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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for muscle spasms in calves and biceps

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Dr. Shoaib Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 9410 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 19 Oct 2015 in General Health
Question: I have some muscles in my calves and biceps that first trembled and now seem to be in permanent spasm. It feels like my muscles are constantly contracting and I need to stretch all the time. Any ideas?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 27 minutes later
Brief Answer:
List of causes for you sir

Detailed Answer:
Hello sir and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help. Your presentation seems to me like a possible potassium deficiency as this is something many people commonly encounter; but I shall either way go ahead and list all the possible causes for such a presentation that comes to my mind:

+Diabetes
+Anemia
+Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. vitamin B12, etc.)
+Dehydration
+Overuse
+Thyroid abnormalities
+Lack of sleep
+Kidney abnormalities
+Neurological conditions (e.g. spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
and many others.

I would first recommend adequate hydration and also the use of an energy drink for a while (e.g. gatorade), and if at all this helps then we know what the cause was; but if at all it doesn't then you will have to visit a doctor for further investigations into the cause. I hope this helps. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Thank you. I am relatively fit (5.11 and 175 lbs) and have been active all my life with no history of diabetes in the family. It is definitely not overuse since I have a desk job and feel worse (more contracted) when I have not been active. Dehydration could be part of the problem and I probably drink more coffee than I should, but have tried periods of time without coffee and without any alcohol (I am a moderate wine drinker. I get about 7-8 hours of sleep so that is not an issue. These contracted muscles will not relax. Went to physical therapy and they even tried dry needling (the calves) but it did not cause the spasm to relax. Was given potassium tablets which I took for several months, but that did not change anything. Also eat a good diet with lots of greens and red meat so probably not anemia. This has been a slow process which seems to be getting worse. Any ideas based on this additional info?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
That was really good, but still a lot more conditions left on the list

Detailed Answer:
Hello sir.

With a better understanding, you yourself have ruled out quite a few factors, but there are still many others on the list. Dehydration can be met by drinking at leat 3 litres of water a day, avoid all diuretic drinks, keep your muscles active even at your day job by walking around every 15-30 minutes; etc.

I would recommend an elaborate blood profile to be drawn which will help us a lot by narrowing down our search (e.g. kidney abnormalities, thyroid abnormalities, etc.); along with a visit to a neurologist who should be able to rule out/confirm the long list of neurological conditions that can cause such a presentation.

Unfortunately we will not be able to find the cause by just sitting and discussing this, so please do consider undergoing an elaborate blood profile. But if you wish to discuss anything at all, you know I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 4 hours later
Thanks!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
The pleasure was mine entirely

Detailed Answer:
You are most welcome sir, please do not hesitate to write back to me for any further clarifications, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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