Can Stress Cause Muscle Spasm?

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Can Stress Cause Muscle Spasm?

Anxiety can cause many frightening conditions, especially if you worry about your health often. The muscle spasm is one of those conditions. Many people experience strange muscle spasms with anxiety, and in some cases these spasms can cause additional anguish and anxiety.

Muscle spasms are sudden and involuntary muscle movements. They are often very small, like a jerk or a kick, and they usually come and go pretty quickly. They can also be cramps: prolonged muscle pain that is also considered a type of muscle spasm. Both can be caused by anxiety.

Muscle and anxiety spasms: the connection

Anxiety can produce many unusual and distressing physical sensations. In some cases, these sensations are simply irritating. In other cases, these sensations can actually cause a lot of stress.

One of the symptoms of anxiety trapped somewhere in between are muscle spasms. Muscle spasms can be irritating to some, incredibly distressing to others, and they are a common symptom of anxiety that can be both severe and mild depending on the person.

Do your spasms come from anxiety?

Anxiety triggers the fight or flight response and affects the hormones, which can cause muscle spasms. Strange spasms and nervous contractions can be a very clear sign of more severe anxiety. Calculate your anxiety symptoms and compare your anxiety with others by taking my free 5 minute anxiety test.

The causes of muscle spasms of anxiety

Spasms are involuntary movements of the muscles, sometimes called “nervous contractions.” Cramps are also a type of muscle spasm, but usually when people talk about spasms with anxiety, they are talking about something that causes their body to contract uncontrollably.

Spasms can affect any part of the body, including:

  • Hands
  • Fingers
  • Arm
  • Leg
  • Back
  • Elbow
  • Shoulder

Many people have experienced spasms at night after a considerable amount when walking, exercising or when they are about to dream. These types of spasms are not related to anxiety, but those with anxiety are more likely to believe that their spasms are related to anxiety. It is important to keep this in mind: some spasms occur naturally without cause, or due to dehydration or exercise. Not all natural spasms are related to anxiety, but many people with anxiety think that their spasms are anxiety or are related to health.

Muscle spasms are rarely something to worry about unless they are serious. It’s never a bad idea to visit a doctor, but most muscle spasms are harmless. Even those caused by anxiety are caused by nothing related to a health condition. The most common causes of spasms include:

  • Dehydration
  • Muscle fatigue / fatigue
  • Unused muscle

Anxiety is a disorder that causes people to assume that even the normal physical sensations that most people simply ignore are caused by something more serious. People experience muscle spasms and tell themselves that it must be something worse, like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. These types of worries are a side effect of anxiety.

Anxiety can also cause your own muscle spasms. The most common reasons for spasms include:

  • Muscle tension

Anxiety causes a considerable amount of muscle tension and muscle tension can cause cramps and spasms. The muscular tension is very similar to the exercise: fatigue the muscles and causes spasms as a result.

  • Adrenalin

Anxiety can also cause a considerable excess of adrenaline. Adrenaline excites the nervous system, and when it goes through your muscles it can make them “need” to move. Remember, anxiety is the activation of the fight or flight system. Your body is preparing to fight or flee, so it is not surprising that your muscles become restless.

  • Inactivity

Those with anxiety are less likely to be active than those without anxiety, presumably because their anxiety leaves them more drained and less energetic. Inactivity exhausts the resources of muscles and muscles respond by excessive excitement, which causes muscle contractions.

  • Dehydration

For reasons that are not entirely clear, people with anxiety are also more prone to dehydration, which means more muscle spasms. It may be because the fight or flight system consumes a lot of water through sweating and urination, and most people do not drink enough water anyway.

There may be other potential causes as well. During anxiety attacks, the body experiences severe stress, and to respond to that stress uses nutrients in the muscles and bones, such as magnesium. These nutrients may be necessary for the proper functioning of the nerve and, in some cases, may cause contraction or spasm of the muscles as a result. All these are possible links between muscle spasms and anxiety.

How to control muscle spasms of anxiety

Muscle spasms are involuntary reactions, and usually disappear in a few minutes. That means there’s not much you can do in the middle of a spasm to stop it, and if you’re still struggling with anxiety, you’re still likely to struggle with muscle spasms. However, there are some things you can try to reduce not only the spasms, but also the amount of worries that spasms cause you.

  • Move more

Because those with anxiety tend to be inactive, moving more often can decrease the likelihood of a spasm. Getting up and walking more often is a simple and easy way to start, and can cause blood to flow quickly through the muscles.

  • Exercise

Exercise exhausts unused adrenaline, which in turn decreases the likelihood of a spasm. The exercise itself can increase spasms, however, as the muscle recovers. But in these cases your brain will process the exercise as an “excuse” for the spasm. If you are someone who responds to your spasms with anxiety, you may experience less anxiety knowing that your spasm was caused by your training.

  • Hot bath

Hot baths act as a natural muscle relaxant, so if your muscles create spasms it can help you. A long, warm bath softens the skin and muscles, and should give you the opportunity to reduce some of your anxiety too.

  • Drink water

Of course, hydration is always an important tool to reduce muscle spasms. If your drink is fortified with electrolytes, it can also be beneficial, since the loss of electrolytes can be the cause of some muscle spasms.

You can also consider taking vitamin supplements such as magnesium, some experts recommend stretching when the muscle is prone to spasms.

Still, all these are only temporary solutions. If you have muscle spasms of anxiety, your spasms will continue if you still have anxiety. So I strongly recommend that you commit to an anxiety treatment to stop your anxiety forever.

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