Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing strenuous exercise in a hot environment, prolonged muscle use, and certain diseases of the nervous system may cause muscle spasms. Symptoms and signs of a muscle spasm include an acute onset of pain and a possible bulge seen or felt beneath the skin where the muscle is located. Gently stretching the muscle usually resolves a muscle spasm. Read more: Muscle Spasms Article
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Parkinson's Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Treatment
Discover the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment options for Parkinson's disease. Learn more about the stages of Parkinson's...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment
Learn about multiple sclerosis (MS) causes, symptoms, and treatment for this autoimmune disease that attacks the nerves of the...
Dehydration: Causes, Symptoms & Tips to Stay Hydrated
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Muscle Cramps (Charley Horse) and Muscle Spasm Remedies
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Fibromyalgia Treatments and Tips to Ease Pain and Other Symptoms
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Related Disease Conditions
Muscle cramps are involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. Extremely common, any muscles that have voluntary control, including some organs, are subject to cramp. Since there is such variety in the types of muscle cramps that can occur, many causes and preventative medications are known. Stretching is the most common way to stop or prevent most muscle cramps.
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is caused by injury to the temporomandibular joint. Stress, poor posture, jaw trauma, genetic predisposition, and inflammatory disorders are risk factors for the condition. A variety of self-care measures (application of ice, use of over-the-counter pain medication, massage, relaxation techniques) and medical treatment options (dental splint, Botox, prescription medications, surgery) are available to manage TMJ. The prognosis of TMJ is good with proper treatment.
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Scoliosis causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. When the cause of scoliosis is unknown the disorder is described based on the age when the scoliosis develops (infantile, juvenile, or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis). In functional scoliosis, curvature develops due to a problem somewhere else in the body. With neuromuscular scoliosis, there is a problem when the bones of the spine are formed. Treatment typically involves observation, bracing, and surgery and is dependent upon the severity of the curvature.
A toothache is pain on or around a tooth. It may have a variety of causes, including a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis. Toothache symptoms include pain, headache, earache, bad taste in the mouth, and gum swelling. Dental X-rays and other tests performed by a dentist are used to diagnose the cause of a toothache. Toothache treatment depends on the underlying cause. Taking proper care of the teeth and gums can help prevent toothache.
Hyponatremia (Low Blood Sodium) Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Diet, Treatment
Hyponatremia is a condition in which the levels of sodium in the blood is too low. Some of the symptoms of hyponatremia include headaches, muscle cramps or spasm, seizures, weakness, restlessness, and confusion. Hyponatremia can occur from excess fluid in the body, or a loss of sodium in body fluid. Causes of low levels of sodium in the blood include chronic diseases like kidney or congestive heart failure, adrenal gland problems, hypothyroidism, and liver cirrhosis, and some medications. Diet and other lifestyle changes in addition to treatment with electrolyte replacement with an IV. Other treatments for hyponatremia depend upon the cause.
Healthy Living and Disease Prevention
The importance of a healthy lifestyle in disease prevention is widely understood and most people know that lifestyle changes and choices can be critical to good health. Yet, few practice healthy behaviors that constitute healthy living.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise, and some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of dehydration include: headache, lightheadedness, constipation, and bad breath. Treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Medical Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)
Medical marijuana (medical cannabis) is a medicine that is plant based. There are two species of medical marijuana; 1) Cannabis sativa, and 2) Cannabis indica. Medical marijuana is used to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, MS, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. Medical cannabis is legal in a variety of states in the US. A card or licence is required to purchase medical marijuana in states where it is legal; however, medical cannabis is against Federal law. Medical marijuana comes in a variety of products, for example, gummy bears and other candy, muffins, cookies, drinks, salves, ointments, creams, oils, and wax.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage results in symptoms that may include numbness, weakness, vertigo, paralysis, and involuntary muscle contractions. Different forms of MS can follow variable courses from relatively benign to life-threatening. MS is treated with disease-modifying therapies. Some MS symptoms can be treated with medications.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement fluids. Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. A person suffering from heat exhaustion should stop the activity are doing, move to a cooler environment, and rehydrate with liquids, for example, water or sports drinks. Complications of heat exhaustion are dehydration, muscle weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke (a medical emergency) if not treated.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between age 20 and 40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
Hamstring injuries may range from minor strains to major ruptures. A hamstring injury causes spasm, tightness, and tenderness. More severe injuries may cause swelling and bruising. While most hamstring injuries heal without surgery, a complete rupture would require surgery.
Intermittent claudication, or pain and cramping in the lower leg is caused by inadequate blood flow to the leg muscles. This lack of blood flow causes a decrease in oxygen delivered to the muscles of the legs. Claudication is generally felt when walking and decreases with rest. In severe cases, claudication may be felt at rest. Narrowing of arteries cause claudication. Treatment includes exercise, medication, and in some cases surgery.
