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Related to Muscle spasms: Muscle twitch


1. a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
2. a sudden, transitory constriction of a passage, canal, or orifice; spasms usually occur when the nerves supplying muscles are irritated, and are often accompanied by pain. A vasospasm is a rare type that occurs in a blood vessel. Spasms vary from mild twitches to severe convulsions and may be the symptoms of any number of disorders. Usually, they will cease when the cause is corrected, but sometimes the only treatment is to suppress the symptoms, as in epilepsy.

Clonic Spasms. These are spasms in which contraction and relaxation of the muscle alternate; this is the most common type of spasm and usually is not severe. A typical clonic spasm is the hiccup. Hiccups usually occur when the diaphragm is irritated, as by indigestion, although occasionally they may result from a serious condition such as a brain tumor; they generally disappear by themselves or after a drink of water.

Spasms may be repetitive twitching motions, some of which are called tics. Tics often accompany other types of spasm, as in such diseases as cerebral palsy and sydenham's chorea, and may also be seen in neuralgia. In tic douloureux the nerves of the face are involved.

Habit spasms are a type of repetitive twitching movements that seem purposeless or without a cause; they include twitching of the face, blinking of the eyes, and grimacing. The movements are rapid and always repeated in the same way, unlike the spasms associated with chorea. The motions are carried out automatically in response to a stimulus that once may have existed but no longer does.

In a convulsive spasm the entire body is jerked by sudden violent movements that may involve almost all the muscles. These spasms may last from a fraction of a second to several seconds, or even minutes. (See also convulsion.)
Tonic Spasms. If the contraction of a spasm is sustained or continuing, it is called a tonic or tetanic spasm. These are generally severe because they are caused by diseases that affect the central nervous system or brain, such as tetanus, rabies, and cerebral palsy. Severe tonic spasms can be fatal if not treated promptly; continued spasms can bring on exhaustion or asphyxiation. The treatment varies with the cause; if the disease is caused by a microorganism in the system, as in tetanus, antiserum must be administered immediately. Antibiotics are also used to help curb infection. In many cases tranquilizers, sedatives, and narcotics must be administered to help ease the spasms.
bronchial spasm spasmodic contraction of the muscular coat of the smaller divisions of the bronchi, as occurs in asthma; called also bronchospasm.
clonic spasm a spasm consisting of clonic contractions; see also clonus.
infantile s's (infantile massive s's) (jackknife s's) a syndrome of severe myoclonus appearing in the first 18 months of life, and associated with general cerebral deterioration; it is marked by severe flexion spasms of the head, neck, and trunk and extension of the arms and legs. Called also jackknife seizures.
nodding spasm clonic spasm of the sternomastoid muscles, causing a nodding motion of the head.
saltatory spasm clonic spasms of the muscles of the lower limbs, producing a peculiar jumping or springing action.
tetanic spasm (tonic spasm) physiological tetanus.


A sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles; includes cramps, and contractures.
Synonym(s): muscle spasm, spasmus
[G. spasmos]


A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.


Neurology An abrupt, violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. See Blepharospasm spasm, Bronchospasm, Carpopedal spasm, Coronary artery spasm, Esophageal spasm, Vascular spasm.


A sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscle groups; includes cramps, contractures.
Synonym(s): muscle spasm, spasmus.
[G. spasmos]


Involuntary strong contraction of a muscle or muscle group. Spasms may be brief or sustained (cramps) and may result from minor muscle disorders, disease of the nervous system or habit (TICS).


An involuntary, sudden, violent contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.


Sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles; includes cramps and contractures.
[G. spasmos]

Patient discussion about spasm


A. the Pancreas does not have sensory nerves in it. this is the reason why pancreas cancer is the most deadly- you don't realize it's there until it's much too late. so this pain you describe does not ad up to be from the Pancreas.
i think this is a very good reason to see a Doctor.

Q. I ask a client's Dr. to script flexaril for a lower back spasm and he made it for a drug called zanaflex? I am unfamiliar with zanaflex, what is the difference between it and flexaril 25mg? Benefits? Risks? I got him to order the air mattress and extended bed because client is 6'3" and is already bedridden on my 1st day..try to beat the skin breakdown, already stage I decubitis ulcers. I tried to talk the client into slideboard and lift away arm wheelchair...noway..he wants to walk bent with a rolling walker. He already had a lift chair delivered, so he just goes from bed to lift chair. He refuses to let me bathe him. He can't see, and he has me check his draw up on insulin to make sure it's right. He sends the P.T. man right back out the door after he signs the sheet. Difficult pt.!

A. Flexeril and Zanaflex are different drugs but are both muscle relaxants. There are hardly any differences between the two, clinically wise. If the doctor thought one is better than the other for your client I would suggest you take his advice and use the one he gave you.

More discussions about spasm
References in periodicals archive ?
Background: Musculoskeletal diseases with painful reflex muscle spasm have a high prevalence.
The possibility of postoperative muscle spasm was thought of and we decided to give epidural domdine.
For severe pain, your GP may prescribe aa stronger painkiller such as tramadol, andstronger painkiller such as tramadol, and a short-term muscle relaxant (usually diazepam) for severe muscle spasm. The diazepam) for severe muscle spasm.
History and physical examination both are important for ruling out other reasons for pain, including vulvo-dynia, pelvic floor tension muscle spasm, and interstitial cystitis.
Pacik said that as many as 6 percent of women worldwide suffer from the muscle spasms caused by a reflex reaction to sex, reports the New York Daily News.
Symptoms of the condition include lass of balance, fatigue, headaches, muscle spasms and numbness.
The inquest heard Alison, of Birchgrove, Cardiff, had complained of muscle spasms in her legs since the 1990s.
Some people with spinal-cord injuries (SCIs) struggle with drowsiness caused by medication they take for uncontrolled muscle spasms (spasticity).
I read several letters in The Saturday Evening Post concerning muscle spasms and muscle cramps [Mar./ Apr.
Several consumers have sought emergency medical treatment after ingesting the suspect product, with symptoms including difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness.
The most frequent adverse events were diarrhea, muscle spasms and other symptoms related to the disease.
At times, I simply identified a set of stressors and described how they could be translated to a specific system in the body and lead to nighttime teeth grinding and muscle spasms during sleep.