A muscle spasm, or muscle cramp, is a sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles, states MayoClinic.com. A muscle cramp may be sudden or occur gradually. Most muscle spasms are mild; however, a spasm may also cause excruciating pain. Constant muscle cramps can make it difficult to complete activities of daily living.
Alcoholism may cause muscle spasms because alcohol affects certain electrolytes in muscle tissue that may cause it to function irregularly. An alcoholic is defined as a male who drinks more than 15 drinks per week, or a female who drinks more than 12 drinks per week, states MedlinePlus. Furthermore, alcohol causes dehydration, which may make a person prone to muscle spasms. In this case, reducing alcohol intake and restoring the proper electrolyte and water balance is necessary to treat muscle spasms.
Excessive Physical Activity
MayoClinic.com states that excessive physical activity, especially in hot weather, can cause muscle spasms. This occurs because muscles may be overworked, which can cause nerves that are going to the muscles to irregularly activate. Furthermore, excessive physical activity depletes necessary electrolytes and water that are needed for effective and controlled muscle contraction. In this case, a patient should maintain adequate hydration and electrolyte balance by drinking a sports drink and taking regular breaks when performing intense physical activity.
According to MedlinePlus, hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. Low thyroid hormone levels result in low levels of electrolytes that control muscle function. This occurs because thyroid hormone regulates the metabolism which maintains the proper balance of electrolytes in muscle tissue. Thyroid replacement therapy is necessary in order for muscle spasms to be corrected in a patient with hypothyroidism. If muscle spasms continue to occur after thyroid levels have normalized, a patient should discuss alternative treatments with his physician.