A muscle spasm occurs due to an involuntary contraction of the muscles and can cause mild to severe pain, that can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Muscle spasms are usually self-diagnosed because generally the spasms will have subsided by the time the doctor sees the patient. Most muscle spasms subside over a short period of time but if the spasms do not subside or become a reoccurring event, then medical attention should be sought to determine a cause.
Since this is caused by an involuntary action, a person will not able to stop it just by telling the brain to stop.
A muscle spasm can occur in many areas of the body like the legs, back or neck and can be caused by several different factors. Muscle spasms can occur due to dehydration or having a poor diet that lacks the necessary nutrients and vitamins like magnesium or calcium. Stomach or leg muscle spasms are often caused by added stress put on the muscle during exercise or sports. There are several different medical conditions that can cause muscles spasms to occur including multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, thyroid problems and anemia.
The best way to get rid of muscle spasms is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Several things can be done to avoid muscle spasms like drinking lots of water to keep the body hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet that provides the necessary vitamins and nutrients. A vitamin supplement can be taken to help ensure proper nutrition. Before starting to exercise or play a sport, a warm-up routine should be done to properly stretch the body’s muscles.
If the muscle spasms cannot be prevented then there are several steps to take to help stop the muscle spasms. Start by stretching the muscle out to try to break the contraction and then gently massage the area until the pain subsides. For muscle spasms in the back, one should lay down to keep the stress off of the muscles until the pain goes away. Heat by means of a heating pad, steam or hot bath can be used to help relax the muscles and stop the spasms.
There are also several types of pain medication that can be used to help relieve the pain that is associated with muscle spasms. Some of these medications are pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen and muscles relaxants. These medications can be especially helpful for those who suffer from back muscle spasms.