Seizures are called involuntary contraction of the musculature. They arise spontaneously, and, as a rule, continue for a short time. Attacks, usually accompanied by intense pain, can be repeated. Young people complain of cramps relatively rarely. More often they develop in children and the elderly. Most often, convulsions occur in calf muscle. The musculature of the femoral region, neck, back and abdominals is less often affected. Painful attacks often develop at night during sleep.
Usually seizures cause of one muscle or whole groups is their overstrain against a background of high physical activity and insufficiency of local blood circulation. The development or intensification of the intensity of seizures in individual patients is promoted by strong external stimuli-for example, a sharp object with a sharp object or a sudden loud and sharp sound.
Important: one of the factors contributing to the occurrence of seizures is the abuse of alcoholic beverages. Spasms are provoked by local and general hypothermia, a prolonged stay in an uncomfortable position, and by the abuse of "socially acceptable psychostimulants" - caffeine and nicotine.
In people who live active life or regularly visit the gym, an additional reason for spontaneous and painful muscle contractions is the lack of salts. The water-electrolyte balance is disturbed against the background of increased sweating. For the same reason, muscle spasms can develop during heavy physical work at high ambient temperatures. The muscles of the hands often reduce when doing monotonous movements - for example, in the process of working at the computer. The reason for nocturnal seizures is a combination of stress in the deterioration of the blood supply of certain muscle groups. If a person's work activity is associated with a long stay in an upright position, the same areas of the body (mainly the back and lower limbs) are subjected to the load. Their fatigue also often becomes a factor contributing to the appearance of spasms.
Diseases of the nervous system, accompanied by spontaneous contractions of muscles:
In early childhood seizures are caused by insufficient maturity of the central nervous system, and also by relatively weak mechanisms of inhibition. Predisposing factors of babies:
• Acute and chronic pathologies of the future mother;
• Intrauterine infections;
• Intoxication with some pharmacological drugs;
• Damage to the brain at obstetric aid;
• Complications after the introduction of vaccines;
• Head trauma.
The effect of infectious agents on the CNS, as well as hyperthermia in febrile reactions, often cause muscle seizures in children. Spasms of the calf muscles are sometimes considered as a separate pathology, but more often they are one of the clinical manifestations of other diseases, in particular - varicose veins. Spasms can occur with long swimming (especially in cold water) or walking.
Severity of cramps can be different. For a light form, tingling, intense pain and twitching are characteristic. The muscle becomes more dense (even hard), and its shape may change slightly. With moderate expression, in addition to painful contractions, confusion (fainting) is possible, as well as involuntary urination (less often, defecation).
The most pronounced convulsions also are manifested as epileptic seizures. The patient experiences a feeling of fear, dizziness, nausea and numbness of the body appear. Salivation increases, foam appears from the mouth, and after an attack (continuing, on average, about 2 minutes), there is a complete loss of consciousness. In the period of uncontrolled contractions of many muscle groups, traumatization is possible, due to falls and biting of the lips and tongue.
What to do during seizures?
Medical tactics largely depends on the etiology of seizures. Pharmacotherapy presupposes the appointment of the patient with the following anticonvulsants:
Non-pharmacological treatment includes general and local massage and physiotherapy (for example, warming up). To combat one of the leading predisposing factors - stress - it is necessary to normalize the regime of work and rest. Improved local and general blood circulation contribute to the metered exercise - gymnastic exercises and outdoor walks. Before going to bed to prevent nighttime convulsions it is useful to take a shower or a bath of comfortable temperature. Stabilize the work of the CNS helps aromatherapy using essential oils of medicinal plants - lavender, mint and juniper. To stimulate local circulation to the problem area of the body, it is advisable to apply compresses, alternating hot and cold.
Important: if convulsions recur periodically or a convulsive status is diagnosed, urgent medical attention is needed to prevent oppression of respiratory function and cerebral edema. With convulsions, the child should immediately call an ambulance team.
In order to prevent seizures patients need to prevent dehydration and violation of water-salt balance in the heat, one should not only observe the drinking regime, but also add sodium chloride (ordinary salt) to the water at the rate of 1 teaspoon per liter. If the attack has already developed, it is almost impossible to stop it immediately. To cope with the spasm of the calf muscle, you should pull your leg down. Stretching the muscles contributes to the speedy cessation of spasm. During self-massage of painful zone, you need to perform slipping and stroking movements towards the heart.
Note: fans of swimming for long distances on open water experts recommend taking a pin or a needle with them. A prick in the joint muscle often helps to cope with spastic contraction.
In case of epileptic seizure, others should call "ambulance" and take measures to protect the patient from injuries. It is necessary to minimize external stimuli and ensure the influx of fresh air by opening the windows in the room. It is best to give the patient an oxygen cushion to ensure better oxygenation of brain cells. A person suffering from epilepsy, it is advisable to carry a paper with information about the presence of the disease, the frequency and duration of seizures - it will help doctors to act most effectively.