At least once in a lifetime, every person has experienced such a phenomenon as convulsions. Pathology is felt as a wave-like and involuntary muscle contraction, which may be accompanied by numbness or, conversely, severe pain. The convulsive activity of the muscles occurs, first of all, due to their overstrain, and usually develops spontaneously, and just as suddenly stops. The attack can be single, or repeat again after a certain interval of time. Most often, children complain of seizures, less often they occur in young and old people. Muscle contractions, along with pain, mainly occur at night, or when the muscles are in a state of intense physical activity.
What are cramps, what are their causes
A cramp is an involuntary contraction of muscle tissue that causes discomfort and pain to a person.
- What are seizures, what are the causes their occurrence
- How to recognize a seizure in a child
- Varieties of seizure activity
- First aid for seizures: what to do
- Treatment and prevention of seizures: recommendations of doctors and advice from traditional medicine
- Seizures as a sign of epilepsy: what to do
Most of all, the calf muscles are subject to convulsive seizures, a little less - the muscles of the hips, neck, abdomen, back. Often there are seizures covering a group of muscles.
The pain is aching, drawing or cutting. At the same time, the muscle seems to turn to stone, and the involved limb ceases to obey.
The mechanism of spasm formation occurs in a cyclic pattern: since blood does not enter the muscle, ischemia occurs in it. A person feels pain, strains the muscle even more to weaken it, and as a result, only provokes discomfort.
Why do seizures occur? The very mechanism of the development of an attack may depend on various factors, but the reason for their formation is a lack of blood circulation in the muscle tissue associated with intense tension. Strengthening the convulsive activity of the muscles can be facilitated by injections with sharp objects, sudden loud sounds, and the intake of alcoholic beverages.
In athletes, due to constantly increased sweating, a lack of salts can form in the body, which also causes seizures.
Monotonous, repetitive movements for a long time negatively affect the state of the muscles, create tension in them, which causes convulsive contractions. An example of such movements is typing on a keyboard, or operating a computer mouse.
Doctors note that night cramps appear as a result of the combination of stress, as a mental phenomenon, with reduced blood circulation, a physiological factor.
If the same muscle groups feel constant stress for a long time, they are more prone to seizures than other muscles - for example, people who work while standing notice the appearance of leg cramps.
In addition to circulatory disorders, stress and physical exertion, convulsions can occur against the background of some neuropsychiatric diseases - tetanus, neuroses, epilepsy. Poisoning, intoxication, disruption of the endocrine system, and metabolic disorders can also cause seizures.
Why do children have seizures? Physicians associate this phenomenon with insufficient development of the brain and fibers of nerve cells, as well as poorly developed inhibitory mechanisms. The development of convulsive seizures can be facilitated by bad habits of the mother during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation, toxicosis, intrauterine infections, taking toxic drugs, brain damage to the baby during childbirth, after childbirth - infectious diseases and metabolic disorders, the consequences of vaccination of the child.
Spasms in the calf muscles can not always be considered as a separate phenomenon, an independent disease - spasms of this part of the body can be accompanied by some other diseases, for example, varicose veins.
After bathing in cold water, hypothermia, sudden movements after rest, due to overwork and a sharp increase in body temperature, spasmodic sensations may appear in different areas of the body, which unpleasantly affect on the general well-being of the person.
Frequent seizures may indicate the presence of thrombosis - blockage of veins as a result of uneven blood flow in them. Also, seizures can signal that the body lacks magnesium, calcium, and potassium ions, which are involved in the processes of muscle tissue relaxation.
General overwork of the body also contributes to the formation of blood supply disorders in muscle tissue. This condition may be temporary or cumulative. Temporary fatigue can be associated, for example, with the summer season, when the body spends a large amount of energy on sweating and cooling. Because of this, the muscles are subjected to more wear and tear under normal loads, muscle protein breaks down faster. The breakdown products of myoglobin become toxic to the body, and can even cause pain. Since the blood supply is reduced, toxins are not fully removed from the muscles, and provoke cramps in them.
People suffering from diabetes mellitus often complain about spastic contractions in the legs. Such patients are especially sensitive to heat, because of it the level of sugar in their blood rises sharply, and vascular insufficiency and convulsions develop.
