Muscle spasm

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

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]

Muscle spasm is a potential symptom of Long COVID in the World Health Organization's definition.[6]

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 cyclobenzaprine.[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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Muscle spasm (Involuntary Hypertonicity)". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Muscle cramp". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 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, AC 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. (December 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.
  6. Soriano, Joan B.; Allan, Maya; Alsokhn, Carine; Alwan, Nisreen A.; Askie, Lisa; Davis, Hannah E.; Diaz, Janet V.; Dua, Tarun; de Groote, Wouter; Jakob, Robert; Lado, Marta; Marshall, John; Murthy, Srin; Preller, Jacobus; Relan, Pryanka; Schiess, Nicoline; Seahwag, Archana (October 6, 2021), A clinical case definition of post COVID-19 condition by a Delphi consensus, World Health Organization (WHO) clinical case definition working group on post COVID-19 condition, World Health Organization