Want to Get Rid of Muscle Cramps

Published: 21st June 2008
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Muscle cramps range in intensity from a slight twitch or tic to severe pain. A cramped muscle can feel rock-hard and last a few seconds to several minutes or longer. It is not uncommon for cramps to ease up and then return several times before they goes away entirely.

Causes The exact cause of muscle cramps is unknown, but many experts think it is related to poor flexibility, muscle fatigue or doing new activity. Other factors associated with muscle cramps include exercising in extreme heat, dehydration and electrolyte depletion.

If you do get a cramp, stretch the muscle straight away. Straighten your leg, heel first, and gently flex your ankles and toes. It might hurt at first, but the pain will gradually go away. You can also relax the cramp by massaging the muscle or warming it with a hot-water bottle. Walking around for a few minutes may help, too.

A useful method for relieving muscle cramps is to apply heating pad over the cramping area. Massaging the area will also be helpful. Persons suffering from leg cramps at night should keep bed covers loose, or use a foot cradle at night to keep the weight of the covers off the feet. Those sleeping on their stomach may extend their feet over the edge of the mattress to maintain a neutral foot position.

Remember diet is also an important steps. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help flush toxins from your body. Limit sports drinks because they contain sodium which can aggravate cramping in some people. Also, foods high in calcium like low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses have been known to help.

Hydration

Drink one to two cups of water two hours before exercise. During the exercise, drink four to eight ounces of water at 10 to 15 minute intervals. This may have to be increased at higher exercise intensity or climate. Monitor fluid loss by weighing yourself, dry and nude, before and after exercise. For each pound of body weight lost, an equal amount of fluid should be consumed during the next couple of hours.

Muscle cramps can be treated by applying a soft massage on the cramped muscle, stretching the muscle and applying heat or cold. Gently massaging the muscle will often help it to relax, as will applying warmth from a heating pad or hot soak. Interestingly, since the normal response of the muscle to cold is to shorten, ice packs may also relax a cramp. Heat improves superficial blood circulation and makes muscles more flexible, so some people find that heat is more soothing for muscle cramps than applying ice. Regular physical activity often reduces cramping in some women.

One pressure point is between and to the front of the space between your big toe and the second toe. Firm pressure with one or two fingers at the onset of cramp will stop it instantly. The other pressure point is the Septum? Which is the lower bone between the nostrils? Firm pressure on this point with the inside of the forefinger at the first sign of lower leg cramp will stop it dead. This last one sounds silly I know but please try it as it nearly always works.

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