The majority of muscle spasms last for a few seconds, but a 15-minute cramp feels like it lasts an eternity. If you regularly get painful muscle spasms, the health experts can evaluate you and give you tips for relief at Doctors United in the West Farms and Wakefield neighborhoods in the Bronx, White Plains, Yonkers, and Ardsley, New York. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book an appointment online right away.
Muscle spasms are a symptom with many possible implications. Also called muscle cramps or charley horses, they happen when your muscles contract involuntarily and often painfully.
Any of your muscles can experience spasms, and they tend to set in unexpectedly. The most common areas to get muscle spasms are your:
When a muscle spasm happens, it can take some time for the muscle to relax. Some muscle spasms are nothing more than a slight twitch, but others are prolonged and intense.
A muscle spasm can last for upwards of 15 minutes and can recur several times before the muscle finally relaxes.
Experts aren’t sure exactly why muscle spasms happen spontaneously. However, there are several possible contributing factors that may put you at a higher risk for intermittent muscle cramps. You might get them because of:
If you get muscle spasms often, your provider at Doctors United can evaluate you. They ask questions about when the muscle spasms tend to occur, how often you get them, and which muscles tend to spasm.
Fortunately, muscle spasms do not tend to indicate serious underlying conditions, and you can treat the symptom itself conservatively.
Most of the time, you can manage muscle spasms with self-care at home. However, your provider at Doctors United can provide you with tips on how to do so.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to manage muscle spasms is to gently stretch and massage the affected muscle or muscles.
Your provider at Doctors United can show you effective ways of stretching the muscles that tend to cramp the most. For example, muscle cramps in the calves tend to respond to placing weight on the leg and bending the knee.
During a muscle spasm, you can apply heat or cold to the muscle in an attempt to help it relax. A warm bath or cold compress reduces the pain and promotes muscle relaxation.
Another way of managing muscle cramps is to take vitamin B complex. Since nutrient deficiencies may be at play, you might find that taking this supplement reduces the number of muscle spasms you get.
Muscle spasms happen to everyone once in a while, but recurrent spasms are more than a slight nuisance. To schedule an appointment at Doctors United, call the closest office or book a visit online today.