spasm

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Related to Facial spasm: Hemifacial spasm

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 ?
His coverage includes treatments for migraine, facial spasms, drooling, lingual and cervical dystonia, spasticity or dystonia in the upper extremities, including adducted thumbs and writer's cramp, spasticity or dystonia in the lower extremities, including the valgus foot and extended knee, pain syndromes ranging from myofascial pain and thoracic outlet syndrome to neuropathic cutaneous pain and lateral epicondylitis, and hyperhidrosis of the forehead and scalp, axillae, palms, residual limbs and feet.
Blepharospasms typically develop without warning; they may become more frequent, and other facial spasms may develop.
Margaret, aged 59, from Woodfield Close, Norton Canes, said dystonia causes her to blink rapidly and suffer facial spasms.
Now, at the Botox Clinic at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, doctors are using it to treat such neuromuscular disorders as blepharospasm, torticollis, cerebral palsy, facial spasms, laryngeal dystonia, and even writer's cramp.
The toxin can also relieve the pain and restore normal functioning to people with facial spasms, which pull the face out of shape, and spasmodic torticollis, which the neck and shoulder muscles pull the head to one side.
She had no recent history of upper respiratory infection, pulsatile tinnitus, vertigo, disequilibrium, otalgia, hemifacial weakness, paresthesia, or facial spasms.