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What are spasms?

Hand or foot spasms are contractions of the hands, thumbs, feet, or toes and are sometimes seen with muscle cramps, twitching, and convulsions. These contractions of the muscles can be violent.

Spasms of the hands or feet are an important early sign of tetany, a potentially life-threatening condition. Tetany is a manifestation of an abnormality in calcium level, which can be linked to a lack of Vitamin D, lessened function of the parathyroid glands, alkalosis in the body, or the ingestion of alkaline salts.

Carpopedal spasms are usually accompanied by:

  • numbness
  • tingling, or a “pins-and-needles” feeling in the fingers, toes, and around the mouth
  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • cramping
  • twitching
  • uncontrolled, purposeless, rapid motions

Common causes include:

  • Hyperventilation (calcium becomes temporarily unavailable to the body during hyperventilation)
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Muscle cramps, usually caused by sports or occupational muscle injury
  • Parkinson’s disease and other neuromuscular conditions

Treatments may include calcium and Vitamin D supplements (if you have a deficiency). Consult your physician before taking any medication.

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This information is provided by Vascular Health Clinics and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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