Member Case Study: Muscle Spasms

author : AMSSM
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Question from Cbarnes:

It seems now that I have started training more I have been having muscle spasms in my right shoulder (deltoid).  It happens when I am at rest and is becoming very annoying. Any ideas on what may be causing this?

 

Answer:

Muscle spasms and cramps are a fairly common event associated with increased training. The cramps and spasms are usually harmless and have no long-term problems--but they certainly affect training when you have one.

 

During high level training, your muscles use massive amounts of energy, electrolytes, and water. Muscle energy stores, total body water, and electrolytes can

all become depleted. Relaxing the muscle is a complicated process that requires all of these factors, If they are depleted, muscles cannot relax. The resultant pain is a cramp. As mentioned, dehydration, rapid depletion of energy stores, and electrolytes (particularly calcium) are the most common causes of cramping. There are some other causes to spasms at night, but these are typically associated with medications, recent injuries, or poor training techniques. Usually, having adequate fluid, electrolyte, and food intake along with proper stretching can help alleviate the cramping. When the cramps do happen, stretching and massage along with application of heat to increase blood flow to the area can help alleviate the cramp.

 

More severe injuries such as muscle tears, pinched nerves, and tendon injuries can mimic a cramp and would likely not resolve with simple rest, stretching, water, and electrolyte replacement. If the cramps persist despite adequate food, electrolyte, and water intake, it would be wise to visit your doctor and discuss the problem

 

David Cassat, MD

Member, AMSSM

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date: October 1, 2006

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AMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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avatarAMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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