How to recognize a spasm in a child
Often, muscle spasms appear in children, even the smallest. They may look like a minor tic or twitch, such as during sleep, if the brain sends impulses to the nerve endings as a result of its normal activities.
In newborns, a convulsive attack occurs due to violations of labor in the mother, with a lack of oxygen and asphyxia, as a result of injuries received during childbirth, due to diabetes in the mother.
Children as young as two years of age suffer from seizures, which are caused by disorders in the development of the nervous system, internal organs, against the background of infectious lesions, vaccination or colds.
In older children, head injuries, the danger of poisoning, hysterical seizures and neuroses are added to the risk factors.
How do you know if a child has seizures? The baby begins to abruptly involuntarily move his limbs - it may look like a tick, twitching, jerking. Facial features are distorted, at the site of the cramp in the muscle, a pulsation is felt. The child rolls his eyes, clenches his jaw, tenses his limbs, may squeeze them or stretch them. Lips and skin become bluish. Involuntary urination may occur. In severe cases, seizures are accompanied by vomiting51 or foaming at the mouth.
Varieties of convulsive activity
Convulsive muscle contractions can have different manifestations. There are:
- febrile convulsions.
Tonic spasm is distinguished by the intensity and duration of muscle tissue tension.
Clonic spasm occurs according to the following pattern: short-term tension - relaxation - pulsation. The cycle can be repeated until the attack ends.
Focal seizures are localized to a specific area, while generalized seizures involve several muscle groups. As a result, even short-term paralysis can develop.
Febrile spasms appear during influenza or colds, due to fever of the body, as a side effect of fever. The convulsive activity subsides with time as the illness subsides. If convulsions occur at a temperature higher than 38-39 degrees, this may indicate a significant deterioration in the patient's condition. In turn, non-febrile seizures develop due to temporary disorders in the functioning of the brain.
Sleep convulsions are a separate group of disorders. With nocturnal convulsions, the patient has increased brain activity, at which time he sees dreams. In children, night cramps may be accompanied by involuntary urination.
Generalized seizures with convulsive manifestations throughout the body are the most dangerous for a person - he completely loses control over his body, his consciousness turns off.
First aid for convulsions: what to do
The algorithm for providing first aid to a person with convulsions looks like this - first he must be laid or seated in a comfortable position. This is especially important if the cramp is localized in the legs, in the lower leg, in the fingers or above the knee - this way it will be possible to relieve additional tension in these areas.
A spasmodic muscle needs to be unblocked. If we are talking about the leg, this can be done as follows: the person who provides first aid takes the victim by the foot in the area of \u200b\u200bthe base of the fingers and presses them in the opposite direction, thereby straining the muscle. It should be noted that this technique is quite painful, even against the background of pain from convulsions, but the pain and spasm pass quickly.
The victim can help himself - for this he needs to firmly grasp his toes with both hands and pull them towards himself. So you can remove the cramp in the fingers and in the calf muscle.
Athletes, such as swimmers and runners, take a different approach - a sharp object is necessary to prick the muscle contracted by spasm. For this purpose, a regular sewing needle or pin is suitable.
The next method you can use is to massage the spasmed muscle. In this case, the pressure should be strong enough, so the victim is unlikely to be able to perform such manipulations on himself. Massage begins with simple strokes, and then the intensity of exposure increases gradually.
Massage can also be applied after the cramp has passed to relax the muscle tissue.
After the attack is over, the person is advised to let the muscles rest for some time - at least 20-30 minutes should lie down quietly.
Consequences of convulsions can be expressed in muscle pain, for which non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended.
Treatment and prevention of seizures: recommendations of doctors and traditional medicine
A useful prophylactic against muscle spasms is honey. Traditional medicine generally ascribes many healing properties to this product. If you eat one tablespoon of honey every day during lunch, you can avoid the appearance of cramps in the legs, even with significant overwork.
