Does Arthritis Cause Muscle Cramps - ArthritisDaily.net (2022)

What Are Muscle Cramps

What Causes Leg Muscle Pain?

Muscle cramps result from an involuntary contraction of the skeletal muscles and are a common symptom of , fatigue, poor circulation, and nerve compression. Muscle from improper conditioning or prolonged exercise is a common cause of muscle cramps. Other common causes include sitting in one place for a long period of time and vascular disorders, both of which decrease blood circulation to the muscles.

, sometimes called charley horses, are sudden and uncontrollable muscle contractions or . They can occur with exercise or while sleeping and usually resolve just as quickly as they came. The pain from muscle cramps can be intense, but can often be relieved with gentle stretching and massage.

Electrolyte depletion in the blood can also lead to muscle cramps. In rare cases muscle cramps can be a symptom of kidney disorders. The endocrine condition may be accompanied by cramping of muscles in the legs and arms, and hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause muscle cramps. Depending on the cause, cramping may occur in one muscle or a group of muscles, and it may be accompanied by sharp and a hard visible lump in the muscle.

Muscle cramps may be a sign of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can result in shock or coma and may be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms of severe dehydration, such as loss of consciousness and no urine production.

How Do I Stop Random Muscle Spasms

Because muscle spasms are usually the result of muscle strains or muscle injury, muscle strain should be treated before muscle spasms can be prevented.

To begin with, muscle pain and muscle spasms will disappear on their own as long as you dont overuse your affected muscles. In short, rest is pivotal if you want to limit damage to your muscles and avoid muscle cramps.

In addition to resting from overusing the affected areas, using heat can also help soothe your aching muscles.

When it comes to muscle cramps that come out of the blue though, there might not be much you can do besides taking a few days off from exercise once they hit.

Prevention really is key here since most types of muscle cramps come and go quickly.

To prevent muscle cramps, its a good idea to avoid dehydration and muscle fatigue, which can happen when you exercise intensely or overdo it.

You need your muscles to be hydrated and well-oiled in order for them to function properly and cramping is the result if theyre not.

Since muscle cramps do often resolve without any intervention we would recommend seeing a doctor if no improvement has been seen after 3 days of rest and muscle pain relief.

For muscle spasms, in particular, prevention is key since most types of muscle cramps come and go quickly. To prevent muscle cramps, its a good idea to avoid dehydration and muscle fatigue, which can happen when you exercise intensely or overdo it.

Muscle relaxers are often used to treat people with myalgia .

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Muscle Pain

To work properly, your joints require muscles. Together, they are essential elements to support your movement. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA can affect the muscles in the involved joints, causing muscle pain. The bad news, the pain could be widespread.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms how do they progress?

Typically, the symptoms of this autoimmune disorder of arthritis develop gradually. The occurrence can take several weeks until you notice the first symptom.

It usually starts with stiffness in one joint such as wrists, soles of feet, or hands particularly in the morning and will improve by mid-day. This symptom may be vague for a while or may come & go at first, but it will become a regular occurrence as the disease gets worse. It will be followed with other classic symptoms of joint problem such as pain and swelling. Then other joints such as knees, elbows, or ankles could be affected, too.

Another interesting fact, the symptoms of RA tend to affect the joint symmetrically. For instance, once you have it in the left wrist, you are more likely to also have it in your right wrist. See also the differences between RA and OA in this section!

However in a few cases, the occurrence of the symptoms could be slightly different, these include:

  • They occur quickly over a few days and affect many joints.
  • And each case can be unique and different. Sometimes RA is off for several months or even years, but in a few cases it can be constantly progressive.

  • Etc.
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    Arthritis With Involvement Of The Soft Tissues

    It can happen that the inflammatory process present in the joints of the leg extends to the soft tissues, aggravating the present symptomatology .

    When this happens, the whole dynamics of the leg is affected and the patient is prevented from engaging in daily living activities.

    This type of arthritis is common in those who have overused their joints for example, professional athletes, runners, joggers. Physical injuries can trigger the appearance of this form of arthritis as well.

    The inflammatory process can stem from the soft tissues as well, affecting the joints as consequence. In making the diagnosis of arthritis, it is important to diagnose the root of the problem and treat it accordingly.

    If the leg pain is severe, involving a large surface and being resistant to medication, the condition one is suffering from might be fibromyalgia.

    Other Body Parts Ra Can Affect

    Does Arthritis Cause Muscle Cramps - ArthritisDaily.net (1)

    • Bones. The chemicals that cause inflammation can also take a bite out of your bones. It often affects your hips and spine. Sometimes, itâs a byproduct of years of treating RA with steroids.
    • Liver and kidneys. Itâs rare for RA to affect these organs. But the drugs that treat it can. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be bad for both. Cyclosporine may cause kidney disease. Methotrexate can damage your liver.
    • Immune system. The medications you take can slow it down. This makes you more likely to get infections.
    • Mucous membranes. You might be more likely to get a condition called Sjogrenâs syndrome that dries out moist places in your body like your eyes, your mouth, and inside your nose.
    • Muscles. When inflammation stops you from moving your joints, the attached muscles can get weak. Or you could get a condition called myositis that weakens them. The medications you take for RA can also be to blame.
    • Nerves. RA causes symptoms that range from numbness and tingling to paralysis. It can result from joint damage that RA causes, the disease process itself, or medications that treat it.
    • Blood vessels. RA can cause inflammation of your blood vessels. It can show up as spots on the skin or can cause ulcers in more severe cases.

    Read Also: How To Treat Arthritis In Hands

    What’s New In Arthritis Research

    Progress is so fast in some areas of arthritis research today that the media often report new findings before the medical journal with the information reaches your doctor’s office. As a result, you need to know how to evaluate reports on new arthritis research.

    Arthritis researchers are looking at four broad areas of research. These include causes, treatments, education and prevention.

    Researchers are learning more about certain conditions. For example in osteoarthritis, researchers are looking for signs of early destruction of cartilage and ways to rebuild it. For rheumatoid arthritis and other types that involve inflammation, researchers are trying to understand the steps that lead to inflammation and how it can be slowed or stopped. An initial study suggests that fibromyalgia affects more older people than originally thought and often may be overlooked in this group. Your doctor can tell you about other new research findings. If you would like to take part in arthritis research, ask your doctor for a referral to a study in your area.

    Many people help make arthritis research possible. The federal government through its National Institutes of Health is the largest supporter of arthritis research. Drug companies do the most research on new medications.

    Joint Pain Vs Muscle Pain: Whats The Difference

    When pain is felt in the body, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish exactly where the pain is originating from and why it hurts. Is it joint pain, muscle pain, or something else entirely?

    There are some causes of joint and muscle pain that are mistaken for each other, but its important to correctly diagnose the issue in order to treat it in the most effective way.

    This article will address the topic of joint pain vs. muscle pain, including the differences between these types of pain and when they mirror each other. It will also provide information about how to find joint pain relief and muscle pain relief depending on the diagnosis.

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    How To Treat Muscle Spasms Caused By Oa

    Muscle spasms can be caused by a number of potential factors, so the first step in treatment is determining the precise cause. There is really no way to treat osteoarthritis but you can mitigate its symptoms, including muscle spasms. Pain medications , physical therapy, and various injections can all be useful in decreasing the severity of muscle spasms as well as other symptoms.

    The pain management physicians at Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN have been treating Minnesotan patients suffering from muscle spasms and osteoarthritis for over two decades. Our doctors have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your condition, and put together a treatment strategy that fits your needs. If you are suffering from muscle spasms and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, set up your appointment with a pain doctor today by contacting our office.

    Musculoskeletal Pain And Arthritis

    Fibromyalgia, Muscle Pain and Cramping Test

    Learn more about the connection between musculoskeletal pain and arthritis and where you may experience this type of pain in your body.

    Structures in the musculoskeletal system besides bones, cartilage and synovium can cause pain if you have arthritis.

    Where you can experience musculoskeletal pain caused by arthritis:

    • Muscles.Muscle pain is a main symptom in some types of arthritis-related diseases, such as fibromyalgia, myositis and polymyalgia rheumatica. Your muscles may also ache if they are weakened due to lack of use or when trying to support joints with arthritis.

    • Ligaments.Joints are held together with tough bands of tissue connecting two bones. Ligaments can become torn, stretched or weakened when you have arthritis.

    • Tendons.These strong bands of tissue connect muscles to bone. Tendinitis occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed or irritated due to arthritis or overuse.

    • Bursae.These fluid-filled sacs pad the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis happens when bursae become inflamed or irritated due to arthritis or overuse.

    Soft-tissue Musculoskeletal Damage

    Athletes may have specific kinds of soft-tissue damage. Tennis elbow and golfers elbow are painful conditions that involve inflammation of the tendons holding the muscles of the elbow together. Runners may get a condition called plantar fasciitis when the thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed.

    Neuropathic Musculoskeletal Pain

    Managing Pain

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    What Are Common Arthritis Treatments

    There are many things that help reduce pain, relieve stiffness and keep you moving. Your care may involve more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend medications but there are many things you can do on your own to help manage pain and fatigue and move easier.

    Finding the right treatment takes time. It can involve trial and error until you and your healthcare team or therapist find what works best. Be sure to let your doctor know if a treatment is not working. Your treatment may also change as your arthritis changes.

