Muscle spasm

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Muscle spasms or cramp, also known as involuntary hypertonicity, are unintentional and painful muscle contractions.[1] The pain from spasms is very sharp and intense, for example waking someone suddenly in the night, and the muscle may sometimes look hard under the skin.[2] Spasms can make it impossible to use the muscle temporarily.[2]

Prevalence[edit | edit source]

Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]

Muscle spasms are not considered a diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, but have been found to occur in people with ME/CFS.[3][4][5]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Possible causes[edit | edit source]

Muscle spasms can occur as a result of many different illnesses including:

Spasms can also be caused by

  • injury
  • dehydration
  • prolonged exercise, especially in hot weather
  • low levels of potassium, magnesium or calcium, which can result from using diuretics
  • pregnancy
  • nerve compression, particularly in the spine.[1][2]

Treatments[edit | edit source]

Drugs that treat spams are known as muscle relaxants or antispasmodics.[1]

The Canadian Consensus Criteria suggests treating muscle spasms in ME/CFS with:

  • Heat, both general and local heat
  • Baclofen (used off-label)[4]

The International Consensus Criteria primer for clinicians suggests using magnesium sulphate.[3]

Muscle spasms can also be treated with skeletal and muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol, metaxalone, methocarbamol, tizanidine, orphenadrine and cyclobenzapine.[1]

Alternative drugs for muscle spasms include diazepam (Valium), and medical marijuana (cannabis), although this has less scientific evidence.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Muscle spasm (Involuntary Hypertonicity)". Retrieved Feb 20, 2021. 
  2. "Muscle cramp". Retrieved Feb 20, 2021. 
  3. 3.03.1 Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6 
  4. Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols" (PDF), Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7-115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02 
  5. Fukuda, K.; Straus, S. E.; Hickie, I.; Sharpe, M. C.; Dobbins, J. G.; Komaroff, A. (Dec 15, 1994). "The chronic fatigue syndrome: a comprehensive approach to its definition and study. International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group" (PDF). Annals of Internal Medicine. American College of Physicians. 121 (12): 953–959. ISSN 0003-4819. PMID 7978722. 

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A fatigue-based illness. The term CFS was invented invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as an replacement for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Some view CFS as a neurological disease, others use the term for any unexplained long-term fatigue (idiopathic chronic fatigue) without additional symptoms. Sometimes used as a the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, despite the different diagnostic criteria.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.