What Is It/

How Is It Recognized/

Is Massage indicated

Condition Name

What Are They?

How Are They Recognized?

or Contraindicated?

Spasms, Cramps

Spasms and cramps are in-

Cramps are extremely painful

Massage is locally contraindicated

(page 57)

voluntary contractions of

with visible shortening of muscle

for acutely cramping muscle bel-


skeletal muscle. Spasms

fibers. Long-term spasms are

lies, though origin/insertion work


are considered to be low-

achy and cause inefficient move-

can trick the proprioceptors into


grade, long-lasting contrac-

ment, but may not have acute

letting go. Subacute cramps re-


tions, while cramps are


spond well to massage, which


short-lived, very acute


can reduce residual pain and




clean up chemical wastes. Under-




lying cramp-causing pathologies




must be ruled out before mas-




sage is applied.




Massage is indicated for long-




term spasm because it can break




through the ischemia-spasm-pain




cycle to reintroduce circulation to




the area, as well as reduce mus-




cle tone and flush out toxins.


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