Muscle Spasm

Hope Timm

What is a Muscle Spasm?

A muscle spasm is a painful and involuntary muscular contraction. People often get "tight" muscles in the neck, back, shoulders, or legs. Athletes often get cramps during strenuous activity. These cramps are spams also.

How a Muscle Spasm happens?

Spasms usually occur from overusing muscles or from an injury. They can happen also if you are dehydrated during a strenuous activity. Muscle spasms may also occur, mainly in the neck, if you are stressed. Cramps in the calf often happen at night, because the muscle is in a shortened position (fetal position) and then when the person tries to contract further, it causes the muscle to cramp. The movement of the foot going upward or downward when in a shortened position causes a contraction in the muscle.

What are Symptoms of Muscle Spasms?

  • Tightness or knot in muscle
  • May hurt to use muscle or it may be hard to use
  • Can be extremely painful


  • Self Diagnosis
  • Health care provider may examine it


  • Proper stretching
  • Loosen the covers of bed at night
  • Drink enough fluids, or sports drink
  • Don't have poor posture
  • Get enough calcium


  • Put ice on spasm caused by injury
  • Try stretching the muscle
  • Longer spasms can be treated with moist heat
  • Care provider can give stretching exercises
  • Massage the muscle
  • Medicine for severe cramps at night can be taken


Most cases of muscle spasms are mild and will resolve within a few minutes. Any soreness or discomfort will usually disappear within a few days. Muscle spasms for other causes can be helped with medicine.