What are clonic muscle spasms and tonic muscle spasms?

Clonic spasms refer to alternating involuntary muscular contraction and relaxation in quick succession. Tonic spasms are rigid muscle contractions that last a period of time.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Muscle Spasm

Muscle Spasm

Muscle spasms can be harmless, caused by a minor muscle contraction, or the sign of something more serious. This muscle contraction can occur in various parts of the body, too. A common leg muscle spasm is known as a charley horse...

, and it typically happens at night due to dehydration or an imbalance of electrolytes. Some people also experience back spasms when their muscles and spine are out of sync. Learn more about causes and treatment for muscle spasms with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.