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Spasm

Spasm

Description

A spasm is a complex, uncoordinated, brief, purposeless, repetitive or non-repetitive, semi-voluntary or involuntary contraction of a muscle or a functional group of muscles. A strong spasm is considered a cramp. These contractions are classified as clonic or tonic.

A clonic spasm involves alternating contractions and relaxations.

Tonic spasms are characterized by a sustained contraction.

Typical spasms or twitches, as they are sometimes referred to, commonly involve a corner of the mouth or eye, limb gestures, shrugging, or head shaking. This may involve smooth and/or striated muscles.

A tic is a habit spasm and may result in one of the aforementioned twitches. These commonly occur in childhood at about age six. They diminish as the child matures.

Other forms of spasms are known as Bell's, bronchial, choreiform, esophageal, nodding, saltatory, tetanic, tonic, torsion, toxic, or winking.

Treatments for spasms include measures to reduce muscle tension, induce relaxation, and improve blood circulation. Analgesics and other drugs, physiotherapy and special orthopedic supports or braces may also be tried.

Causes

Inflamed abdominal cavity due to such things as:

Peritonitis
Crohn's disease
Diverticulosis
Cramps
Tetany
Painful intercourse
Convulsions in infantile spasms
Trigeminal neuralgia
Diffuse esophageal disturbances
Turning of a body part
Asthma

Signs & Symptoms

A spasm is a symptom of an underlying muscular disorder.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Multi Vitamin/Multi Mineral Formulas

---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

AdultChild/Adolescent
Calcium400 - 800 mg 200 - 400 mg
Magnesium200 - 400 mg 100 - 200 mg
Potassium*
Sodium * 2 - 3 g n/a
Vitamin E400 - 800 IU 200 - 400 IU



* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note 1: Sodium used to be the standard for heat problems including muscle cramps but is now only indicated if excessive perspiration has occurred. It also needs to be carefully balanced with potassium although this will only be known in an emergency situation in a hospital.

So far as immediate first aid is concerned, application of ice to the muscle/s involved will generally provide immediate relief.

Note 2: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

No diet is specifically prescribed for spasms by the American Dietetics Association. Barring any underlying health condition, a Dietary Goals Diet should be followed to provide all the nutrients necessary for building a sound and disease-resistant body.

Spasms can be caused by deficiencies in calcium or magnesium. To differentiate between the two causes, calcium and magnesium serum levels should be measured.

Treatment consists of oral supplementation with the appropriate mineral.

Prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency will result in neuromuscular degeneration, manifested as spasms, abnormal tendon reflexes, and mental changes. This condition can be treated with periodic vitamin B-12 injections.

Homeopathic Remedy

Spasmodic pain

Caulophyllum thalictroides tinct.


Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Vervain
Gotu kola
Skullcap
Evening primrose
Valerian

Muscle Spasm (German Commission E)

Paprika (Cayenne)

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Muscle cramp: (Brought on by exercise.)

Marjoram Essence,Rosemary Essence.



Muscle spasm:

Clary Sage Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Asthma
Cramp
Crohn's disease
Diverticulosis
Pain
Peritonitis
Tetany

Abstracts

References

Anil M et al., Hypocalcemic tetany in 'alternative' soy milk nutrition in the first months of life. Klin Padiatr, 208(6):323-6 1996 Nov-Dec.

Berkow, R. 1977. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories Pub., Rahway, New Jersey. 2165 pp.

Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.

Caralis DG et al., Smoking is a risk factor for coronary spasm in young women. Circulation, 85(3):905-9 1992 Mar.

Classen, H.G. Magnesium Therapy in Pregnancy. Fortschr. Med., 102 1984.

Gerster H: The importance of vitamin B 6 for development of the infant. Human medical and animal experiment studies. Z Ernahrungswiss, 35(4):309-17 1996 Dec.

Hui, Y.H. 1983. Human nutrition and diet therapy. Wadsworth, Inc; Belmont, California. 1039 pp.

Johansson, B.W. Magnesium in Hypomagnesemic Patients. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol., 54 (1984).

Kadokami T et al., Coronary artery spasm does not depend on the intracellular calcium store but is substantially mediated by the protein kinase C-mediated pathway in a swine model with interleukin-1 beta in vivo. Circulation, 94(2):190-6 1996 Jul 15.

Kugiyama K et al., Nitric oxide activity is deficient in spasm arteries of patients with coronary spastic angina. Circulation, 94(3):266-71 1996 Aug 1.

Kunz, J.R.M. 1982. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. Random House Pub, New York. 832 pp.

Laskawi R et al., Botulinum toxin treatment in patients with hemifacial spasm. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol, 1994, 251:5, 271-4.

Lynch BJ & Rust RS: Natural history and outcome of neonatal hypocalcemic and hypomagnesemic seizures. Pediatr Neurol, 11(1):23-7 1994 Jul.

Moneret-Vautrin, D.A. et al: Allergic Shock To Latex and Ethylene Oxide During Surgery For Spina Bifida. Anesthesiology, September 1990;73(3):556-557.

Rantala H et al., Risk factors of infantile spasms compared with other seizures in children under 2 years of age. Epilepsia, 37(4):362-6 1996 Apr.

Roberts BL: Soft tissue manipulation: neuromuscular and muscle energy techniques. J Neurosci Nurs, 29(2):123-7 1997 Apr.

Takuma Y & Seki T: Combination therapy of infantile spasms with high-dose pyridoxal phosphate and low-dose corticotropin. J Child Neurol, 11(1):35-40 1996 Jan.

Thomas, C.L. 1985. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Co. Pub., Philadelphia. 2170 pp.

Williams, Sue Rodwell. Nutrition And Diet Therapy. 5th edition. St Louis: Times Mirror, Mosby, 1985.

Wyngaarden, J. B. & L. H. Smith. 1985. Cecil's Textbook of Medicine. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 2341 pp.

 


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