Involuntary spasms can be quite painful and debilitating and whilst they commonly occur in the calf or as menstrual cramps, lower back cramps and leg cramps can also occur.
What exactly are muscle spasms? They’re involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. In other words, during a leg, neck or back spasm, your muscles cramp up and tighten without you even trying to move them, and they stay this way for a period of time because they’re unable to relax.
Muscle pains and spasms are most likely to occur in the feet, lower back and legs (especially the hamstrings, quadriceps and calve), but you get them anywhere: your abdomen, around your ribs, your hands, ankles, etc.
Some examples of muscle spasms you’ve probably experienced at some point include menstrual cramps, diarrhoea and lower back pain. One of the most common and agonising types of muscle spasms is the charley horse, which causes cramping in the calf muscles so bad that it can wake you right up out of sleep. Other types can kick in when you stand up, get out of bed in the morning or just after exercising.
Supplementation with magnesium is often considered a factor in helping to resolve resolving muscular cramps.
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- Pizzorno JE, Murray MT. Textbook of Natural Medicine (2nd Ed.), Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1999.