ZocdocAnswersWhy do muscles spasm when reclining?

Question

Why do muscles spasm when reclining?

I'm 42 and I have this problem with some kind of muscle spasm or palpitation that only seems to occur when I'm lying down at night. Why is ths? It mostly affects my upper body, including my shoulders, torso, arms, etc. What's wrong with me and what kind of doctor should I see?

Answer

The first question I would want to answer is if you are having muscle spasms only, or muscle spasms and palpitations (which are different). Muscle spasms are uncontrolled muscled contraction which is painful and palpitations are the sensation of your heart racing. I will try to address both. The best type of physician for you to see initially is a primary care physician such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. Palpitations that get worse when you lie down may be a heart arrhythmia. This is when the heart beats at a rate that it is not supposed to. It can be diagnosed with an electrocardiogram if you are having it while it is being taken. Muscle spasms can occur from nerve problems, muscle problems, and problems with electrolytes in the blood. The first are less common, generally don't happen just at night, and do not happen just in the upper body. Low potassium can cause muscle cramping. You can try eating a banana every morning to keep you potassium up. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough cardiovascular and musculoskeletal exam. Hopefully, your doctor will be able to get to the bottom of your issues. Good luck.

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