How Stress Affects Sleep
This infographic from Insider Living shows how stress affects sleep.
- 26% of women report trouble sleeping at least once a week compared to only 16% of men.
- 19% of individuals ages 25-64 admit to losing sleep due to stress a few nights per week.
- 54% say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night.
- 52% of men and 42% of women reported that stress affected their ability to remain focused the next day.
Characteristics Of Anxiety Twitching
The muscle twitching caused by anxiety can be seen in individual muscles or in groups of muscles. It may stay in one muscle group or move randomly around your body.
The twitching may last for a few minutes or go on for hours or longer. It may get either better or worse when youre trying to sleep. Some people report their twitching to get worse as stress and anxiety increase, but it doesnt seem to ease very fast when the anxiety is over.
Any muscle group can be affected by anxiety twitching.
Muscle twitching doesnt even always need anxiety to occur. Even in times of calm, your muscles can misfire, in a sense.
And there isnt anything that you can do to stop your muscles from twitching. The more you pay attention to the twitching, the more your muscles twitch. Also, you cant relax the twitching away.
The longer youve been anxious, the more likely youll experience anxiety twitching. Even at times when youre not anxious.
When To See A Doctor
Muscle spasms, twitches, and cramps are not usually a cause for concern. They are perfectly normal, particularly in athletes and other people who exercise regularly.
In some cases, however, they can indicate an underlying health condition, such as multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, or cirrhosis of the liver. They may also suggest problems with:
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What Treatments Are Available For Muscle Spasms
Treatment approaches for muscle spasms vary depending on the type of spasms as well as on the underlying causes.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, treatment approaches commonly used include:
- Dietary recommendations
- Physical therapy
- A combination of treatments
Underlying causes may result from strain and possibly tissue damage in which pain medication may be needed to provide short-term relief.
In cases of muscle tissue damage, anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed.
Since tissue damage likely results in impaired movement, physical therapy treatment may be warranted.
If a medical condition, such as diabetes, anxiety or heart disease is present, controlling the symptoms of the underlying condition will also help alleviate muscle spasm episodes.
Oftentimes, patients being treated for medical conditions are advised to engage in regular exercise, which will also help eliminate muscle spasms.
What Kind Of Doctor Do I See For Muscle Spasms
Doctors who practice family medicine, sports medicine, physical therapy, and neurology are all involved with muscle spasms.
The first step will be to determine what muscle is being affected and why it is going into a muscle spasm. Once this has been determined then the appropriate treatment can be started.
One of the most commonly treated muscle groups in a muscle spasm condition would be a muscle in the neck.
A muscle in the neck might go into a muscle spasm because of an injury such as whiplash from an accident, poor posture where you sit at your computer for long periods of sleep with your face buried in your pillow.
The best thing to do if you believe that you might have cramped up frequently or continuously in your muscle is to see your primary care physician. They will be able to do an exam on you and determine if muscles are located in the neck or elsewhere in the body.
The muscle spasms can be treated with muscle relaxers, muscle injections, physical therapy manual muscle stretching, chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy.
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How Is Cricopharyngeal Spasm Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform an assessment and talk with you about your symptoms. Theyll check the back of your throat for something called an esophageal diverticulum. This is a pocket that forms in the esophageal lining. It can develop if cricopharyngeal spasm goes untreated for a long time. Food and saliva can collect in this pouch.
Your medical team may also run some tests to confirm your diagnosis. These may include:
- GI X-ray examinations: Youll be asked to drink a barium liquid that coats your digestive tract. X-rays are then taken so that your esophagus can be examined.
- Esophageal manometry test: This test shows how the muscles in your esophagus operate when you swallow.
- Upper endoscopy procedure: A thin tube with a camera at the end is inserted down your throat. This allows your healthcare provider to examine your esophagus in greater detail.
Tuesday August 24 2021
Muscle twitching is an involuntary contraction of the muscles fibres. In most common cases, it’s an outcome of muscle fatigue, but there are a few other causes to watch out for too that could be potentially dangerous for health.
So let’s discuss and take a look at the top 3 things about Muscle Twitches.
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What Causes Muscle Spasms In The Chest
A spasm is an involuntary contraction of a muscle, and it can occur anywhere in the body. However, when that spasm occurs in the chest, its cause for alarm.
Some conditions, like thyroid disease, anemia, diabetes, heart issues, and nervous system glitches can cause these uncomfortable spasms.
Though, anything that is chest related needs to be evaluated by a physician to make sure its not heart-related.
The Jitters: Muscle Spasms And Restlessness
In the same way that caffeine stimulates the brain, the stimulant effects translate through the central nervous system into the muscles and heart, affecting motor activity as well.
