Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Muscle Spasm and Why?

What is a muscle spasm? A simply understanding of when to drink can make all the difference! Rick Crawford's - "Never be late."
Muscle spasm involves a contraction of the muscle fibers following failure of these fibers to relax, thus causing the muscle to spasm. The spasm may be transient (comes and goes periodically) or it may be chronic. Some muscle spasms will affect the position of the joint, others will present as a tight feeling in the muscle.

What is the cause? Muscle spasms can occur as a result of trauma, chronic use, and fatigue, or may be due to an electrolyte imbalance secondary to dehydration.

What are the symptoms to look for when on the bike? You may notice a unopposed contraction or tightness in the involved muscles, causing a muscle deformity, especially when the spasm occurs in the smaller joints, such as those in hands and feet. The contraction can range from one that is painless but deforming to one that is quite painful but not obvious to visual inspection.

What tests are needed?

Tests should be performed to establish the extent and cause of the spasms especially if they are frequent and/or severe. Palpation and functional testing can usually detect chronic spasm in a muscle.

What treatment is needed?

Stretching of the muscle that is in spasm will usually help to reduce the contraction. On the bike while you pedal, lower your heel to stretch the lower leg. Chronic spasm may be more difficult to relieve and your doctor may recommend physical therapy treatment.

How can muscle spasm be avoided?

Spasm can only be avoided if the cause is understood. In cases of transient spasm during or following vigorous activity, the cause may be due to "fluid loss" and proper hydration will help prevent such problems. "Rick Crawford-Never be late." Chronic spasm may be positional in nature and prevention can be through modification of the work environment and/or frequent breaks for stretching. Get your bike dialed!!! Go to a professional bike fitting service that gets your position in the correct zone.

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