An involuntary contraction of muscle or a feeling of tightness that usually occurs suddenly is referred to as muscle spasms. They are often painful but typically don’t last long. Muscle spasms have many cases, but if they are caused by an injury that is not treated, they may turn into muscle knots, or myofascial trigger points, which are painful and long lasting. Muscles spasms are similar to muscle cramps. Muscle spasm is where there is a persistent increase in tension in muscle fibers - often associated with shortening of the muscle and pain.
There can be many causes for your muscle spasms, and muscle spasms vary in severity from mild, cramping-like symptoms, to severe pain and tightness. The most common causes are those that arise from trauma, guarding, poor blood circulation in physical exertion, overuse and overloading. Spasms related to activity are caused by overuse of a muscle, overstretching of a muscle, muscle fatigue, or holding a muscle in one position for a prolonged period of time, and are more likely to occur when the activity happens in warm weather. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, thyroid conditions and spinal cord injuries can also cause muscle spasm. Any injury to a muscle is another cause of spasm.
A muscle spasm may typically occur suddenly and will result in pain as the muscle contracts. Following the initial spasm, the individual may feel the need to stretch the muscle. However, the pain is often short-lived. In some cases, a bulge may be felt in the area of the muscle when the spasm occurs. If any injury is the cause of muscle spasm and it’s left untreated, muscle spasms can turn into muscle knots, which results to long lasting pain and tightness.
A physical exam will be conducted by a medical professional after taking your complete medical history. The doctor or professional physiotherapist may ask about the symptoms, how often they occur, how long they last, and will try to determine what activities precede the spasms. The doctor or physiotherapist will look into underlying causes of the spasms. Blood test, thyroid function tests and electromyography may be required to determine underlying conditions.
The treatment for alleviating muscle spasms is determining the cause of the spasm and then trying to prevent the conditions that cause the spasm in the first place. A professional physiotherapist will outline a specific treatment plan depending on the condition of the spasms and on your physical body. He may ask you to perform gentle stretching exercises prior to engaging in activity to prevent future muscle spasms. If the spasm is a result of an injury, the injury should be treated to prevent muscle knots from forming. Muscle knots are more painful and harder to cure. Therapeutic massage may be used as a treatment method for treating muscle knots or trigger points, which may also include physical therapy exercises, heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and trigger point injections.
Most muscle spasms may resolve themselves quickly and cause no lasting pain or damage. However, if you have spasms that recur, last a long time or cause severe pain, it’s best to seek help from a medical professional. If you know that your muscle spasm is caused due to injury, get in touch with our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, they’ll specifically outline an appropriate treatment plan for you depending on your condition.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder which often begins in the 40s and 50s. It affects almost all people to some degree by the age of 80. It is a chronic disorder linked with damage to the cartilage and surrounding tissues. Osteoarthritis is characterized by pain, stiffness and loss of function of joints cartilage.
Primary osteoarthritis may affect only certain joints, such as knee, elbow, shoulder, hip, or at times even all joints. Osteoarthritis is classified as primary or idiopathic when the cause is not known. It is classified as secondary when the cause is another disease or condition, such as an infection or joint abnormality that appeared at birth or due to some injury.
White shiny covering over the ends of the bone is referred to as articular cartilage. Articular cartilage has a very unique feature because it is smooth yet tough, and serves as the bearing surfaces of the joint. Cartilage degeneration can lead to osteoarthritis over time causing pain and disability of the joint.
Osteoarthritis is most often caused due to tissue damage. Typically, after years of use, overuse or due to any injury, the articular cartilage starts wearing out and damages the tissue.
There are other reasons that the cartilage can get injured and most of these injuries are traumatic:
Most cartilage injuries lead to swelling and pain in the joint. This makes the cartilage unstable and can lead to irritation of the synovium, which is the covering of the joint. Unstable cartilage causes excessive secretion of synovial fluid (joint fluid) and leads to swelling.
Symptoms usually develop gradually and affect only a few joints at first. Commonly affected are the joints of the fingers, bases of the thumbs, lower back, neck, big toes, hips and knees. The first symptom is often described as a deep ache. Weight-bearing joints get worse by activities that involve weight bearing (body weight).
Depending on the severity, the joint may become less movable and eventually may not be able to completely straighten or bend.
Maintaining joint flexibility, optimizing overall joint function and relieving pain are the main goals of the treatment. Physical measures that involve exercises for strength, flexibility and endurance are achieved primarily from these goals. Physical therapies help people to modify their daily activities while they are suffering from osteoarthritis. Additional treatment includes surgery (for some people), drugs and newer therapies.
A physiotherapist can help you perform appropriate exercises which include stretching, strengthening and postural exercises that help maintain healthy cartilage, increase joint flexibility and strengthen surrounding muscles so that they can absorb stress. Stretching exercises should be performed daily.
Sore muscles can be very troublesome for some people after an intense session of workout or exercising regime. The muscles ache for the longer time period and can be very uncomfortable. If you are not into any physical activity and you start to do it immediately then you are bound to experience some sort of muscle pain. To relieve yourself from it, there are certain steps to be followed that will give you relaxed muscles so that you will be able to resume your exercising schedule back again. Here is how.
Stretching relaxes your muscles and prepares them for the workout to follow. Make sure that you are doing stretching daily to avoid any pains in the muscles. People who work for the longer hours in the office generally complain about the back and neck pain. This can be taken care by stretching. It is something that you can do anywhere, during the lunch break in the office and it instantly relieves you from the pain. Stretching eases off the muscles and gives them a break from the certain position that you were in for the longer duration of time in the office.
2. Stay hydrated
Many people ignore the importance of having ample amount of water throughout the day. Water not only keeps your body hydrated, but it also aids in the functionality of the muscles. The hydrated body can function well, never gets tired easily and keeps you cool and composed. Having 7-8 glasses of water is really a healthy and good habit.
3. Warming up
Warming up your body before doing any exercise is always a better idea. The muscles need to get warmed up prior to any exercise regime. Most of the people don’t understand the importance of a warm up session prior to the exercise and they start to do exercising directly. This may result in a muscle pull which can be painful and strenuous. To make sure that your muscles are relaxed and warmed up before your daily workout session, you need to start with a warm up exercise. This can be in a form of cycling and certain stretching exercises that warms up your muscles. There are many positions in yoga that makes your muscle stretch and at the same time they make your body warmed up for the exercising session. A warmed up body will respond to the workout in a more effective manner, keeping your muscles in a composed way.
4. Regular workouts
You have to do regular workouts to make sure your body stays in shape and your muscles get regular exercising. Many people start to do exercising and then they leave it in-between. Then after some gap, they start to do the workout again. This result in sudden muscle pull up as the muscles don’t get the regular stretching and exercising and after the gap of sometime, people follow the regime they were doing before without gradually starting it again. Regular exercising ensures that your body stays in shape and your muscles in perfect tone.