Hand or foot spasms - Overview
Foot spasms; Carpopedal spasm; Spasms of the hands or feet
Definition of Hand or foot 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.
See also: Muscle cramps
Depending on the cause, the following symptoms may be present:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness, tingling, or a "pins and needles" feeling
- Uncontrolled, purposeless, rapid motions
Nighttime leg cramps are common in the elderly.
Cramps or spasms in the muscles often have no clear cause.
Possible causes of hand or foot spasms include:
- Brain disorders, such asparkinson's disease,multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and Huntington's disease.
- Chronic kidney disease and dialysis
- Damage to a single nerve or nerve group (mononeuropathy) or multiple nerves (polyneuropathy) that are connected to muscles
- Dehydration (not having enough fluids in your body)
- Disorders or injuries that involve peripheral nerves
- Heavy exercise
- Hyperventilation (overbreathing), which is rapid or deep breathing that can occur with anxiety or panic
- Increased levels of phosphate in the body
- Muscle cramps, usually caused by overuse during sports or work activity
- Pregnancy, more often during the third trimester
- Reduced levels of magnesium or calcium in the body
- Thyroid disorders
- Too little vitamin D
- Use of certain medications
- Reviewed last on: 3/22/2010
- Daniel C. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Khoshknabi DS. Muscle spasms. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al, eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 168.
Griggs RC, JÃ³zefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 418.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885