Foot spasms; Carpopedal spasm; Spasms of the hands or feet; Hand spasms
Spasms are contractions of the muscles of the hands, thumbs, feet, or toes. Spasms are usually brief, but they can be severe and painful.
Symptoms depend on the cause. They may include:
Nighttime leg cramps are common in older people.
Cramps or spasms in the muscles often have no clear cause.
Possible causes of hand or foot spasms include:
If vitamin D deficiency is the cause, vitamin D supplements may be suggested by the health care provider. Calcium supplements may also help.
Being active helps keep muscles loose. Aerobic exercise, especially swimming, and strength building exercises are helpful. But care must be taken not to overdo activity, which may worsen the spasms.
Drinking plenty of fluids during exercise is also important.
If you notice recurrent spasms of your hands or feet, contact your provider.
The provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history and symptoms.
Blood and urine tests may be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the spasms. For example, if they are due to dehydration, your provider will likely suggest you drink more fluids. Some studies suggest that certain medicines and vitamins may help.
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Francisco GE, Li S. Spasticity. In: Cifu DX, ed. Braddom's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 23.
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Review Date: 1/23/2022
Reviewed By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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