By: Bill Cravens
The term ‘muscle spasm’ can sometimes be confused with other, similar terms. By definition, a muscle spasm is simply a sudden and painful contraction of muscles that can go on anywhere from two seconds to multiple minutes, and happens repeatedly.
A prolonged muscle spasm is a cramp. A muscle twitch, which is an uncontrollable contraction that is painless and occurs in a small area of the muscle so that the actual muscle can be seen contracting underneath the skin.
Muscle twitches occur in the legs, thumbs, or eyelid, and are the results of extreme anxiety and/or stress.
Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Muscle Spasms
The topic of the relationship between fibromyalgia and muscle spasms is widely discussed. Even through fibromyalgia and muscle spasms are vastly different from one another, it is still believed that there is more to their relationship than one might expect.
There are a few reasons why muscles undergo contraction. Some muscles undergo contraction for no apparent reason, even though they do so frequently.
It is believed that some of these muscles contract as a result of heavy physical activity, but the tighter muscle knots may be due to fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is defined as chronic pain that is felt throughout the body, but our knowledge of the condition is still so limited that we don’t know what causes the pain or even what a cure for it is.
Nonetheless, it would be understandable if at least part of the pain felt was due to fibromyalgia. Or even more interesting, what if the fibromyalgia could be a cause of the spasms?
Could Fibromyalgia Cause the Muscle Spasms?
Fibromyalgia is known to trigger or cause several bizarre symptoms all throughout the body. The disease is far more prominent in adult women than men and children.
For many decades, fibromyalgia was not even known to exist, and each of the symptoms was believed to be a disease on its own.
But by the 1980s, medical researchers and scientists confirmed that fibromyalgia was, in fact, a disease on its own.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain in the muscles, especially in one of the eighteen pressure points, fatigue during the way, a difficulty sleeping, muscle spasms, and extreme stress and anxiety.
A muscle spasm can be felt either in individual parts of the body or throughout the entire body, but it is most often felt in the neck, shoulders and back.
Muscle spasms and fibromyalgia go hand in hand since someone experiencing the spasms may also be feeling the additional symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Muscular rheumatism refers to muscle spasms in fibromyalgia. This is a condition that is recognized by rheumatologists around the globe.
In fact, these spasms in people who have fibromyalgia, that the cause of muscular rheumatism is believed to be due to the uncontrollable contraction of muscle spasms in the affected areas.
A number of people who suffer with fibromyalgia and also have muscle spasms have been observed and tested, and the results have yielded interesting facts about the changes in those patients’ cells.
Researchers discovered that some patients had a change in the mitochondria in the muscle cells, others had abnormalities in the pain receptor metabolisms of their cells (these patients also reported feeling the most pain), and lastly, micro blood circulation changes, which results in constriction of the capillaries in the tissues of where the muscle spasm occurs (and thus explains the muscle spasm).
All three of these are extremely painful when the muscle spasms occur, and it would be difficult to know the reason for the muscle spasm even if one were aware of these three. This information was only found with the work of scientists and medical researchers.
All three muscle spasms can also happen without warning and may only occur once at a time or repeatedly. Without a doubt, however the muscles located in the shoulder, back, and neck. The good news?
With this kind of information, we’ve taken many steps forward in finding a possible cure for muscular rheumatism. For now though, all we have is the treatment of it to diminish the pain temporarily.
Treatment and Prevention of Muscle Spasms in Fibromyalgia
While there is no known cure for muscle spasms in fibromyalgia, there are recommended methods to reduce the tension one feels in the muscles. For example, have you ever tried simply stretching?
This is an excellent way to relax your muscle and increase blood flow and circulation to them. Blood flow and circulation alone will ease any existing pain you feel and diminish the chances of developing higher levels of pain in the future.
Similarly, you can also seek a massage treatment that not only will reduce your muscle tension and increase blood flow, but is very effective in reducing stress as well.
Also keep the affected areas warm at all times if possible, especially in cooler weather. Keeping your muscles warm will aid in circulating blood. In cold weather, dress warmly and keep the temperature up at your home, or shower in hot water.
While it may be painful at first, give a hand at exercising. Simple activities such as swimming, biking or even walking can help. Always work at increasing blood flow and lowering your stress levels.
The best medicine that can reduce muscle spasms is MSM, which stands for methyl sulfonyl methane, and is the same material found in the joints, skin and nails. This medicine will reduce the pain and frequency of spasms in the muscle.
This medicine works by increasing blood circulation in good concentrations and thus reduces the muscle spasm (starting to see the underlying theme of increasing blood circulation?). A long term treatment of MSM will be very effective.