Muscle cramp and muscle spasm: Three types of muscles make up the body.
A muscle spasm happens when skeletal muscle contracts and does not go back to its relaxed state. Spasms are forceful and involuntary. A muscle spasm that sustains/continues is a muscle cramp. The leg muscles, especially the quadriceps/thigh, hamstrings/back of the thigh, and gastrocnemius/calves, are prone to cramping, but any skeletal muscle can cramp. Charley horse is another name for a muscle cramp.
There can be a variety of causes for muscle cramps. This includes:
Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD can include symptoms like:
Most times, muscle cramps are not a cause for alarm. However, there are times when cramps could be indicating a more serious health issue like:
Medications can cause cramps through differing mechanisms. These include:
They can interfere with electrolyte levels, contribute to the breakdown of muscle tissue, and/or interfere with blood circulation. Any medication-related muscle cramping should be reported to a doctor.
Night cramping, especially in the calves, is common and affects up to 60% of adults. Women are more prone to night-leg cramps than men. They are also common with age and a common contributor to insomnia. Muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction are believed to be a factor. Management remedies include:
The majority of cramps resolve on their own within a few minutes without treatment.
Strategies for reducing the risk include:
Insulin assists the transport and storage of energy glucose to cells, tissues, and organs. These include the body’s glucose storage like the skeletal muscles and liver. Once the blood sugar returns to a base level as the glucose is absorbed, the pancreas begins producing glucagon instead of insulin. Glucagon tells the liver to release the stored sugar, which typically happens between meals. What happens to the body when eating too much sugar and carbohydrates than the glucose-storing organs can handle?
Individuals with Type 1 diabetes have a pancreas that does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetics need to control their glucose levels with lifelong insulin therapy.
With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas ends up producing insulin through frequent outbursts. When this starts to happen more than normal, the cells eventually lessen their insulin sensitivity. The body becomes numb to the signaling that there is excess blood sugar in the body. This is what happens in individuals with insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes can be managed or prevented with diet adjustments.
AAOS: “Muscle Cramps.” Jun. 2017.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: “Muscle Cramp.”
American Academy Physician: “AAN Recommendations on Symptomatic Treatment for Muscle Cramps.”
American Family Physician: “Nocturnal Leg Cramps.”
American Osteopathic Association: “Muscle Cramp – A Common Pain.”
Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: “The Athlete With Muscular Cramps: Clinical Approach.”
National Cancer Institute: “Muscle Types.”
National Institute of Mental Health: “What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?”
Professional Scope of Practice *
The information herein on "Muscle Cramp and Muscle Spasm: Bio-Chiropractic Insight" 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 your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Blog Information & Scope Discussions
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 a wide array of 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 support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt 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, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card
A satisfying salad is great way to get more fruits and vegetables high in… Read More
Introduction The central nervous system is responsible for sending neuron signals to all the organs and muscles… Read More
Individuals on their feet all day regularly experience back problems and discomfort symptoms. Wearing unstable… Read More
Introduction Many people in the workplace suffer from back pain, which can limit and affect their… Read More
Working out on treadmill is a great way to get cardiovascular exercise when unable… Read More
Introduction The spine consists of soft tissues, ligaments, the spinal cord, nerve roots, and cartilage,… Read More