How to Prevent Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms cause pain, limit your movement, and have other symptoms that limit your daily activities. Is it possible to prevent them?
How to Prevent Muscle Spasms

Last update: 25 August, 2020

Muscle spasms can present a serious problem for a person to go about their daily life. Difficulty moving, pain, and fatigue are some of the main problems that cause spasms. Therefore, it’s important to know how to prevent them or at least limit their effect.

Muscle spasms

Muscle spasms are disorders that occur with an abnormal increase in muscle tone, that is, in the tension it exerts. To lead a normal life, we need all muscles to have just the right amount of tension to perform any movement.

For example, let’s talk about having a glass of water, and the muscles we need to contract to do that:

  • Shoulder muscles, to hold that joint in place.
  • Contralateral paravertebral muscles, to act as a counterweight and keep the body straight.
  • Triceps, to lengthen the arm and biceps, and bring it back.
  • Forearm muscles to hold the glass.

However, not only do all these muscles have to properly work together. In addition, the other muscles also have to relax to let the first muscles perform this movement.

If there are spasms in any muscle group, this chain is broken, and you can’t perform the movement correctly. Therefore, it’s important to prevent this problem as much as possible.


Among the most common symptoms of muscle spasms are muscle stiffness and fatigue, uncontrollable movements of the muscles, contractures, and pain. Exaggerated tendon reflexes may also appear, as they’re under abnormal tension.

A man experiencing a muscle spasm.

How to prevent muscle spasms

There are certain tips that you can follow on a daily basis to avoid suffering from muscle spasms. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid being in excessive heat or cold. Muscles are very sensitive to room temperature with different effects. We don’t recommend expecting them to work properly in extreme situations.
  • Contain stress levels, as it can cause a chemical imbalance in the body.
  • Treat urine infections as quickly as possible. These infections can lead to spasms of the bladder or abdominal muscles.
  • Take care of your posture. Incorrect posture for a long time can cause certain muscles to work poorly and suffer as a result.
  • Get enough rest. That is, get enough sleep, and avoid excessive physical exercise.
  • Watch your diet and drink enough water. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet so that the muscles have the substances they need to contract and relax properly.
  • Exercises and stretching. A physical therapist will be able to tell you what exercises and stretches you should do for your muscles. For the rest, it’s also important to maintain an active lifestyle. In other words, avoid a sedentary lifestyle and do aerobic sports.

All of these factors can help prevent spasms. If you don’t treat it in time, a spasm can turn into a contracture, soft tissue pathologies, bone deformities, and other more complicated conditions.

A note on spasticity

Apart from in sports or day-to-day context, spasticity usually appears severely in cases of damage to the nerve cells of the spinal cord or brain, That is, it could be a symptom of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral disease, etc.

In these circumstances, you might not be able to prevent muscle spasms. However, following the tips we mentioned above will help limit its impact or control its appearance as much as possible.

A woman with lower back pain.

For these cases, and in others that are generally serious, there are also several medications to help treat muscle spasms. For the most extreme situations in patients with the above diseases, surgery may be necessary to relax the muscles.

Even with all of the above, a study published by Brain Injury explains that there’s no perfect specific treatment for spasticity.

Muscle spasms: limiting and troublesome

As you can see, it’s important to limit muscle spasms as much as possible. To do this, exercise, but don’t overdo it. Also, stretch your muscles frequently, watch your diet, and drink enough water. In addition, try to avoid stressful situations.

Whether you have serious underlying pathologies or not, these tips will help you minimize or prevent discomfort from muscle spasms. Your body will thank you!

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  • A. Thibaut, C. Chatelle, E. Ziegler, et al. Spasticity after stroke: Physiology, assessment and treatment. Brain Injury. Volume 27, Issue 10 (2013)
  • A. Kheder A, K. Nair. Spasticity: pathophysiology, evaluation and management. Practical Neurology;12:289-298 (2012)
  • V. Stevenson. Rehabilitation in practice: Spasticity management. Clinical Rehabilitation, 24(4), 293–304 (2010)

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.