Characteristics and Cause of Muscle Spasm
Muscle spasm is characterized by the pulling or tearing of specific muscles in the body, due to overexertion when performing intense physical activities. Although not a life-threatening condition, muscle spasm can result to intense pain on the affected muscles. It has the potential to develop into a more serious muscle injury, which means that you have to address it as soon as possible.
The sensation is characterized by a burning or inflammation on the specific area of the muscle. When you do have muscle spasm, refrain from engaging in any form of physical activity or anything that requires some sort of exertion.
Medications for Muscle Spasm
Needless to say, muscle spasm can range from being a total annoyance to a completely painful experience. However, modern science has thought out ways in which one can cope with the pain associated with this condition. This is in the form of several drugs or medications that can reverse or alter the symptoms of muscle spasm for a general calming effect. These drugs contain the following essential properties:
*Sedative – This property is used in several medications, particularly for muscle spasm, as it targets the central nervous system. Hence, it produces a relaxing effect on the body as the nervous tension on your muscles is reduced. In some cases, it can induce sleep when taken in large doses.
*Carisoprodol – Here is another property used in various drugs for relief on muscle spasm. This is especially effective against severe muscle strain. It acts by blocking the impulses on the nerves of your brain stem and be relieved of any sensation of pain.
* Cyclobenzaprine – This type of drug property is recommended for muscle relaxation, especially for those suffering from stiffness or pain caused by pulled muscles. It reacts on the nerves that control the muscles but does nothing to interfere with the muscle function.
Performing General Stretching Exercises
Aside from the medications listed above, general stretching exercises prove to be natural and effective means of combating the effects of muscle spasm. When you practice this on a regular basis, you will find that healing of muscle spasm is gradually speeding up. The idea behind performing stretching exercises is to lengthen the short muscular tissues, which are vulnerable to being “pulled” when exerted or when an individual engages in intense physical activities. Hence, muscle spasms are more common among athletes.
Stretching exercises in yoga are also useful in providing more stability to your muscles for injury prevention in the future. The more flexible your muscles are, the less likely you are going to suffer from muscle spasm.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
There are two aspects wherein yoga and meditation is useful in treating muscle spasm. The first aspect involves the performance of yoga asanas, which involve a lot of stretching components. Again, stretching helps to boost muscle strength, add flexibility, and lengthen your muscles to cure muscle spasm.
Meanwhile, meditation enables you to cope mentally with the pain caused by muscle spasm. With proper meditation, you allow your body to relax and think less of the pain. That way, you can just focus on exercises that help bring about relief instead of being annoyed by the pain sensation.
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Restorative Yoga : Yoga Relaxation Pose
The performance of Corpse Pose for muscle spasm produces a soothing and relaxing effect on the affected areas of the body. Plus, it is one of the simplest forms of yoga position that you can do. To provide relief from muscle spasm by performing the Corpse Pose, take note of the following steps:
- Start on a supine position (with back against the floor). Stretch out your legs and arms naturally on the sides of your body.
- While on this starting position, perform deep breathing as it will help soothe your entire body making it easier to relax.
- Bring your arms upward such that it is over your head and let it stay there for about 30 seconds. It is important to note your body’s reaction to each pose to ensure that there are no pain sensations. When there is, modify the position a bit to ease the pain or to accommodate the body’s needs.
- When the 30 seconds is over, release your arm back to the sides. Then, bend your knees forward such that it touches your chest. Use your arms to clasp on your knees and keep it there for a few seconds.
- Try to apply a gentle twisting motion on your upper torso to stretch out your back muscles. Be careful and deliberate in performing the twist such that you prevent straining the muscles that could cause more complication.
Hamstring Stretching - static stretches
To perform a Hamstring Stretch, do the following:
- You will start on a seated position, preferably on the ground. Stretch out one of your legs in front of you, while you bend the other on the opposing leg’s thigh.
- Lean your upper torso forward so you can feel your hamstring muscles being stretched out. For more effective stretching, try to mimic the motion of reaching at your foot as it will naturally straighten out your legs.
- Remain in position for approximately 30 seconds or above 15 seconds. If not, then you cannot gain the expected results from this stretching exercise.
- Do the entire process all over again in at least 3 repetitions, or as much as you can.
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This is a very simple stretching exercise for muscle spasm and all you need is a wall to get started. Then, take note of the following steps and procedures:
- Begin on a standing position. Then, bring your right leg in front of you. Meanwhile, the left leg should be behind you.
- Using the wall or any flat vertical surface you have available, place your right foot against it to cause the forefoot to slightly rise. However, keep your heels steady on the floor.
- Lead your upper body towards the wall to cause a stretching action on your calf muscles.
- Repeat the entire process, this time with your left leg in front and the right one behind you.
- For best results, hold yourself in position for at least 30 seconds.
Back Flexion Stretch
Here is another variant of a
stretching exercise that is very effective against muscle spasm. Follow
the procedures below for proper execution:
- Begin with your back against the floor. From there, bring your knees up toward your chest.
- During this same time, flex your head forward in a smooth but gradual motion. Make sure that the movement of your head and knees are simultaneous.
- Eventually, you will reach a balled-up position. Hold this for about 8 or 10 seconds before releasing.
- Do the exact same procedure for up to 12 repetitions to get maximum results.
Iberkenbosch from Amsterdam, Netherlands on September 05, 2011:
I do yoga as well! Hope I can improve my yoga skills a bit! thanks a lot.
O, and by the way, do you know exercises to relief pain in your left arm:
Thanks a lot
Neem expert on July 15, 2010:
I have got a muscle spasm in my back, immediately googled for muscle spasms and the collection of information is amazing, i have followed all the exercises i feel much better now.
yoga business on June 21, 2010:
Yoga helps with increasing muscle strength, flexibility and health which will in turn help to decrease muscle spasms. Just a few of the many benefits of yoga.
Nelle Hoxie on August 13, 2009:
I really enjoyed your hub. It reaffirmed and validated my yoga practice, which really helps me deal with lower back muscle spasms. The rest of my body really feels great as well.