Muscle spasms, which are commonly known as charley horses, are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. In addition to the foot and calf muscles, other muscles prone to spasms include the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along the rib cage.
Muscle spasms can have many possible causes.
- Poor blood circulation in the legs
- Overexertion of the calf muscles while exercising
- Insufficient stretching before exercise
- Exercising in the heat
- Muscle fatigue
- Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency
- Calcium deficiency in pregnant women
- Malfunctioning nerves
When muscle cramps occur, there are several things you can do to help ease them. Pain relief can occur with massaging, stretching, or icing the muscle, heating the muscle, or taking a bath with Epsom salt.
To help reduce the risk of spasms in the future, try the following:
- Eat more foods high in vitamins and calcium
- Stay well hydrated
- Stretch properly before exercise
You will also want to come into our south austin clinic so our chiropractor or physical therapist can do an evaluation to determine the cause of your muscle spasms and help to prevent them from happening in the future.