Traditional medicine for the treatment of convulsions recommends using decoctions of certain herbs to make compresses and lotions. For example, you can prepare such a collection: red clover, yellow sweet clover, flowers of calendula, leaves and stems of rhubarb. A tablespoon of dry collection is poured with a liter of boiling water, after which it is placed in a water bath for 15 minutes. Next, the liquid is rearranged in a warm place for half an hour, filtered. The resulting broth is moistened with a gauze napkin, which is applied to the painful area for 2-3 hours, wrapping the compress with a dense material.
Vodka tincture is prepared from dried herb tansy. 100 g of the dried collection is poured with a liter of vodka, after which it is infused for a week in a dark place. The remedy is rubbed into the lower leg and feet before going to bed.
Preventive measures directly depend on the individual factors in the formation of muscle spasms. If the attacks bother each time more and more often, you should definitely consult a doctor and do not self-medicate. The fact is that convulsions can be both an independent ailment and a symptom of serious health disorders.
Keep fluid intake and avoid dehydration, avoid diuretics and carbonated drinks. Soda tends to remove calcium ions from the body, in addition, sweet water usually has a high content of sugar.
Juices, especially with pulp, should be consumed as little as possible, as they contain sugar and fiber, which helps to reduce the flow of fluid into the vessels.
It is not uncommon for people to experience seizures after drinking alcohol in hot weather. This is due to the diuretic effect of alcoholic beverages.
In order to avoid the occurrence of seizures, it is necessary to always remember the level of stress on the muscles, and control it so as not to bring the muscles to exhaustion and overwork. You should also limit the wearing of uncomfortable, narrow shoes, shoes with high heels.
Taking vitamin and mineral complexes, agreed with the doctor, will help replenish the reserves of potassium, calcium and other essential elements in the body, thereby reducing the likelihood of cramps in the limbs and trunk. In addition, it is very important to monitor the balance of nutrition, do not forget about fruits, nuts, dairy products, fish.
Diabetics should especially pay attention to their blood sugar levels, diet, and consume enough salt.
If possible, it is best to avoid swimming in cold waters, as cold water causes convulsions.
Small physical activity serves as a good prevention of muscle spasms - we are talking about minimal morning exercises, hiking, fitness classes. A relaxing massage and a daily warm shower also have a beneficial effect on the condition of the muscular corset, preventing disturbances in the blood supply to muscle tissue.
Seizures as a sign of epilepsy: what to do
Epilepsy is also called the disease of convulsive seizures, in fact, because its main manifestation is the appearance of seizures. Such convulsive states have the character of seizures, which usually appear and end abruptly. The reason for the formation of the disease lies in the appearance of foci of pathological excitation in the brain. There are more than a hundred factors that can contribute to the development of the disease, including brain injuries, heredity, neurological diseases, and many others.
The main symptom of epilepsy is a seizure. Its appearance is preceded by the so-called harbingers of an attack, when a person becomes irritable, anxious, he has an “absence”.
Further development of a seizure can occur in several ways - the onset of a Jacksonian seizure, or small seizures. A person cannot stand on his feet, his legs give way, the body completely or partially begins to shake convulsions, he loses consciousness. Saliva may come out of the mouth in the form of foam, or vomiting, temporary cessation of breathing and involuntary urination are possible.
An epileptic seizure can only be accurately identified if the person is already known to be an epileptic.
In any case, the first aid for epileptic convulsions is to help the patient to endure the seizure without harming himself. He is laid on his back, his head is thrown to one side, a soft pillow is placed under it or folded towels, blankets, jackets are placed under it. It makes no sense to open the closed jaws, but if they are not compressed, a dense object, for example, a tissue tourniquet, should be inserted between the teeth so that a person does not bite his tongue during convulsions. It is forbidden to try to get the patient drunk, or give him any medication during a seizure. Before starting first aid to the victim, you should call an ambulance.
Seizures, if they are not generalized and occur occasionally, usually do not pose a serious threat to the person, and they can be stopped without medical help. First aid in this case consists in transferring a person to a state of rest, massage, and also stretching a spasmodic muscle to relieve spasm.
- Dzyak L. A., Kirichenko A. G. – Modern aspects of the pathogenesis of epilepsy. – Method. recommendations, Dn-sk, "Thresholds", 2009 - 486 p.
- Sokolova N. G. - Directory of a pediatrician. - Litagent "Knizhkin Dom", 2012 117]