Cramp is a sudden, strong and involuntary contraction of a muscle that occurs in more or less sudden attacks. The muscles of the body are tense even at rest, they are taut and firm. It is expertly said that muscles have their own tone. Muscle tension is also a reflection of his ability and strength. Muscle tone may be reduced. This is the case in older people, physically untrained people, during the general deterioration of the organism, and some diseases. Such muscles become flabby, weak and give the impression of hanging from the bones.

Muscle tone may also be elevated. If the tension of the muscle and its contraction increase suddenly and inexpediently, the muscle becomes hard, stiff and incapable of function. This condition of the muscles is called a spasm or spasm. Such a cramp can last for seconds, minutes, hours and days. If the cramp lasts for a long time, severe pain occurs. Muscle contraction leads to constriction of blood vessels, which results in reduced blood flow to the muscle. The result is a reduced supply of food and oxygen, and chemical waste products accumulate in the muscle, irritating the sensory bodies responsible for the onset of pain. Cramps can also occur in convulsions, ie in seizures one after another. A series of such short-term cramps leads to forced movements of some or all parts of the body.

We can divide all the muscles of the body into two large groups. One group consists of muscles whose work we can influence at will. They are responsible for body movement, for arm work, movement, changing body position, then muscles for speech. The second group consists of muscles whose work is completely independent of the human will. They are responsible for the work of essential functions of the body, they surround the blood vessels, all the hollow internal organs such as the intestines, gallbladder, stomach, bile ducts, urethra. Cramps very often affect the muscles and these hollow organs inside the body. Such cramps the patient feels as cramping pain. It is characterized by the fact that the intensity of pain increases, reaches a maximum, and then decreases, only to recur after some time. Pain occurs in the same way as in the muscles controlled by our will.

Attacks of cramps that affect the muscles of the whole body are called convulsions. Such convulsions are most often accompanied by a disturbance of consciousness. Epilepsy occurs with spasms of the whole body. This is why every spasm attack is compared to that disease. A large attack of epilepsy is the most typical occurrence of this disease. The attack begins with a sudden loss of consciousness. The patient suddenly collapses, regardless of the location and the danger that arises from it. The fall was accompanied by a loud scream, a howl. All the muscles of the body are maximally tense, the arms are drawn to the body, the hands are clenched, the legs are outstretched, stiff. The head is tilted, the pupils dilated, the skin becomes blue. This phase lasts from half to one minute, for a maximum of three minutes. After that, strong twitches of the whole body begin. The patient is thrown on the floor, his head hits the floor, the masticatory muscles are in constant spasm so that the mouth cannot be opened, he bites his tongue almost regularly, saliva becomes bloody, profuse, urinates during the attack if the bladder was not empty . After the convulsions stop, the patient is still unconscious for some time. When he regains consciousness, he remembers nothing and looks around confused.

A hysterical seizure can give an image reminiscent of epilepsy. For the patient's environment, such an attack is a dramatic condition. However, seizures never occur without the presence of other people. A hysterical person must have an audience. Attacks are usually preceded by conflicts, quarrels, unfulfilled demands and desires. The hysteric collapsed abruptly to the floor, but carefully, taking care not to injure himself in the fall. He crawls on the floor, beats his hands aimlessly, often makes different voices, screams, which way he speaks, swears, moans. In the mouth it collects saliva which it constantly chews so that it becomes full of air bubbles and white as milk. It very rarely bites the tongue. This form of hysterical reaction, when mimicking an attack of epilepsy, is mostly encountered in primitive persons.

Sudden convulsions of the whole body can also occur in pregnant women. It occurs not only during pregnancy but also during childbirth, then another time after childbirth. The whole attack is very reminiscent of epilepsy, it can occur during sleep and in the waking state. It starts with stiffening the whole body, “rolling the eyes,” clenching the teeth, and finally twitching all the muscles. In pregnant women, it is a very serious disease and is called eclampsia, and it occurs due to brain disorders caused by pregnancy. The number of such disorders has significantly decreased thanks to protective measures and constant health control of pregnant women. In the past, women mostly died from this disease. Today’s treatment options have significantly reduced mortality from such disorders. It is important that the patient comes to the hospital as soon as possible after the first signs of illness.