Chronic Spasms – By Louise Norcross, LMT

If you’re like most people, when you use the word “spasm,” you refer to an abrupt, violent contraction of a muscle in your leg, neck or back. The contraction grabs you in an excruciating strangle hold restricting any further movement. That type is an acute spasm. There is another type called chronic spasm. This type of spasm develops over time due to many factors, such as poor, posture, overuse, underuse and just plain abuse to name only a few. The spasm is of low-grade at first, but then continues to tighten until they wrench your muscles into knotted masses increasing pressure within the muscle.

This then results in compression of vessels-arteries, veins, and lymph channels, that course through the muscle and its fascia. The vessels may partially or even completely collapse. It is at this point the muscle is initially damaged.

Muscle cells must have a regular supply of fresh blood delivered to them. This fresh blood is supplied by arteries containing oxygen, water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, sugars and hormones. When arteries are compressed, enough fresh blood may not reach the muscle, deeming it nutritionally deficient and thus in greater need of nutrition.

Muscles must also be drained of “old” blood and tissue fluid. Veins drain the blood, and lymph channels drain the tissue fluids. The old blood and tissue fluids contain wastes from the muscle’s cells. When the muscle is spastic and its inner pressure increases, the veins and lymph channels, like the arteries are compressed. If the pressure is great enough, they may almost completely collapse. The wastes then back up and stagnate the muscle. If this continues, the wastes poison the muscle.

The inadequate blood supply and wastes damage your muscle’s interior by inflammation. By-products of the inflammation irritate nerve endings, making the muscle painful when you press into it firmly. But unless you press into the muscle, you may not know it’s damaged.

Obviously, then, it is very important to relieve your spasms before they damage muscular tissue.

One of the benefits of receiving therapeutic massage and bodywork is to help to alleviate chronic and acute muscle spasm. Pressure applied into a tight muscle will “milk” it, pushing out stagnant fluid and allowing fresh blood to profuse in that area. This, is why, you may feel light-headed, dizzy, some nausea or a mild headache after a deep tissue massage. The extra-cellular waste accumulated in muscle tissue has been “milked” and sent into the bloodstream. The importance of drinking plenty of water is to help flush this out of your system.

If your interested in therapeutic massage or have questions please call Louise Norcross, LMT at 352-476-5865.

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Article soure: Spasm by Dr. John C. Lowe