Spasms are contractions of the muscles of the hands, thumbs, feet, or toes. Spasms are usually brief, but they can be severe and painful.
See also: Muscle cramps
Symptoms depend on the cause. They may include:
Nighttime leg cramps are common in the elderly.
Cramps or spasms in the muscles often have no clear cause.
Possible causes of hand or foot spasms include:
If vitamin D deficiency is the cause, supplemental vitamin D should be taken under the doctor's direction. Calcium supplements may also help.
There are stretching exercises you can do. These stretches will help keep your muscles from getting shorter or tighter.
Being active will also help keep your muscles loose. Aerobic exercise, especially swimming, and strength building exercises are both helpful. Playing games and sports and doing daily tasks may also help, but can also make matters worse if done to excess.
Drinking plenty of fluids during exercise is also important.
If you notice recurrent spasms of your hands or feet, call your health care provider.
The doctor or nurse will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.
Blood and urine tests may be done. Tests may include:
Foot spasms; Carpopedal spasm; Spasms of the hands or feet; Hand spasm
Khoshknabi DS. Muscle spasms. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al, eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 168.
Griggs RC, Jazefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 418.
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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