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Hand or foot spasms
Alternative namesFoot spasms; Carpopedal spasm; Spasms of the hands or feet
DefinitionSpasms are contractions of the hands, thumbs, feet, or toes that are sometimes seen with muscle cramps , twitching, and convulsions (tetany). They can be severe and painful.
Spasms of the hands or feet may be an important early sign of tetany, a potentially life-threatening condition. Tetany is a manifestation of an abnormality in calcium level, which can be linked to the following:
These spasms are usually accompanied by the following symptoms:
Home CareIf vitamin D deficiency is the cause, supplemental vitamin D should be taken under the doctor's direction. Calcium supplements may help.
Call your health care provider if
If you notice recurrent spasms of your hands or feet, call your health care provider.
Your health care provider will obtain your medical history and will perform a physical examination . Laboratory testing of blood and urine may also be done.
Medical history questions documenting hand or foot spasms in detail may include the following:
Diagnostic tests may include the following:
Update Date: 11/14/2002Elaine T. Kiriakopoulos, M.D., M.Sc., Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT