Carpopedal spasm is related to health conditions that often result in seizures or heart palpitations. While these spasms may be brief, a sudden and unexpected pain can set your mind racing as to the underlying cause. We will look at the causes of carpopedal spasms and the accompanying signs to watch for. As with any condition, prevention is the best medicine, and adhering to a carpopedal spasm treatment plan is key.
A carpopedal spasm is not the most common medical condition we may hear of, but it is a widespread condition among those with disorders such as respiratory alkalosis (excessive amounts of alkali in the body due to hyperventilation) and tetany (muscle cramps due to mineral deficiencies). This painful twitching or contraction of a muscle in the fingers, wrist, toes or ankle can also be caused by low calcium levels. Let’s learn about other causes of carpopedal spasm.
Causes of carpopedal spasm
The causes of carpopedal spasm are related to aspects of underlying thyroid health conditions, nutrient imbalances, and as a result of some medications. In rare cases, these spasms may be related to the brain disorders of multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We see carpopedal spasms:
- Low blood calcium levels, as with hypocalcemia, can lead to tetany.
- Insufficient vitamin D levels are also seen with hypocalcemia.
- Hypothyroidism, which is the irregular action of the thyroid gland, can lead to alkalosis.
- Hyperventilation, which sees an increased loss of carbon dioxide with rapid respiration
- Anxiety attacks
- Some medications
- Peripheral nerve trauma, as seen with diabetes
- Dehydration, as muscles suffer loss of fluids
- Loss of electrolytes and essential minerals
- Third trimester of pregnancy
- Kidney disease
Symptoms of carpopedal spasm
The symptoms of carpopedal spasm are closely related to the symptoms of regular muscle spasm conditions. With a carpopedal spasm, one or more of the following symptoms may be experienced more often than a normal muscle spasm in the finger, thumb, wrist, ankle, toe, or foot muscles.
- Involuntary twitching of the muscles
- Unexpected cramping
- Intense pain
- Muscle weakness, usually as a result of low calcium levels, causes problems with using the muscles such as walking or gripping
- Extreme fatigue after a spasm
- Numbness with a long-lasting spasm usually dissipates once the muscle relaxes.
- Tingling may occur with or without numbness.
- Pulling of the affected muscle
- Frequent spasms with no explainable cause
- Tingling sensation
Treatment of carpopedal spasm
Treatment of carpopedal spasm focuses on the specific muscle affected, as well as the root cause of the spasm. If it is caused by thyroid conditions, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism are treated. Any pregnancy-related carpopedal spasms will likely dissipate once the baby is born.
- Increase low calcium levels.
Low calcium levels can be replenished by consuming calcium-fortified foods such as salmon, sardines, leafy green vegetables, raw milk, yogurt, cheese, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, tofu, orange juice and fortified cereals.
- Replenish vitamins We
all know that we can increase our vitamin D levels by daily exposure to sunlight, but we can also help a vitamin D deficiency with our diet. Eat mushrooms, salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, egg yolks, milk, cheddar cheese, yogurt, almond milk, fortified cereals, poultry and lean beef.
- Stretch Muscles
Stretching muscles can help prevent episodes of spam by preventing the muscles from expanding or shrinking. Stretching can include physical activities such as swimming, strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercises. It is also important to avoid overworking the muscles while performing these exercises.
- Stay hydrated
Our muscles and tissues need plenty of water to function properly. Lack of fluids can lead to decreased muscle tone.
- Avoid smoking
The harsh chemicals in a cigarette can draw out fluids, calcium and other essential nutrients. Avoid smoking, and if you smoke, get the help you need to quit.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
Excessive intake of caffeinated products and alcohol can affect the body’s ability to process calcium absorption.
- Tetanus Vaccine
Check your childhood immunization record to make sure you received a tetanus shot. A booster shot is needed every 10 years.
Episodes of carpopedal spasms can come on suddenly without warning, and can set off alarm bells with excruciating pain. A jerky or jerky movement of a muscle in the fingers or hand is considered a carpopedal spasm. This can also occur in the wrist and ankle. Most of the time, these spasms can be caused by a lack of calcium or vitamin D in the body. Any condition or ailment that causes the muscles to expand or contract can also cause this type of spasm.
A carpopedal spasm may be accompanied by numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation in addition to extreme pain. Treatment begins with the cause of the spasm, and can be as simple as staying hydrated or increasing calcium intake.