Smooth muscle spasm

What are Smooth Muscle Spasms?

Smooth muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of the smooth muscles that line many of the internal organs and passageways of our bodies. Smooth muscles are found in the lining of most hollow organs, such as the stomach, intestine, urinary bladder and the walls of the major arteries. Smooth muscles respond to signals from the autonomic nervous system, contracting and relaxing in an involuntary manner.

Causes of Smooth Muscle Spasms

Smooth muscle spasms can be caused by a number of factors including trauma, certain types of infections, certain diseases, medications, inflammation, and irritants. Emotional stress can also trigger spasms in the smooth muscle. The spasms can occur suddenly and be intense but generally resolve after a few seconds.

Symptoms of Smooth Muscle Spasms

The symptoms of smooth muscle spasms vary depending on the location and the intensity of the contraction. Common symptoms include:

  • Lower abdominal cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain with defecation
  • Pain in the upper chest or throat

It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it is important to speak with your doctor if you are experiencing any of them.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Smooth Muscle Spasms

Diagnosis of smooth muscle spasms usually involves a physical exam as well as lab tests and imaging scans. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment often involves managing the underlying cause as well as medications to reduce the symptoms. Examples of medications used to treat smooth muscle spasms include antispasmodics and calcium channel blockers.

Prevention of Smooth Muscle Spasms

In order to prevent smooth muscle spasms, it is important to manage stress levels, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and practice good sleeping habits. Identifying and avoiding the causes of the spasms is also helpful in preventing them from occurring.