muscle cramp

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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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Muscle cramps arise in 33% to 86% of patients on hemodialysis (Canzanello & Burkhart, 1992).
3) Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as inadequate blood supply and narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs and can produce cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while you're exercising.
Muscle cramps may have serious consequences for patients who experience them.
Anecdotal stories suggest that athletes who eliminate calcium-rich dairy products can become plagued by muscle cramps. For example, a ballet dancer who reintroduced yogurt and skim milk to her diet reports her cramps disappeared.
Further, skeletal muscle cramps at any site may arise from the intramuscular portion of the motor nerve terminal itself[10] or from the peripheral portion of the nerve.[2]
A: In a research study including patients diagnosed with restless leg syndrome, Theraworx Relief was shown to reduce symptoms commonly associated with and accompanying RLS, including muscle cramps and spasms.
It's estimated that one-third of adults will be affected by lower limb muscle cramps, and up to three in five have suffered from foot and leg cramps during sleep.
Especially popular with older patients, who are woken at night with muscle cramp and then have problems getting back off to sleep.
Medical research shows that as many as 95% of Americans experience a muscle cramp at some time in their lives.
For muscle cramp that occurs at night, your doctor may prescribe you a low dose of quinine.
JUST about everyone has had muscle cramp. The good news is that although it can be painful, it's rarely serious.
But such is not the case when you are experiencing muscle cramps because of liver disease.