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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: muscle cramps

 hatfield954 - Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:23 pm

I am a 36 year old male. In december I experienced extreme muscle cramps on the left side of my body mostly in the back muscles and side muscles around my rib cage. I was having them so bad that I had to go to the emergency room. I couldn't even take a deep breath without muscle contraction. The ER doctor checked me out and basically told me that it sometimes just happens. Gave me flexeril for the cramps and sent me on my way. I haven't had any more until 2 days ago, which weren't near as violent as the first time. Any ideas on what could be the cause for this? I was in a traumatic accident in 2005 and almost died twice as a result of injury and infection. I am currently on Propranolol for blood pressure and is the only med I have to take now.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:14 pm

User avatar Muscle cramps can occur due to trauma as well as other causes. Recurrent muscle cramps may be due to low potassium levels.

Your doctor can test your potassium levels as well as your other electrolytes. A simple test at home would be to try eating more potassium rich foods such as bananas. If the cramps go away it was likely that.

Several viruses can cause an inflammation of the muscle that may induce some cramping as well.

Sometimes heat and massage can help alleviate muscle cramping. Stretching often helps as well although it's tougher to stretch those particular muscles. Deep breathing can do so a little. Focus on stretches that involve bending forwards, backwards and sideways as if to stretch the back. This will also help stretch your rib cage muscles.

If the muscles aren't feeling better soon I recommend that you see your doctor.

Best wishes.

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