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Spasm

Muscle spasm
Classification and external resources
Specialty Neurology
ICD-10 R25.2
ICD-9-CM 728.85
MeSH D013035

A spasm is a sudden, involuntary heart, or a similarly sudden contraction of an orifice. It most commonly refers to a muscle cramp which is often accompanied by a sudden burst of pain, but is usually harmless and ceases after a few minutes. There are a variety of other causes of involuntary muscle contractions, which may be more serious, depending on the cause.

The word "spasm" may also refer to a temporary burst of energy, activity, emotion, eustress, stress, or anxiety unrelated to, or as a consequence of, involuntary muscle activity.

Contents

  • Description 1
  • Causes 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5

Description

A variety of types of involuntary muscle activity may be referred to as a "spasm". Examples include muscle contractions due to abnormal nerve stimulation, or abnormal activity of the muscle itself. A series of spasms or permanent spasms are called a spasmism. A spasm may lead to muscle strains or tears of tendons and ligaments, if the force of the spasm exceeds the tensile strength of the underlying connective tissues, such as with a particularly forceful spasm, or in the case of weakened connective tissues.

True hypertonic spasm is caused by malfunctioning feedback nerves, is much more serious, and is permanent unless treated. In this case, the hypertonic muscle tone is excessive and the muscles are unable to relax.

A subtype of spasms is bile duct). A characteristic of colic is the sensation of having to move about, and the pain may induce nausea or vomiting if severe.

Causes

Among the causes of spasms are ion imbalance and muscle overload. Spasmodic muscle contraction may be due to a large number of medical conditions, including the dystonias. Hypertonic muscle spasms is the state of chronic, excessive muscle tone, or tension in a resting muscle – the amount of contraction that remains when a muscle is not actively working.

See also

Notes

External links

  • NIH Medical Encyclopedia
  • How Stuff Works
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