Patients with an acute skeletal-muscle spasm frequently pose a considerable problem to the practitioner who must deal with these spastic conditions. Conservative treatment in the form of rest, heat, analgesics, and guarded activity often reduce the reflex muscle spasm. However, most patients prefer to remain active for one reason or another and hence they seek medical attention for the purpose of shortening the acute phase of the disease.
Skeletal-muscle spasm or muscular splinting may be considered to be a persistent, painful, and reversible contracture of striated muscle, usually localized to an area of trauma, inflammatory disease, or other pathological process not amenable to voluntary control. Psychogenic factors such as anxiety, tension, and emotional stress can accentuate as well as be the precipitating cause of acute skeletal-muscle spasm. The "tension" headache in which muscle contraction plays a prominent role is a prime example.1
Since the introduction of mephenesin, an interneuronal