    Treatments for arthritis can be divided into several categories: medication, exercise, heat/cold, pacing, joint protection, surgery and self-help skills. You can do things in each of these areas to help yourself feel better and move easier.

    Articles On Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are different for each person who has this long-term disease.

    Some people have long periods with few or no symptoms. Others feel it for months at a time in an uptick of disease activity called a flare.

    Most people have lasting problems with episodes of more severe disease. New and earlier treatment is changing the overall picture, though. More people are having low disease activity or even remission.

    Read Also: How To Help Arthritis In Lower Back

    Stop Hand Cramps Before They Start

    Better yet, aim to prevent muscle cramps in the first place. Keeping hand muscles strong will help prevent muscle fatigue, so exercises can decrease cramps long term, Weselman explains. Try repetitive finger tapping , or squeezing silly putty or a stress ball.

    RELATED: 6 Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis Hand Pain Relief

    If muscle cramps or hand pain persists, occurs often, or interferes with everyday activities, talk with your doctor, who can look for signs of underlying causes such as poor circulation, dehydration, poor nutrition, kidney disease, or electrolyte imbalances due to medication. In some cases, muscle atrophy could be related to injury, muscle abnormality, or a neurological condition.

    Additional reporting by Jessica Firger.

    Muscle Cramp Associated With Medical Conditions

    Does Arthritis Cause Muscle Cramps - ArthritisDaily.net (2)

    Certain diseases or conditions may increase the risk of muscle cramp, including:

    • Atherosclerosis a condition characterised by narrowed arteries due to the formation of fatty plaques. Muscles are more likely to cramp if their blood supply is inadequate.
    • Sciatica pain in the buttock and leg caused by pressure on nerves in the lower back. In some cases, the irritated nerve may prompt the associated muscles to contract.
    • Medications some medical conditions require the regular use of fluid pills . These drugs can interfere with the bodys mineral balance and contribute to cramping.

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    Treatment Options For Muscle Cramp

    Most muscle cramps resolve after a few seconds or minutes. There has been very little research done to work out which treatment works best but treatment options include:

    • Stretch and massage lengthen the cramping muscle using a gentle, sustained stretch then lightly massage the area until the cramp subsides. If you are unsure how to stretch leg muscles, see your physiotherapist for advice.
    • Icepack in cases of severe cramp, an icepack applied for a few minutes may help the muscle to relax.
    • Medication some medications can be helpful to control muscle cramps. See your doctor for further information.
    • Further treatment see your doctor if you experience regular muscle cramping or if cramps last longer than a few minutes. You may have an undiagnosed medical condition that requires treatment.

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    When Osteoarthritis Causes Muscle Spasms

    Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that impacts a persons joints. It occurs when the tissue in a persons joints begins to erode. OA is the most common type of arthritis, and most often impacts the joints in the knees, hips, spine, and hands. Here are a few of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis:

    • Pain and tenderness in the joint
    • Muscle spasms

    Many people experience osteoarthritis symptoms to varying degrees as they age. Early identification can help reduce the severity of pain, inflexibility, and muscle spasms.

    What Is The Patient’s Role In Treating Or Managing Arthritis

    Hand Yoga for Muscle Cramps and Stiffness –

    The patient is the most important member of the health care team.

    The patient plays an important role in his or her medical care. The patient can contribute to the success of a treatment plan by:

    • learning about arthritis
    • reporting progress and setbacks to health team
    • keeping a positive attitude
    • developing relationships with the rest of the health care team

    Keeping a positive attitude, though sometimes difficult, is an important ingredient in overcoming arthritis. Asking questions and finding out as much as you can about of arthritis and its treatment is important. So talk over your concerns with your doctor. If you still need more information , ask the nurse, physical therapist, social worker, occupational therapist to help you find answers to your questions.

    Read Also: How Did I Get Arthritis In My Knee

    What Are The Types Of Musculoskeletal Pain

    The most common types of musculoskeletal pain include:

    • Bone pain: Injuries such as bone fractures or other musculoskeletal injuries cause bone pain. Less commonly, a tumor may cause bone pain.
    • Joint pain: Stiffness and inflammation often accompany joint pain. For many people, joint pain gets better with rest and worsens with activity.
    • Muscle pain:Muscle spasms, cramps and injuries can all cause muscle pain. Some infections or tumors may also lead to muscle pain.
    • Tendon and ligament pain: Ligaments and tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect your joints and bones. Sprains, strains and overuse injuries can lead to tendon or ligament pain.

    Etiology Of Muscle Cramps

    The most common types of leg cramps are

    • Benign idiopathic leg cramps

    • Exercise-associated muscle cramping

    Although almost everyone has muscle cramps at some time, certain factors increase the risk and severity of cramps. They include the following:

    • Tight calf muscles

    • Dehydration

    • Pain or loss of sensation in a peripheral nerve, plexus, or root distribution

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