MUSCLE CRAMPS

MUSCLE CRAMPS

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Muscle cramp is a minor condition involving the sudden contraction of a muscle which can occur all over the body. Most cramps do not require a doctor’s attention if you can take care of the affected area.

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Symptoms

Sharp pain from a muscle, which can feel like a contraction – tension in the muscle – or a spasm. There may be a tender bump in the affected area of muscle tissue where the muscle cells have failed to loosen.

Cause

  1. Exercising for extended periods of time until muscles becomes fatigued and unfit for use.
  2. Dehydration during activity in heat.
  3. Nerve compression
  4. Temporary poor blood circulation
  5. Lack of minerals in diet.
  6. On rare occasions a cramp can also be indicative of an existing injury or condition, including anaemia,kidney disorders and diabetes (immediate doctors consultation is required)

Treatment

The injury is usually minor and heals itself but you can assist the process through resting the affected muscle by ceasing stressful activity. You should gently stretch and rub the muscle to maintain sufficient motion and help it to relax. Holding the nearest joint in an extended position may also aid the muscles recovery. Ice the area and in the event of pain apply heat using a heat pad, warm towel or simply by taking a bath. See a doctor it you suffer from the repeated painful cramps that interfere with your daily routine or sleeping.

Prevention

The precise cause of repeated muscle cramps is not always known but there are plenty of measures you can take to lower their frequency. Always stretch thoroughly before and after any potentially strenuous sport or physical activity, giving your muscles the maximum chance to work efficiently without serious strain. Drink plenty of fluids, especially around a period of activity. It is important to replace the fluids the fluids lost during training, as averting dehydration in this way will assist muscles in contracting properly and avoid muscle irritation. Do not train with fatigued muscles and if you wish to increase a training program, do so incrementally, training gradual steps in order to accustom your muscle to greater stress. Warm up correctly in all necessary parts of the body, particularly muscles vulnerable to cramps such as the hamstring, quadriceps and the calf muscle.

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