Again, although it does not produce paralysis it is not the tonic spasm, but rather the slow creeping death from extremities.
The woman stiffens, her face is distorted, her arms bent, and the whole body curves sidewise in a tonic spasm.
c.1400, from Old French spasme, from Latin spasmus "a spasm," from Greek spasmos "a spasm, convulsion," from span "draw up, tear away, contract violently, pull," from PIE *spe- "stretch." Figurative sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested from 1817.
1900, from spasm (n.). Related: Spasmed; spasming.
tonic spasm n.
A continuous involuntary muscular contraction. Also called entasia.
A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
A muscle spasm.