spasm

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Related to Muscle spasms: Muscle twitch

spasm,

involuntary rigid muscle contraction, often persistent and often accompanied by pain. It usually has some underlying physical cause such as disease, strain, or injury to the muscle or nearby tissues, impairment of circulation, or a disturbance of body chemistry. The spasm may be confined to one group of muscles or it may be severe and fairly generalized, as in convulsionsconvulsion,
sudden, violent, involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body, often accompanied by loss of consciousness. It is not known what causes the abnormal impulses from the brain that result in convulsive seizures, since the disturbance may arise in normal brain
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. Painless localized spasms are called tics. These purposeless movements, usually of some part of the face, may begin as purposeful movement in response to some stimulus but eventually are carried out automatically, apparently without reason. They may disappear spontaneously after a time, or may require the elimination of some physical or psychic cause.

Spasm

 

an involuntary tonic contraction (cramp) of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may affect striated skeletal muscles (for example, with certain paralyses) or smooth muscles. Subject to spasms are the smooth muscles of the vascular wall (for instance, during angina pectoris), the bronchi, the esophagus (cardiospasm), and the intestine. Skeletal-muscle spasms make movement difficult, and smooth-muscle spasms disrupt various functions of organs.


Spasm

 

a sudden involuntary muscular contraction marked by extreme tension. Two types of spasms are distinguished: tonic and clonic. In tonic spasm, the tension persists for a long time, and in clonic spasm, there are synchronous jerking muscular contractions, which may be diffuse or limited. Spasms of different muscle groups are designated by specific terms, for example, trismus (spasm of the masticatory muscles) and blepharospasm (spasm of the ring muscle of the eye). Clonic spasms of the entire body are sometimes called convulsions.

Spasm may arise spontaneously or as a reaction to external influences, for example, spasm of the gastrocnemius muscles after chilling in water. It may also result from internal influences, for example, tension of the abdominal muscles in peritonitis. Spasm may be a manifestation of epilepsy, eclampsia, spasmophilia, inflammation, brain tumor and trauma, and many other disorders. In addition to spasm of striated muscles, there is spasm of smooth muscles, for example, cardiospasm and pylorospasm. In children, spasm is most common at a very early age, owing to the structure and functioning of the brain at this stage of life; it results from infection, poisoning, trauma, and various psychogenic factors.

Spasm is treated by caring for the underlying disorder and by administering such anticonvulsants as phenobarbital, primidone, and diphenylhydantoin. The affected person should get sufficient sleep and should abstain from alcohol.

V. A. KARLOV

spasm

[′spaz·əm]
(medicine)
An involuntary and abnormal contraction of isolated bundles of muscle or groups of muscles resulting from a chemical imbalance due to fatigue, ischemia, or trauma.

spasm

an involuntary muscular contraction, esp one resulting in cramp or convulsion
References in periodicals archive ?
In the United States alone, more than 100,000 persons experience some form of involuntary muscle spasm.
It's not a recur rence of last season, it's just muscle spasms in my lower back.
Several of our readers report that the prescription drug Neurontin (gabapentin) helps relieve painful muscle spasms.
Muscle spasms and tremors, or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending, and talking.
and her colleagues saw that several of their patients developed tics - involuntary muscle spasms - soon after a strep infection.
Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs following strenuous activity.
I have found this treatment to be highly effective in a substantial number of cases where the effects of other treatments are often mitigated by the presence of muscle spasms," said Dr.
Tourette's sufferers experience involuntary tics, including swearing, grunting and muscle spasms.
Chris Smith, urologist at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, says the toxin prevents muscle spasms that cause patients to experience urinary frequency and urgency.
The purpose of the study was to learn about the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of primary care physicians in the treatment of acute back pain and muscle spasms.
left early because muscle spasms in his right leg, got the win.
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