They’re painful, come without warning, and almost everyone has experienced them. What are they? Muscles cramps, and in this article we are going to dive into the symptoms and causes of muscle cramps, as well as how to treat them.
Symptoms and Causes of Muscle Cramps
A muscle is cramping when it is contracted involuntarily and does not relax. These cramps can occur in any muscle group but cramping in the leg and foot muscles is the most common.
Symptoms of muscle cramps are pain (sometimes severe) at the site of the cramp, and the affected muscle having some firmness or tenderness. The calf, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscle groups are most commonly affected muscle groups.
So what are the causes of muscle cramps? Well, many things can trigger muscle cramps, these include:
- Overworking muscles when exercising
- Muscle fatigue
- Not stretching enough
- Poor blood circulation
- Extraneous activity in hot temperatures
- A magnesium or potassium deficiency
- Muscle problems such as injury
- As a side effect from some medications
As you can see, there are a lot of things that can cause a muscle cramp. But how do we treat muscle cramps, or better yet, prevent them? Let’s find out.
Treatments and Remedies for Muscle Cramps
There are a variety of treatments and remedies for muscle cramps, and most muscle cramps can be treated without the intervention of a doctor. Most muscle cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched.
For cramps in the feet or legs, standing up and walking around usually accomplishes this stretching. If this does not work you can try the following stretches:
- For a calf or hamstring cramp, put your weight on the cramping leg and bend your knee a little. If this doesn’t work then try sitting down with your leg out straight and pulling the top of your foot toward your head.
- For quadriceps cramp, hold on to a chair, and standing on one foot, pull your foot (of the cramping leg) toward your buttocks.
If stretching the muscle does not help, you can also put ice or a heat pad on the affected muscle, or take a bath with some Epsom salt. Massage is also effective in helping muscles cramps, as well as having other benefits.
While massage therapists are great, they can be expensive. Luckily there are some great hand-held massagers that deliver a good massage with a small price tag. Massagers such as the Naipo Handheld Heated Deep Tissue Massager or the Naipo Cordless Handheld Deep Tissue Massager.
How to prevent muscle cramps?
Now while these treatments and remedies for muscle cramps are effective, as the saying goes; prevention is better than the cure. So how can we prevent muscle cramps?
- Eat foods high in vitamins, magnesium, and calcium.
- Stay well hydrated.
- Stretching properly before and after exercise.
For our regular readers, these tips might seem familiar. That’s because preventing muscle cramps has a lot in common with optimal workout recovery. So there you have it, the symptoms and causes of muscle cramps, and how to prevent or treat them. Muscle cramps suck, I know, but now we know just how to stop them, or at the very least treat them.