- Poor coordination
- A tremor
- Skin numbness
- Weakness in the muscle
- Pain in the head, neck or back
Chiropractic Treatment For Muscle Spasms
Severe muscle spasms can be very painful, and definitely impact how you go about your daily activities. This is because the involuntary action that happens causes the muscles to shorten.
The cramping sensation or tightness that you feel when you experience muscle spasms can happen all over your body. However, it is commonly felt in the back, arms, neck and legs (quadriceps, hamstrings).
There are many symptoms of this unpleasant sensation, but chiropractic care helps treat the root cause.
The common chiropractic treatment for painful muscle spasms may include:
1. Joint Manipulation
The most common treatment used by chiropractors for muscle spasms is joint manipulation. Most of the time, they will manipulate your spine and the joints in other areas of your body.
Manipulation is really helpful in restoring normal motion to your spine and joint. As a result, the pain is reduced, and muscle spasm is decreased as well.
2. Soft Tissue Manipulation
Another common technique used by chiropractors to treat muscle spasms is soft tissue manipulation. Treatment using this technique may include massage therapy and therapeutic stretching. Soft tissue manipulation can help decrease scar tissue.
3. Associated Therapies
Associated therapies are another form of chiropractic care for muscle spasms. This can include ultrasound, electrical stimulation of the affected muscle or cold and hot treatments. These therapies prevent scarring, swelling of the muscles and immensely help to improve circulation in the muscles.
In most cases, associated therapies reduce pain, and they can also be a means of avoiding further injury or recurrence of muscle spasms.
Some exercise routines, if prolonged, can cause muscle spasms. However, specific exercises can also be used to treat your muscle spasms. When you visit a chiropractor, you may be asked to do some stretching moves and strength training exercises.
Certain exercises recommended by a chiropractor can be used to complement other treatments to help hasten the healing process. You must follow and complete the exercises as recommended by the chiropractor.
You may not want to visit a chiropractor for your muscle spasm because it does not last for long, or it is not very painful. However, you must find relief for it to help you live a fuller and healthier life.
As per recommendations from chiropractors, a good rest can help reduce or eliminate the reoccurrence of muscle spasms. This is because muscle spasms are sometimes caused by overworked muscles. The muscles can be relaxed just by resting.
Regular chiropractic care can go a long way in helping you manage muscle spasms. Not only will it treat the pain that muscle spasms cause, but it is also effective in reducing the tightness in the muscle that causes muscle spasms. Hence, the cause of muscle spasms gets addressed.