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Origin and Development of Muscle Cramps

PainSci » bibliography » Minetto et al 2013
Tags: medications, back pain, biology, etiology, self-treatment, treatment, pain problems, spine, pro

Five articles on PainSci cite Minetto 2013: 1. Quite a Stretch2. The Complete Guide to Muscle Strains3. Water Fever and the Fear of Chronic Dehydration4. Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements for Pain & Healing5. Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches

PainSci notes on Minetto 2013:

This dense review of the physiology of muscle cramps asserts that the role of spinal mechanisms has been “proved unambiguously,” but mysteries remain, most notably why cramping is much more likely in some people and some muscles, and (fascinatingly) why they hurt.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Cramps are sudden, involuntary, painful muscle contractions. Their pathophysiology remains poorly understood. One hypothesis is that cramps result from changes in motor neuron excitability (central origin). Another hypothesis is that they result from spontaneous discharges of the motor nerves (peripheral origin). The central origin hypothesis has been supported by recent experimental findings, whose implications for understanding cramp contractions are discussed.

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