Carpopedal is not a frequently used term and people are not aware of it, while spasm is frequently talked about. Before going into the detail of carpopedal spasm, let us know what a spasm is. Spasm is sudden, involuntary, contraction of muscles which can occur in any muscle. These contractions are not under control of our body and therefore they are called involuntary. Most of the time muscle spasms are painful.
Carpopedal relates to foot and wrist or fingers and toes. Carpopedal spasm is a medical term used for involuntary, sudden, violent contraction of muscles of hands, thumb, fingers, feet and toes.Sudden, involuntary, contractions of fingers, thumb and toes may be a frightening sight for both, the patient as well as the person who is attending him or who is nearby.
Caropedal spasm should not be neglected. It needs immediate medical attention to prevent further complications.
Carpopedal Spasm Causes
There are several reasons for violent and involuntary spasm of finger and toes. In some cases the wrist and ankle too are involved. Let us talk about common and frequently encountered causes first:
- Low calcium level in blood: Low calcium level such as hypocalcaemia can give rise to a condition called tetany. It is condition which is characterized by carpopedal spasm.
- Lack of vitamin D can lead to hypocalcaemia and thus to carpopedal spasm.
- Hypothyroidism, hyperventilation leading to alkalosis is other reason for contraction of fingers and toes.
- Anxiety and panicky situation sometimes leads to deep and rapid breathing or hyperventilation.
- Many times certain medicines can also cause carpopedal spasm.
- Injuries and disorders which involve peripheral nerves.
- Dehydration where there is loss of electrolyte.
Other less common causes such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease etc have carpopedal spasm as one of its symptom.
Symptoms Of Carpopedal Spasm
There is not much difference between the symptoms of normal muscle spasm and symptoms of carpopedal spasm. However, carpopedal spasms are more frequent than other muscle spasm.
- Patient will experience sudden cramps in fingers, thumb, toes, and feet. Sometime in ankle and wrist joint.
- The muscles become weak.
- There is extreme fatigue experienced by the patient after the spasms.
- Feeling of pins and needle in the affected area.
- There is numbness in the affected area if the spasm remains for a longer duration. The feeling will subside, once the fingers and thumb or the toes become relaxed. The flow of blood resumes in its normal way.
- Together the carpopedal spasm, other involuntary movements such as jerks and twitches also accompany without any reason.
Carpopedal Spasm Treatment
- In most cases, low calcium level is found to be a triggering factor for carpopedal spasm. Calcium supplements are usually prescribed in such patients. It can be either in injection or oral tablet form. Person should also eat foods that are rich in calcium. Milk and other dairy products should be eaten liberally.
- For low level of vitamin D, supplemental vitamin D is prescribed. Patient is also advised to take early morning sunbath.
- Drinking plenty of fluids is also valuable to avoid dehydration as it is one of the causes for carpopedal spasm.
- Exercises such as swimming, aerobic exercise, strength building exercise are beneficial. For that matter, any sport activity is beneficial to improve and build muscle strength.
- If the cause for hyperventilation is anxiety and stress, yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques should be practiced.