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When Your Muscles Go Into Spasm…
24 MAR 2014
et’s take a look at what happens when you overdo it – whether from pulling weeds out of your garden or pushing yourself through your workout routine.
When one or more of your muscles go into spasm, your body reacts to this "injury" by sending more white blood cells to the site.
These extra white blood cells can interfere with the red blood cells’ routine tasks of carrying oxygen and nutrients to the injured area. Waste products stagnate and accumulate in the affected tissue.
A lack of oxygen to the site can also stimulate a “pain-spasm cycle” where the nerves send “pain” signals to your brain. In response, your brain contracts the muscles near the injury to close off blood supply and prevents swelling.
So starts a vicious cycle that can lead to more spasms and more pain. Even worse, unless the cycle is broken, it can continue for years.
One of the best – and easiest ways – to break this cycle is to use heat and cold.
Heat brings more blood to the area, providing much needed oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products.
Both heat and cold help shut down the nerves that fire the pain signals. When the pain messages can’t reach the brain, muscles don’t contract and constrict blood flow to the injured area.
Applying heat or cold consistently for a sufficient period of time can help break the pain-spasm cycle.