Muscle Cramps

What is the treatment of skeletal muscle cramps? (Continued)

Muscle relaxant medications may be used over the short-term in certain situations to relax muscle cramps due to an injury or other temporary event. These medications include cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), orphenadrine (Norflex), and baclofen (Lioresal).

In recent years, injections of therapeutic doses of botulism toxin (Botox) have been used successfully for some dystonic muscle disorders that are localized to a limited group of muscles. A good response may last several months or more, and the injection may then be repeated.

The treatment of cramps that are associated with specific medical conditions generally focuses on treating the underlying condition. Sometimes, additional medications specifically for cramps are prescribed with certain of these conditions.

Of course, if cramps are severe, frequent, persistent, respond poorly to simple treatments, or are not associated with an obvious cause, then the patient and the doctor need to consider the possibility that more intensive treatment is indicated or that the cramps are a manifestation of another disease. As described above, the possibilities are extremely varied and include problems with circulation, nerves, metabolism, hormones, medications, and nutrition. It is uncommon for muscle cramps to occur as the result of a medical condition without other obvious signs that the medical condition is present.

Cramps are inevitable, but if possible, it would be best to prevent them.

Reviewed on 2/4/2014
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