Muscle cramps can cause a lot of issues for sufferers. They can be very debilitating and in some cases can even pose a hazard. For example, you may be driving when these cramps strike, and if they affect your leg muscles your driving will naturally be affected. They can strike at night, which can cause issues with sleeping. They could even strike at work, which could pose another hazard depending on the type of work you do.
We need to learn how to tackle issues such as muscle cramps ourselves. To do this, it is important to have a better understanding of why muscle cramps occur and what might be causing them.
In a nutshell, muscle cramps are caused by the involuntary contraction of muscles. They usually affect the calf muscles but they can strike elsewhere too. You may have heard these cramps referred to as ‘charley horses’.
You will know when you experience a muscle cramp, as the muscles in the affected area become very tight, hard, and painful. You will actually be able to feel the spasms and the speed with which these cramps can strike can come as quite a shock. If you are a keen exerciser, you should bear in mind that cramps can occur many hours after exercising.
There are a number of possible causes of muscle cramps, and it is important to familiarize yourself with these if you want to know how to prevent cramps. So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you may be experiencing cramps:
Lack of circulation in the legs
Exercising calf muscles too hard
Failing to stretch and warm up before exercising
Being too active when temperatures are high
A deficiency of magnesium, potassium, or both
An underlying cause such as a spinal issue or nerve problem
A side effect of taking certain medications
Interestingly, muscle cramps are very common but they are most common at night when you are sleeping. According to reports, 75 percent of muscle cramps are experienced at night. By familiarizing yourself with the possible causes, you can take certain steps to prevent muscle cramps. This could include drinking more water, warming up before exercises, and putting less strain on the muscles.
One of the things you will be keen to learn if you suffer from muscle cramps is how to treat them. Of course, prevention is the best medicine, and this is something we will look at. However, if you are suffering from muscle cramps the first thing you need to know is what action you can take to treat them and alleviate the pain. Below are some of the key solutions for treating muscle cramps:
When you get muscle cramps, your muscle goes into involuntary spasms. This causes a lot of tightening, discomfort, and strain. When these cramps strike, you can try stretching the area. Simply drop and stretch the affected area to try and alleviate the cramps. Better still, if there is someone there with you it is worth getting the area massaged. This can help to quickly alleviate the spasms and discomfort.
It is natural when muscle spasms strike to try and push through the pain. However, this can often make the problem worse. Instead, try to relax and let the pain ease away. Simply take a break and wait for the spasm to pass rather than to risk making it worse by battling with it.
You may find that anti-inflammatory treatments can help to tackle muscle spasms 2 . It is therefore worth taking a quick trip to the pharmacy to see if they can recommend anything. Some of the treatments available over the counter at pharmacies can help to ease the soreness that stems from muscle cramps.
These are some of the simple but effective ways in which you can quickly treat muscle cramps and alleviate some of the symptoms.