Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They often occur after exercise or at night, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. You have probably had a muscle cramp before. It is a very common muscle problem.
Muscle cramps can be caused by nerves that malfunction. Sometimes this malfunction is due to a health problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back. Other causes are
Cramps can be very painful. Stretching or gently massaging the muscle can relieve this pain.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 18 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 18 September 2008