Cramp-fasciculation syndrome

In some ways, cramp is worse than having a broken leg.

Kevin Keegan

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences describes Cramp-fasciculation syndrome (CFS) as a rare condition of the muscles characterized by persistent muscle cramping and twitching (fasciculations) in otherwise healthy individuals. This can lead to muscle discomfort, pain, or tiredness. Muscles in the leg are most commonly affected, although this condition may involve several parts of the body. Symptoms are thought to be due to over-activity of the associated nerves. In most cases, CFS occurs sporadically in people with no family history of the condition. There is limited information about the treatment of CFS, but certain medications have been reported as beneficial in individual cases.[1][2][3]

Symptoms include:

  • Spontaneous, painful muscle cramps and muscle twitches or fasciculations
  • Affects muscles in the legs, mostly the thighs and calves, though the muscles in the arms or chest can also be involved
  • burning or pricking sensations or paresthesias
  • muscle stiffness
  • over-responsive reflexes or hyperreflexia
  • anxiety
  • fatigue

Symptoms are often triggered by physical activity and may be relieved by stretching exercises and/or massage. The severity of the condition varies significantly from person to person. In severe cases, CFS can interfere with daily activities and quality of life.

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