Muscle Cramps

Q: What mimics a muscle cramp?

Answer: A contracture.

A contracture is a scarring of the soft tissues that muscle movements normally affect. When a contracture is present, the tissue that is involved cannot move completely, whether the corresponding muscle is activated or relaxed. This is because the scarred tissue cannot move in response to muscle movements. This leads to a fixed body part with loss of full range of motion. The most common type of contracture occurs in the palm of the hand and affects the tendons that normally cause the fingers to close with gripping. Most commonly, this form of contracture affects the ring finger. This contracture is known as a Dupuytren's contracture of the hand.

Reviewed on 2/4/2014
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