Even though you are an active person or not, you are not as what you think when it comes to muscle cramps. This condition may affect everyone and everyone is not excused in experiencing it at some point. Though this annoying condition is just for a short amount of time, it is still so unpleasant. Hence, having enough knowledge about it is very important. Not only the facts about it, but the treatments for muscle cramps as well. This will not just be beneficial for you, but will also be beneficial for some other people who’ll experience the condition. so, if you want to know these and more, give this article a read.
Muscle Cramps: What is this?
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Having an active lifestyle and a regular exercise are both very significant for the betterment of the overall health. However, if you don’t know your limits, or if you are not in the right condition to go through some physical activities, then you might end up getting yourself hurt. Usually, muscle cramps are the first sign of the body that tells you that you are not yet ready to go through a certain physical activity.
Muscle cramps may happen in whatever muscle group in the body. This affects not just the legs and/or the arms. Furthermore, this is mainly caused by some basic things. When experience having cramps, it is the muscles that involuntarily contracts with each other. While usually the condition is temporary, it may cause you to not be able to use your muscle for quite some time.
The condition may be caused by extensively using the muscles and the straining of the muscles. Furthermore, it may also be an effect of dehydration, in most of the cases. On the other hand, the reason for the condition to get serious is when it may point out an underlying serious condition. It is in this moment that the condition may be more dangerous.
Some of the muscle cramps are caused by the compression of nerves, insufficient or impassable blood supply, or having a deficiency in various minerals. If the condition has not given any attention, the condition will continue for a long period of time.
Muscle Cramps: Symptoms
The main symptom of the muscle cramps may easily be understood –the muscle gets cramps up and then it tightens which causes pain. Furthermore, there is also a sharp pain feeling and a hard and flexed tissue, which is beneath the skin. The area may also get tender when you touch or press it. In most of the cases in this particular condition, the pain develops in the muscles in the leg–specifically in the part of the calf. Aside from the symptom of having a sharp and sudden pain, you may also sense or even see a lump of muscle tissue in the skin.
Muscle Cramps: Causes
Here are some of the most common causes of the condition:
- Mineral depletion: having a small amount or lacking in minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium in the diet may cause muscle cramp. This particularly happens in the legs.
- Nerve compression: the nerve compression in the spine may also produce cramps in the legs. This usually gets worse when you walk longer.
- Insufficient blood supply: when the arteries which deliver blood in the legs get narrow, it may cause cramps in it. However, this usually vanishes as soon as you discontinue exercising.
Muscle Cramps: Risk Factors
Below are some of the things or factors that may increase the risk of having muscle cramps:
- Medical condition: having medical conditions like thyroid conditions, liver and nerve conditions, and diabetes may raise the risk of having muscle cramps.
- Pregnancy: the condition is quite common to pregnant women.
- Dehydration: not having enough water in the body may cause the development of the muscle cramps.
- Age: when we get old, there is a decrease in the muscle mass, making the remaining to get stressed easily.
Treatments for Muscle Cramps
Here are some of the most effective treatments for muscle cramps:
- Vitamin E- this essential vitamin is beneficial in boosting the blood flow in the area of cramps. Moreover, it is also beneficial in some other areas in the body.
- Stretching- this is probably one of the most efficient treatments for muscle cramps. Stretching may induce the blood flow to the affected area and relieve the pressure and tension in it.
- Heating pad- applying heating pad into the area of cramps may help in inducing the blood flow. This may re-oxygenate and hydrate the area’s tissues. Hence, easing the cramp tension and relieving the pain.
- Electrolytes- these are beneficial for the muscle movement and the fluid transfer in the body. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in getting rid and preventing the onset of muscle craps.
- Calcium- this is one of the most important minerals in the body. This helps in giving mineral density to the bones and to the betterment of the functioning of the nervous system.