Heat-related illness include heat rash, cramps, exhaustion, stroke, and sunburn. Treatment of heat related illnesses depend on the condition, but symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, seizures, and coma. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, and may result in death if not treated promptly. Heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke if not treated properly.
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a "silent" disease because early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause early symptoms. Typically, pancreatic cancer has metastasized (spread to adjacent organs, such as the liver) by the time most people receive a dignosis of pancreatic cancer. Symptoms and signs usually appear later in the course of the disease and include jaundice, back pain, nausea, weight loss, itching, and loss of appetite. Treatment depends upon the type of pancreatic cancer but may include surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including females, the elderly, men with enlarged prostates, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for bladder infection. Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics, but cranberry products and adequate hydration may help prevent bladder infections.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be caused by repetitive movements or a single stressful incident. Symptoms and signs include pain and swelling. Though treatment depends upon the extent and location of the injury, rest, ice, compression, and elevation are key elements of treatment.
Urinary Incontinence in Children
Urinary incontinence in children (enuresis) is twice as common in boys as in girls and may occur during the daytime or nighttime. Nighttime urinary incontinence is also called bedwetting and sleepwetting. The cause of nighttime incontinence in children is unknown. Daytime incontinence in children may be caused by an overactive bladder. Though many children overcome urinary incontinence naturally, it may be necessary to treat incontinence with medications, bladder training and moisture alarms, which wake the child when he or she begins to urinate.
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) vs. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Differences and Similarities
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease) and MS (multiple sclerosis) are both diseases of the nervous system (neurodegenerative). ALS is a disease in which the nerve cells in the body are attacked by the immune system, although it's not considered an autoimmune disease by some scientists. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the insulated covering of the nerves (myelin sheath) in the CNS (central nervous system) degenerate, or deteriorate. Scientists don't know the exact cause of either problem. However, they have discovered that mutations in the gene that produces the SOD1 enzyme were associated with some cases of familial ALS. Scientists also theorize that multiple sclerosis may be caused by infection or vitamin D deficiency. ALS occurs between 50-70 years of age (the average age of occurrence ALS is 55), and mostly affects men. While MS occurs between 20-60 years of age, and mostly affects women. About 30,000 people in the US have ALS, and an average of 5,000 new diagnoses per year (that's about 15 new cases per week). Worldwide, MS affects more than 2.3 million people, with about 10,000 new cases diagnosed each year (that's about 200 new diagnoses per week).Some of the signs and symptoms of both diseases include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, problems walking, fatigue, slurred speech, and problems swallowing. ALS signs and symptoms that are different from MS include problems holding the head upright, clumsiness, muscle cramps and twitches, problems holding objects, and uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying. MS signs and symptoms that are different from ALS include vision problems, vertigo and balance problems, sexual problems, memory problems, depression, mood swings, and digestive problems. There is no cure for either disease, however the prognosis and life expectancy are different. Multiple sclerosis is not a fatal condition, while ALS progresses rapidly and leads to death.
A polio infection causes symptoms and signs such as paralysis, limb deformities, and even death. There is no curative treatment for polio. Treatment focuses on pain control, bed rest, and physical therapy.
Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the underarms, palms, or soles of the feet. Treatment may involve over-the-counter antiperspirants, prescription antiperspirants, iontophoresis, medications, surgery, and Botox.
Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity or work in a hot, humid environment. Symptoms of heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms, usually in the abdomen, arms or legs that occur in association with strenuous activity. Heat cramps are part of a group of heat-related illnesses. Heat cramps can sometimes lead to heat exhaustion or, in severe instances, heat stroke, which is a true medical emergency.
Tetanus is an often-fatal disease caused by nerve toxins produced by the common bacteria Clostridium tetani. In a seven-day period after infection, a person experiences muscle spasms, restlessness, headache, irritability, then lockjaw, and the lungs stop functioning. Tetanus is treatable with antibiotics and drainage. Sedation is often give to stop muscle spasms.
Dystonia disorders cause involuntary movements and prolonged muscle contraction, resulting in twisting body motions, tremor, and abnormal posture. There are many forms of dystonia. Some types of dystonia respond to dopamine, or can be controlled with dedative-type medications, or surgery.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Symptoms, Causes, Life Expectancy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease) is a neurological disease that progresses rapidly. The disease attacks the nerve cells responsible for the control of voluntary muscles. Early symptoms include cramping, twitching, or stiffness of the muscles; slurred nasal speech; difficulty swallowing or chewing, and muscle weakness in an arm or leg. Currently, the cause of ALS is not known. ALS is a fatal disease. No cure has been found for ALS, however, the drug riluzole (Rilutek) is FDA approved, and this drug reduces the damage to motor neurons by decreasing the release of glutamate.
Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and weakness. Treatment involves a series of injections: rabies immune globulin and four rabies vaccines administered over 2 weeks.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is an infection of a facial nerve that causes a red painful rash with blisters and facial paralysis. Other symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may include: ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness (or vertigo), dry eye, and changes in taste sensation. The herpes zoster virus causes the infection. The infection is treated with: antiviral agents, steroids, and pain medications.
