Muscle Spasms

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What types of doctors treat muscle spasms?

Primary-care providers treat patients with muscle spasms. Often, the spasms tend not to cause prolonged symptoms that require emergent or urgent care, and the patient sees their regular doctor for evaluation and treatment.

However, some situations require more aggressive intervention, depending upon the situation, and emergency providers often see those with illnesses associated with smooth muscle spasm, including abdominal or chest pain that may ultimately be diagnosed as kidney or gallbladder colic, irritable bowel syndrome, or esophageal spasm.

Skeletal muscle spasm might be evaluated by emergency physicians when there is also heat-related illness present or there is concern regarding muscle damage.

Different situations may require the services of specific specialists. For example, patients who have leg cramps may have a sleep disorder and may need care by a sleep specialist. Neurologists care for patients with movement disorders. Endocrinologists help control diabetes. Vascular surgeons may be required to discuss treatment options for patients with peripheral vascular disease.

What is the prognosis for muscle spasms?

Most people experience infrequent muscle spasms and do well with prevention (keeping well hydrated and not overusing their body).

However, those who have an underlying medical condition as a cause of muscle spasms often need to treat the original medical problem to help control the muscle spasms. This is especially true for those with peripheral artery disease or movement disorders. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/21/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Bucholz, R.W., J.D. Heckman, and C.M. Court-Brown. Rockwood and Green's Fracture in Adults. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

Daroff, R.B., et al. Bradleys' Neurology in Clinical Practice, 6th edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Saunders, 2012.

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