Its not unheard of for a person whos had even 50 milligrams of caffeine to experience an increased heart rate, or tachycardia, and agitation, according to a study published in The Medical Journal of Australia. The CNSs overactivity is to blame for this, and in just the same way that it causes the heart to overreact, it can act like an electric shock to the rest of the body, too.
In turn, the overcaffeinated person experiences muscle spasms and restlessness. According to the National Institutes of Health, caffeine is among the top three causes of eye twitches. These twitches are characterized by repeated and uncontrollable spasms of the upper eyelid, a sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.
But these effects can be felt anywhere in the body. From tired leg muscles, which may be especially prone to spasms after a workout, to your throat and voice box. Spasms in the latter two areas can cause people to stutter and have difficulty with speech, as they not only struggle to control how their words come out, but also have difficulty focusing on their speech patterns.
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Muscles Have A Mind Of Their Own
You tell your muscles what to do without thinking about it. But sometimes they do their own thing — they might pulse or contract and canât relax. Twitches and spasms are most common in the thighs, calves, hands, arms, belly, ribcage, and the arches of your foot. They can involve part of a muscle, all of it, or a group of muscles. Doctors arenât always sure why they happen, but a few common triggers can set them off.
Shoulders Head And Jaw
The effects of stress in your body can move through the tension triangle, which includes your shoulders, head and jaw.
Stress can trigger tension headaches, tightness in the neck and jaw, and knots and spasms in your neck and shoulders, says Dr. Lang. It also may contribute to TMJ, a jaw disorder.
Ask your doctor about remedies such as stress management, counseling or anxiety-reducing medicine.
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Are Fasciculations The First Sign Of Als
Given the seriousness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, people naturally worry that any symptom of ALS could be the sign they have this very serious disease. While muscle fasciculations can be a symptom of ALS, there are other, more sure signs of disease progression to look for. Muscular atrophy, or a generalized weakness, is a sign of ALS that is far more worrying.
If you are concerned that your symptoms are the sign of something more serious, be sure to talk to a healthcare professional. There are conclusive tests that can be performed to determine whether ALS is the cause of your twitching. You may find out you are experiencing a lifestyle-induced form of BFS caused by something like over-the-counter drugs, smoking, stress, or even too much strenuous exercise.
Where and how your twitches occur is also an indication of what may be going on. The fasciculations associated with BFS often occur in the eyelids or in your lower motor neurons. ALS can cause broader effects in your peripheral neuropathy, with twitching and muscle weakness occurring throughout the body.
What Is A Muscle Twitch
Human muscles are made up of bundles of fibers. These fibers are controlled by nerves. Any time a nerve is overstimulated or damaged, it can send sporadic signals to the muscle fiber, which can result in involuntary twitching. A muscle twitch is harmless in itself, but the underlying nerve issue can have concerning causes.
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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
In most cases, people with cricopharyngeal spasm notice improvement in about three weeks. Everyone is unique, however, and this timeline can vary for each person.
Sometimes, just being aware of the problem is helpful. Once cricopharyngeal spasm is diagnosed, people may become less anxious and experience symptoms less often.
Spasms Caused By The Abdominal Muscles
Muscle spasms felt within the rib cage may also be caused by the abdominal muscles.
The major abdominal muscles include the transverse abdominals, the rectus abdominis, and the external and internal oblique muscles.
The rectus abdominis runs between the ribs and the pubic bone and supports movements between the rib cage and the pelvis.
Similar to other muscles in the body the abdominal muscles can have spasms that can occur from muscle strain, over-use, fatigue, and dehydration.
According to Health Grades, abdominal spasms that are abnormal can occur as the result of acute disorders of the intestines such as bowel obstruction, perforation, or diverticulitis.
Gallstones, hernias, and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm may also cause muscle spasms.
If abdominal muscle spasms are caused by strenuous exercise, the problem is not serious and can be treated easily at home through massage or stretching.
However, if the need to stretch or massage muscles regularly due to cramps and spasms, consider the possibility that there might be a serious underlying cause that may need treatment by a medical professional.
Spasms that are not exercise related but are persistent or severe require immediate medical attention.
If the spasms are accompanied by green or bloody vomit, blood in the stool or urine, chest pain, confusion, or a high fever, you should seek immediate health care.
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What Are Criteria Used To Diagnosis Muscle Spasms
Determining an underlying cause of muscle spasms entails identifying a persons potential risk factors.
In order to do this, a physician will need to know a persons medical history and do a physical exam.
In situations where muscle spasms are recurring, blood testing may be done to check for any deficiencies or abnormalities.
