A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the muscle clenching tightly. A spasm of the coronary artery can cause angina. Spasms in various types of tissue may be caused by stress, medication, over-exercise, or other factors.
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A sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles; includes cramps, contractures. SYN: muscle s., spasmus. [G. spasmos]
- s. of accommodation excessive contraction of the ciliary muscle.
- affect spasms rarely used term for spasmodic attacks of laughing, weeping, and screaming, accompanied by marked tachypnea.
- anorectal s. SYN: proctalgia fugax.
- Bell s. SYN: facial tic.
- cadaveric s. rigor mortis occurring irregularly in the different muscles, causing movements of the limbs.
- canine s. SYN: risus caninus.
- carpopedal s. s. of the feet and hands observed in hyperventilation, calcium deprivation, and tetany : flexion of the hands at the wrists and of the fingers at the metacarpophalangeal joints and extension of the fingers at the phalangeal joints; the feet are dorsiflexed at the ankles and the toes plantar flexed.
- diffuse esophageal s. abnormal contraction of the muscular wall of the esophagus causing pain and dysphagia, often in response to regurgitation of acid gastric contents.
- epidemic transient diaphragmatic s. SYN: epidemic pleurodynia.
- epileptic s. s. characterized by a sudden flexion-extension, or mixed extension-flexion, predominantly proximal (including truncal muscles), which is usually more sustained than a myoclonic movement but not as sustained as a tonic seizure. Occurs frequently in clusters, with the individual events ranging in duration from myoclonic to tonic seizure components.
- esophageal s. a disorder of the motility of the esophagus characterized by pain or forceful eructations after swallowing food. Esophageal muscle contractions are of excessive force and duration. Chest pain can be confused with symptoms of cardiac or other origin.
- facial s. SYN: facial tic.
- habit s. SYN: tic.
- hemifacial s. a facial nerve disorder, with onset in late adult life, characterized by episodes of irregular, sometimes painful, myoclonic contractions of various facial muscles; triggered by voluntary or reflex movements of the face, s. typically begins in the orbicularis oculi muscle and then spreads; occasionally a sequela of Bell palsy, but more often the result of proximal compression of the facial nerve by an aberrant blood vessel or neoplasm.
- infantile s. brief (1–3 seconds) muscular spasms in infants with West syndrome, which often appear as nodding or salaam spasms. SYN: salaam convulsions.
- intention s. a spasmodic contraction of the muscles occurring when a voluntary movement is attempted.
- mobile s. a tonic s. occurring in spastic infantile hemiplegia on attempted movement.
- muscle s. SYN: s..
- nictitating s. involuntary spasmodic winking. SYN: spasmus nictitans, winking s..
- nodding s. 1. in infants, a drop of the head on the chest due to loss of tone in the neck muscles as in epilepsia nutans, or to tonic s. of anterior neck muscles as in West syndrome; 2. in adults, a nodding of the head from clonic spasms of the sternomastoid muscles. SYN: salaam attack, salaam s., spasmus nutans (1).
- salaam s. SYN: nodding s..
- saltatory s. a spasmodic affection of the muscles of the lower extremities. SYN: Bamberger disease (1), Gowers disease (1).
- winking s. SYN: nictitating s..

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spasm 'spaz-əm n
1) an involuntary and abnormal contraction of muscle or muscle fibers or of a hollow organ (as an artery, the colon, or the esophagus) that consists largely of involuntary muscle fibers
2) the state or condition of a muscle or organ affected with spasms <the renal artery went into \spasm>

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a sustained involuntary muscular contraction, which may occur either as part of a generalized disorder, such as a spastic paralysis, or as a local response to an otherwise unconnected painful condition. Carpopedal spasm affects the muscles of the hands and feet and is caused by a reduction in the blood calcium level (often transitory, as in hyperventilation).

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(spazґəm) [L. spasmus; Gr. spasmos] 1. a sudden, violent, involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles, attended by pain and interference with function, producing involuntary movement and distortion. 2. a sudden but transitory constriction of a passage, canal, or orifice.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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, (as of the muscles) / , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spasm — SPASM, spasme, s.n. Contracţie involuntară bruscă (şi violentă) a unui muşchi sau a unui grup de muşchi; convulsie. ♦ Grimasă. [pl. şi: spasmuri] – Din fr. spasme. Trimis de Bogdan, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  SPASM s. (med.) 1. v. convulsie. 2.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Spasm — Spasm, n. [F. spasme, L. spasmus, Gr. ?, from ?, ?, to draw, to cause convulsion. Cf. {Span}, v. t.] 1. (Med.) An involuntary and unnatural contraction of one or more muscles or muscular fibers. [1913 Webster] Note: Spasm are usually either… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spasm — [spaz′əm] n. [ME spasme < MFr < L spasmus < Gr spasmos < span, to draw, pull, wrench: see SPAN1] 1. a sudden, convulsive, involuntary muscular contraction: a tonic spasm is persistent and sustained, and a clonic spasm is one of a… …   English World dictionary

  • spasm — [ spæzəm ] noun 1. ) count or uncount a sudden movement in which one of your muscles becomes tight and painful: Athletes know that cold weather can induce muscle spasms. His muscles went into spasm and he couldn t straighten up. 2. ) count a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • spasm — index outbreak, outburst Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • spasm — paroxysm, convulsion, *fit, attack, access, accession …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • spasm — [n] twitch, fit access, attack, burst, contraction, convulsion, eruption, frenzy, jerk, outburst, pain, paroxysm, seizure, throe, yank; concepts 185,728 …   New thesaurus

  • spasm — ► NOUN 1) a sudden involuntary muscular contraction or convulsive movement. 2) a sudden brief spell of an activity or sensation. ORIGIN Greek spasmos, from span pull …   English terms dictionary

  • Spasm — For the 1993 metal album, see Spasm (album). Spasmodic redirects here. For the British literary movement, see Spasmodic poets. Muscle spasm ICD 10 R25.2 ICD 9 728.85 …   Wikipedia

  • spasm — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ sudden ▪ involuntary, uncontrollable ▪ involuntary spasms of the nervous system ▪ intense, violent ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • spasm — an·gi·o·spasm; bleph·a·ro·spasm; bron·cho·spasm; car·dio·spasm; chi·ro·spasm; grapho·spasm; la·ryn·go·spasm; py·lo·ro·spasm; spasm; vaso·spasm; …   English syllables

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