Pretty much everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some point. A muscle cramp is an involuntarily contracted muscle that does not relax, similar to a spasm, but a cramp lasts longer and is usually a forcible contraction. During a cramp, the muscles tighten without voluntary input from the brain and over-tighten. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to an hour or longer. They can be prevented through adequate nutrition and hydration, attention to safety when engaged in physical activity or exercise, and attention to posture and ergonomics. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can develop personalized treatment plans for individuals experiencing musculoskeletal issues.
Table of Contents
Muscle cramps can occur in any muscle. The cramp may involve a portion of a muscle, the entire muscle, or several muscles that function together. A muscle or a few tissue fibers that involuntarily contracts is in a spasm. If the spasm is forcefully sustained, it turns into a cramp. They can cause a noticeable and/or hardening of the involved muscle/s. They can be experienced as mild twitches or can be excruciatingly painful. Some can involve the simultaneous contraction of muscles that normally move body parts in opposite directions. It is not uncommon for a cramp to flare up multiple times until it finally stops.
They can occur during physical activity, exercise, rest, or night, depending on the cause. There are various causes that, include:
Most times, they are not a cause for alarm; however, depending on the individual, their age, type of physical activity, and medical history, cramps could indicate a more serious underlying problem such as a thyroid disorder, liver cirrhosis, atherosclerosis, ALS, or a problem or condition of the spine or spinal nerves.
The muscles involved can indicate the mechanism and cause.
First, the cause needs to be identified through medical history and examination. There can be an underlying nerve irritation and interference, restricting the muscle or muscle group, which needs to be dealt with for the therapy to be effective. Chiropractic care, combined with therapeutic stretching and massage therapy, can:
Adjustments will restore proper alignment and restore nerve communication. These treatments help to release toxins, loosen and relax the muscle tissues, and provide relief.
Blyton, Fiona, et al. “Non-drug therapies for lower limb muscle cramps.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 1,1 CD008496. 18 Jan. 2012, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008496.pub2
FIELDS, A. “Leg cramps.” California Medicine vol. 92,3 (1960): 204-6.
Garrison, Scott R et al. “Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 9,9 CD009402. 21 Sep. 2020, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009402.pub3
Katzberg, Hans D. “Case Studies in Management of Muscle Cramps.” Neurologic clinics vol. 38,3 (2020): 679-696. doi:10.1016/j.ncl.2020.03.011
Miller, Kevin C et al. “An Evidence-Based Review of the Pathophysiology, Treatment, and Prevention of Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps.” Journal of athletic training vol. 57,1 (2022): 5-15. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-0696.20
Miller, Timothy M, and Robert B Layzer. “Muscle cramps.” Muscle & nerve vol. 32,4 (2005): 431-42. doi:10.1002/mus.20341
The information herein on "Muscle Cramp: EP's Chiropractic Injury Specialist Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card
For individuals wanting to improve their fitness routine can incorporating wearable weights and knowing how… Read More
Many individuals attribute to some degree, their neck or back pain to unhealthy posture. Can… Read More
For individuals having difficulty moving or functioning normally due to injury, surgery, or illness, can… Read More
For individuals trying to build muscle but are not seeing results, can knowing factors like… Read More