Mental health also factors since long-term stress or emotional problems can result from underlying medical conditions.
Long-term emotional problems can cause medical problems to develop so a physician may also look into a patients mental health history.
How Do Muscle Spasms Develop
A muscle spasm develops when communications between the brain and muscles is compromised. Conditions that may interfere with brain and muscle communications include:
- Low electrolyte levels
- Low supply of blood and nutrients to muscles
- Low water levels
- Damaged nerves
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Normal muscle function relies on a balanced supply of electrolytes, some of which include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.
These minerals help regulate nerve signal conduction along muscle cell walls, so low levels pose an increased risk for muscle spasm.
A low supply of blood and nutrients to a group of muscles can also cause spasms to develop.
The bloodstream delivers oxygen and electrolytes to the bodys muscles. With poor blood circulation, the materials needed to enable normal muscle function are lacking.
Since electrolytes require adequate amounts of water to conduct nerve signaling, dehydrated cell muscles can become hypersensitive. These conditions increase the likelihood of involuntary muscle spasms.
Damage to nerves may result from pinched or compressed nerves in the spinal column.
When this happens, nerve signals may become distorted, causing pain and spasms in the affected muscle.
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What Does Caffeine Do To The Body
Caffeine exerts various effects on the human body, primarily enhancing alertness and prolonging attention, and it does this through direct stimulation of the central nervous system. This is why a cup of coffee can make it much easier to focus on tasks that are often boring!
The stimulant action of caffeine occurs due to its action as an adenosine antagonist and adenosine receptor agonist. Through this action, it plays a role in the regulation of brain activity as well as the states of wakefulness and sleep.
This has caused many scientists to become interested in the many ways in which caffeine consumption may affect human health. The subject is highly controversial, especially with regard to the relationship that exists between caffeine and chronic pain.
Can Stress Cause Lower Back Pain
Back pain is arguably one of the most common and frustrating symptoms that we experience regularly. From causing difficulty working to trouble sleeping, there is no doubt that lower back pain is a major hassle. In many cases, the inability to pinpoint a cause or inciting event for the pain can be the most irritating thing about it, second only to the discomfort that interferes with your daily life. Your first thought may be that you pulled a muscle or moved the wrong way, leading to a sore back. However, you may be surprised to find out that a large number of back pain cases are actually caused by stress and its associated behaviors. The knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, led by Dr. Christopher Williams, is dedicated to helping patients determine the underlying cause of their condition and get quick relief from their painful symptoms.
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Can Anxiety Cause Throat Spasms
Yes. Anxiety can cause a number of physical symptoms and throat tightness is one of the most common. People with cricopharyngeal spasm may have flare-ups during times of stress.
The symptoms above usually go away when youre eating or drinking. They can also worsen when youre stressed. Even though many people with cricopharyngeal spasm feel restriction in their throat, they can still swallow normally. In contrast, people with other, similar conditions may develop dysphagia .
Treatment Options For Stress
The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.
An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.
Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.
Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.
When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.
Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.
Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.
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Leading Causes Of Muscle Twitches And Spasms
Muscle twitches and spasms affect many individuals. The positive about this, of course, is that most muscle twitches are common and normal. However, some muscle twitches and spasms are signs of a serious disorder or emergency medical condition. A wide variety of conditions can be causing an eyelid that will not stop twitching or a calf muscle that aches so badly. There are certain individuals who experience intense foot cramping that feels as if their bones will break. Whether twitches and spasms are being caused by something as innocuous as stress or something more neurological, there is hope for treatment.
The Link Between Anxiety Depression And Back Pain
Youd be hard-pressed to find someone who didnt experience some level of anxiety in 2020. With endless news channels putting the fear of death in us if we left our homes, picked up the mail, or that wed kill loved ones with a hug, anxiety was an emotion circling through many of our systems in 2020.
It is important to remember that negative feelings and emotions like sadness, depression, anxiety, and guilt are all normal and healthy responses to stress in life and don’t necessarily signify a mental health disorder, says Dr. Bonte. If our mental health is impacted and we are struggling to deal with this, this can physically manifest as increased muscle tension, spasms, and a decreased threshold for pain.
Being in a state of constant stress or chronic stress causes muscles to be tense and taut for an extended period, which can lead to back pain as well as headaches, according to the American Psychological Association.
The mind and the body are connected and it is well documented that psychological diagnoses such as depression and anxiety can make back pain stress worse. The inverse is also true an increase in pain can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety, says Dr. Bonte. A holistic approach to mental health and spine care is important when addressing back pain, particularly in people who have psychiatric diagnoses.
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