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Muscle Spasms

There are several causes of muscle spasms. In this article we’ll take a look at muscle spasms as a symptom of a spinal condition.

muscle spasms from spinal condition

What Are Muscle Spasms?

A muscle spasm is a sudden muscle contraction which occurs involuntarily. In other words, your leg muscle contracts moves but you didn’t do it on purpose. A muscle spasm often causes pain but resolves itself within a few moments.

In contrast, a muscle twitch is quick movement of a portion of the muscle which can often be visible seen. If your arm muscle twitches you’d probably see it moving quickly back and forth.

What Causes Muscle Spasms?

There are several potential causes for muscle spasms. Causes include dehydration, overuse of the muscle, strenuous muscle use in extreme heat, reduced blood flow to the muscle from an arterial condition, issues in the spine, and a number of other conditions.

Muscle Spasms from Spinal Conditions

Several spinal conditions can lead to pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves emanating from the spinal canal. The nerves in the spinal canal carry information from our body to our brain, and vice versa. Pressure on these important nerves can lead to a disruption in the communication between our brain and our body’s muscles. As a result, any small movement or touch can result in a reflex-like reaction by the muscle, a quick contraction, or spasm.

Which Areas of the Body Can Be Affected?

Our spine starts at the base of our skull, travels down our body, and ends near our buttocks. The upper portion of the spine, in our neck, is referred to as the cervical region. The spine in our torso is called the thoracic region. The lower portion of our spine, what most call their “lower back”, is referred to as the lumbar region.

Damage or injury to our spine in the cervical (neck) region can cause spasms in the shoulder and/or arm muscles. If ourĀ  thoracic region is the source of the problem, back spasms may be felt in the middle of the back. If the lumbar (or lower back) region is affected then the muscle spasms may be felt in the lower back or in the legs.

What Should You Do If You Experience Muscle Spasms?

Treatment methods for muscle spasms can vary widely, depending on the cause of the spasm. Oftentimes anti-inflammatories or physical pressure, including massage, can be used to treat the pain from the spasm. If the condition is chronic your doctor can help determine the cause of the spasm and how best to treat it. If you believe it’s related to a spinal condition, the doctors here at Saratoga Spine can help to diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.


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*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery