Treatment of muscle cramps
A muscle cramp is a sudden occurrence and involuntary contraction of one or several muscles. Muscle cramps can cause excruciating pain, although harmless, it makes it impossible to use the affected muscle.
Long periods of engaging in physical labor or exercising in hot weather can cause muscle cramps and some medications as well as medical conditions can also cause muscle cramping. Muscle cramps can be treated at home using self-care measures. You can enroll in a first aid course today so that you can effectively carry out these measures.
Muscle cramps usually occur in the muscles of the leg such as the muscles in the calf and a hard lump of muscle tissue can be seen or felt under the skin. Some serious symptoms that need a medical help include the following:
- Muscle cramps that happens frequently and does not improve with self-care measures.
- It causes a severe discomfort such as swelling of the leg, redness or skin changes in the affected area.
- There is muscle weakness when engaging in strenuous exercises.
Drink plenty of liquids every day to help the muscles contract and relax. The muscle cells should be well hydrated so that they are less irritable.
The individual should perform light exercise such as stretching before and after using any muscle for a longer period of time.
- Stretch the affected area and rub in order to relax the muscle. For cramps that develop on the calf, place weight on the affected area and bend it slightly. If there is difficulty in standing, rest on the floor or a chair with the affected leg being extended. Tug the upper part of the foot on the affected side on the way to the head, but the leg should still be in a straight state. This procedure helps minimize back thigh cramps. If a cramp is on the front thigh, use a chair and pull the foot on the affected side up toward the buttock.
- Use a warm towel or a heating pad and place it on tense or tight muscles or take a warm bath since these can also minimize the pain. Cramped muscles can be massaged with ice in order to relieve the pain.
- Take Vitamin B complex supplements since these can help minimize leg cramps.
Muscle cramps can be caused by an overuse of the muscle, muscle strain; dehydration and holding the muscle in a position for prolonged periods of time but muscle cramps can also be caused by certain medical conditions such as the following:
- A muscle cramp causes the narrowing of the arteries that function in delivering blood to the legs is also known as arteriosclerosis of the extremities. These cramps usually go away after stopping of doing some exercises.
- Muscle cramps can cause compression of the nerves in the spine which is known as lumbar stenosis. It produces cramp-like pain in the legs and becomes worse when walking for long periods of time.
- Eating a diet that is low in potassium, magnesium and calcium can also cause leg cramps.
There are some factors that increase the risk of having muscle cramps such as among the elderly since they lose muscle mass and the remaining muscles can get overstretched easily. During the stage of pregnancy, muscle cramping can also be present.