Pain Management: Musculoskeletal Pain
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For women undergoing natural menopause, the process is described in three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. However, not all women undergo natural menopause. Some women experience induced menopause as a result of surgery or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and pelvic radiation therapy.
In hypoparathyroidism, the parathyroid gland does not produce enough parathyroid hormone. Causes of hypoparathyroidism include injury to the parathyroid glands, autoimmune disorder association, or may be present ab birth. Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism include: tingling fingers, toes, and lips, brittle nails, dry, coarse skin, dry hair; memory loss, headaches, severe muscle cramps, cataracts, malformed teeth, and convulsions. Treatment of hypoparathyroidism is to restore the calcium and phosphorus to normal levels in the body.
Alternative Treatment for MS (CAM for MS)
The term alternative therapy, in general, is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that has not been scientifically documented or identified as safe or effective for a specific condition. Alternative therapy encompasses a variety of disciplines that range from diet and exercise to mental conditioning to lifestyle changes.
Neuromyelitis optica (Devic's syndrome) is a disease of the CNS that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. People with neuromyelitis optica develop optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. There is no cure for neuromyelitis optica; however, there are therapies to treat attacks when they occur.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Do You Need a Tetanus Shot?
- Lightning: When Lightning Stikes, How To Stay Safe
- Sports Injury Treaments
- 11 Tips for Surviving A Heat Wave Without Air-Conditioning
- Christopher Reeve & Spinal Cord Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis: New Treatment Possibility for MS
- Multiple Sclerosis: New Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Suspended
- Cerebral Palsy, What You Need To Know
- Botox - Smoothing Out the Wrinkles!
- What Causes Rectal Muscle Spasms?
- Symptoms and Signs of Sprains and Strains
- 5 Ways to Recognize a Heat-Related Illness
Medications & Supplements
- Benzodiazepines (Benzodiazepine Drug Class)
- Anticholinergic and Antispasmodic Drugs
- Benzodiazepines vs. Cyclobenzaprine
- Baclofen vs. Flexeril (Side Effects and Interactions)
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
- Cyclobenzaprine vs. Xanax (alprazolam)
- cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)
- baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal)
- Alprazolam vs. Diazepam (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- orphenadrine (Norflex)
- levodopa-carbidopa, Sinemet, Sinemet CR, Parcopa
- Cyclobenzaprine vs. Norco (hydrocodone acetaminophen)
- belladonna and opium (B and O Suppositories)
- Cyclobenzaprine vs. Zanaflex
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) vs. naproxen (Aleve)
- carisoprodol (Soma)
- carbamazepine, Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Epitol, Teril
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) vs. carisoprodol (Soma)
- benztropine (Cogentin)
- Cyclobenzaprine vs. Valium (diazepam)
- reserpine - oral
- Valium (diazepam) vs. midazolam
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) vs. amitriptyline (Elavil)
- onabotulinumtoxinA, Botox, Botox Cosmetic
- fingolimod (Gilenya)
Prevention & Wellness
- FDA OKs Wearable Device for Migraine Pain
- Health Tip: Treating a Charley Horse
- Health Tip: Uses for Botox
- Managing MS
- Health Tip: How to Spot a Sprained Neck
- Ouch! How to Tell If You Have a Sprain, a Strain or a Tear
- 11 Percent of Stroke Survivors Struggle With Epilepsy
- FDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD Risk
- Health Tip: Laxatives Have Side Effects
- Briviact Approved for Epileptic Seizures
- Overuse Injuries More Common in High School Females
- Health Tip: Strained Hamstring?
- 2 Cases Suggest Stem Cell Transplant Might Ease 'Stiff Person' Syndrome
- Levodopa May Beat Newer Meds for Long-Term Parkinson's Care: Study
- Botox Might Help Treat Bladder Disorders
- Medical Marijuana May Ease Some MS Symptoms, Study Concludes
- FDA Approves New Drug to Treat COPD
- Anoro Ellipta Approved for COPD
- Health Tip: Easing Muscle Soreness
- Marijuana Extract May Not Relieve MS Spasms: Review
- Marijuana Extract May Help Ease Muscle Stiffness in MS: Study
- NFL Docs Urge More Caution With Key Pain Med
- Massage Right After Muscle Injury May Boost Healing
- 50 Years of Data Confirm Benefit of Antipsychotics
- College Athletes in Low-Contact Sports Have More Overuse Injuries
- Ice Baths for Sore Muscles Can Work
- Health Tip: A Sprain in the Neck
- Erivedge Approved to Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Health Highlights: Jan. 24, 2012
- Health Highlights: Jan. 23, 2012
- Study: Stomach Acid Drugs Linked to Fracture Risk
- Study: Newer Antipsychotic Drugs Are Overused
Pain and Injury Resources
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