A muscle cramp is a strong, painful muscle contraction or tightening that comes on suddenly and lasts from a
few seconds to several minutes. Soreness in the muscle may last for hours after
the hard, tense cramp has stopped.
The cause of muscle cramps is not always known. Muscle
cramps may be brought on by many conditions or activities, such as:
Exercising, injury, or overuse of muscles.
Exposure to cold temperatures, especially to
Other medical conditions, such as blood flow problems
(peripheral arterial disease), kidney disease, thyroid
disease, and multiple sclerosis.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine