muscle cramp

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

muscle cramp

a sudden intermittent pain in almost any part of the body. It may involve involuntary contractions of variable duration and be accompanied by spasms. Cramps may develop in striated muscle as a result of exertion, high temperature, and excessive loss of sodium, potassium, and magnesium through perspiration. Cramps can also be associated with arthritic conditions and exposure to cold. See also heat cramp.

muscle cramp

A painful, involuntary muscle contraction. It may be due to ischemia of the muscle(s), dehydration, or electrolyte imbalance.

Cramps associated with exercise may be alleviated, if not abolished, by flexing (stretching) the involved muscle group. At the same time, gentle massage to the area will help. Quinine, methocarbamol, chloroquine, and other drugs may help to relieve recurring or unrelenting muscle cramps.

Active muscle cramps, an unwanted tonic contraction that accompanies a voluntary muscle contraction, occur when the muscle is already in its most shortened position.

See also: cramp

Patient discussion about muscle cramp

Q. What are muscle cramps caused from? I am a 30 year old woman and am pregnant. I keep on getting a muscle cramps on the back on my lower leg. It really hurts! What is causing it and how can I prevent it?

A. You can get muscle cramps almost anywhere in your body during pregnancy, but the most common site is your calves. Although the spasms may only last a short time, they can be very severe.
No one knows for certain what causes leg cramps in pregnancy, though there are some theories: Deficiencies in salt, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C or changes in blood circulation.
To prevent it make sure to stretch your muscles before bed and if you do get a cramp, immediately stretch your calf muscles: Straighten your leg, heel first, and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. It might hurt at first, but it will ease the spasm and the pain will gradually go away.

Q. What causes cramps in, under and around the rib cage?

A. Im not really sure, but you may have IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS affects up to 55 million Americans, mostly women. IBS causes are unknown. IBS symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramps. There are IBS treatments such as diet and lifestyle changes and medications that can help. Do you have any of these symptoms? Almost everything that i found with rib cage pain said something about IBS. Not really sure if this is your problem, but I hope this helps.

Q. How to prevent leg cramps? Every night I get terrible leg cramps that wake me up from my sleep. This only started happening during my pregnancy. How can I stop it from happening?

A. You can try to prevent night cramps by wearing socks to bed or by pressing your foot against the bed board. If the painful cramps continue, ask your doctor about calcium or magnesium supplements as they can sometimes help.

More discussions about muscle cramp
References in periodicals archive ?
The EBSCO database, MEDLINE, and Google were searched for articles using the MeSH terms dialysis, nocturnal, muscle cramps, exercise, and electrolytes.
Persisting muscle cramps can require blood testing and an evaluation by a neurologist.
Carnitine deficiency is felt to contribute to the pathophysiology of muscle cramps, which has led to several studies of its effect on cramps.
For example, musicians, who do not usually get sweaty, often complain of muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps possibly cause pain by mechanical shearing forces on nociceptors within the muscle as some muscle fibers cramp while other nearby fibers do not cramp.
Nevertheless, to rule out any possible link between a calcium-poor diet and muscle cramps, I recommend athletes plagued by cramps consume dairy products at least twice per day.
Executives say the product, which the company began marketing regionally in eastern and southern Pennsylvania and expects to roll out nationally this year, is the only over-the-counter formula available that provides relief from muscle cramps.
Cramp911 is one of the only topical analgesics formulated specifically for rapid muscle cramp relief that is sold through OTC merchandising.
In addition to providing details on the products themselves, the site also includes information on cold sore treatment; canker sore treatment; shingles symptoms and treatment; and muscle cramp causes and treatment.
MUSCLE CRAMPS are very common, especially if you're cold, but they can also be down to lack of magnesium.
MUSCLE CRAMPS CRAMPs are very common, especially if you're cold, but they can also be down to lack of magnesium.
NASDAQ: FLKS) has released positive topline data for FLX-787 from its randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over Australian trial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with frequent muscle cramps, the company said.