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A muscle spasm is simply an involuntary contraction leading to tension and pain. The muscle tends to tense up and stay that way until the problem is solved, perhaps even worsening. If you’ve ever had muscle spasms in your neck, muscle spasms in your back, and/or lower back spasms, you may be familiar with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tension and/or pain anywhere along the rope-like muscles that support both sides of your spine, from the back of your skull to the midpoint between your shoulder blades, down through your lower back;
- With muscle spasms in the neck, tension and/or pain in the muscles branching diagonally from your neck vertebrae to your skull;
- A shooting pain that can sometimes accompany the tension down to your hand, which is the result of a pinched nerve;
Almost everyone has experienced a cramp at one time or another. Maybe you woke up in the middle of the night with your calf or foot muscle feeling tight, hard, and quite painful. These cramps are due to muscle spasms which occur when one or more of the muscles in your body involuntarily contracts. Most often this occurs in the skeletal muscles. Some examples include back muscle spasms as well as cramps in the arms and legs. You can also have muscle spasms in the neck.
So, what causes muscle spasms?
Well, there are a few possibilities. The leading causes of muscle spasms, at least skeletal ones, are dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Poor blood circulation and overexertion are also big factors in spasm occurrences.