Exploring Different Treatment Options for Controlling Muscle Spasms

muscle spasms

Here we will explore the different treatment options that can be used to control muscle spasms.


There are several reasons a person may experience muscle spasms, such as dehydration, restriction in blood supply, muscle fatigue, or underlying medical conditions like multiple sclerosis.


Muscle spasm treatment may be different for each individual depending on the cause; however, the following methods can be followed to find some relief in even the most severe cases.

Let’s jump right in.


Heat or Cold Therapy

Heat therapy works by increasing blood flow to the affected areas. Increased blood flow helps nutrients and oxygen travel to the muscles.


Cold therapy works by constricting blood vessels and decreasing inflammation that may be present.


These methods are primarily useful when muscle spasms are caused by injury or overexertion. Cold therapy is typically used within the first 24-48 hours, and heat is then introduced on the following days.


You can perform heat therapy by taking a hot bath, using a heating pad, or relaxing in a hot tub. Cold Therapy can be used by entering a cryotherapy chamber or applying ice packs to the area.


When using controlled temperatures to relieve muscle spasms, remember to limit exposure to about 15-20 minutes.


Massage or Stretching

Muscle spasms are contractions that may be caused by tension and muscle fatigue. When this is the case, stretching or massaging the muscles can bring relief by forcing relaxation.


Some great stretches for muscle spasms include crossover arm switch (shoulder spasms), supine hamstring stretch (lower back spasms), supine piriformis stretch (sciatica spasms), and calf or towel stretch (leg and foot spasms).


If you would like to use massages to calm your muscles, you can do so by going to a professional, or by using a massage gun, or foam roller, or performing the massage yourself.



If your muscle spasms are severe or caused by an underlying condition, your doctor may suggest using medication to relieve symptoms.


The most common medications include muscle relaxers like Baclofen, Vanadom, and Metaxalone. Your primary caregiver or pain management doctor may opt for an injectable medication. Depending on the injection type, relief can last up to four months.


Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is highly beneficial for muscle spasms in many ways. Marijuana reduces inflammation that may be causing spasms. The plant also relieves tension and forces the muscles to relax.


Medical marijuana is one of the most widely prescribed treatments for spasms and muscle-related conditions.

Depending on your state of residency, marijuana may be recreational or need to be prescribed.


Muscle-related conditions on the list of approved medical marijuana conditions include those with spasticity and chronic pain symptoms.

When selecting a cannabis strain, look for a product that is predominantly indica as they provide more relief.



For those without a medical condition, low electrolyte levels are often the cause of spasms or twitching in the muscles.


Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are lost through sweat (this is why sweat is salty).


These minerals are important for muscle function because they help maintain electricity levels in the cells and regulate fluid balance in the body.

If you are experiencing muscle spasms after physical activity, you likely burned too many electrolytes during your workout and need to replenish the supply.


Some drinks and foods with a high electrolyte level include sports drinks, coconut water, watermelon, avocado, and bananas.


Stress Reduction

Stress causes physical tension in the muscles, which can lead to spasms. Therefore, if you are experiencing spasms with no known cause, stress may be the cause.


You can reduce stress in many ways such as:

  • Consuming marijuana
  • Taking St.John’s Wort (over-the-counter mood stabilizer)
  • Taking prescription medications
  • Getting exercise
  • Eating healthily
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Attending therapy


Having muscle spasms from stress is not very common. If you feel stress is, in fact, the cause, consider contacting your doctor to discuss the possibility of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.


Physical Therapy

muscle spasms

Physical therapy is often used to diagnose and treat chronic muscle spasms. During a typical PT session, an individual may undergo muscle tests, complete stretches, and receive a massage.


Severe cases of muscle spasms caused by underlying conditions can be treated with EMG biofeedback, which is a technique that uses electrical muscle activity to help you familiarize yourself with muscle movements and relearn how to use them.


When sessions are completed frequently, physical therapy can help your doctor assess your condition and determine a more effective treatment plan.



Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions that can be uncomfortable or even painful.


Spasms are typically not serious; however, if you receive them often, they could be caused by an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.


There are many ways to relieve mild or moderate muscle spasms at home. A few methods include heat and cold therapy, reducing stress, replenishing electrolyte levels, using marijuana, stretching, and getting a massage.

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