Have you ever gotten a muscle cramp and it puts a damper on your whole day? Muscle cramps are a friend to no one. However, there are several ways to relieve cramps so you can get back to living your life. In this post, we’re going to cover what a muscle cramp is, common causes, and how to remedy them.
What Is a Muscle Cramp?
A muscle cramp is an involuntary contraction of the muscle for an extended period of time. If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night and felt an excruciating pain in your leg or calf, it’s most likely a muscle cramp. If you’ve had a long, hard day’s work, you may experience cramping in your legs or calves from the hard labor. You’ll usually feel a sharp, enduring pain and possibly a lump in the affected area. Although these cramps are temporary, that doesn’t make them any less painful. However, there are several ways to treat muscle cramps so you don’t have to endure this pain.
What Causes Muscle Cramps?
It seems as though cramps come on all of a sudden. However, cramps have several root causes that you may not know about. Here are some of the leading causes of muscle cramps - dehydration, overuse of the muscle, muscle strain, holding the muscle in a particular position for too long, not enough electrolytes, etc.
If you’ve been doing strenuous work for hours and not drinking enough water, you may experience muscle cramping. Athletes experience muscle cramps from time to time from not drinking enough water either before a big game or during practice. Overusing the muscle can also cause muscle cramps. For example, if you’re moving boxes or furniture for an extended period of time, your lower back or hamstrings may start to cramp up. You can also get a muscle cramp from straining a muscle. If you’re working out and you lift something too heavy, you may experience cramping in your muscles. Another root cause of muscle cramps is holding your muscle in a position for too long. For example, if you’re squatting or bent over for a long period of time, your back and legs may start to cramp up. Lastly, not getting enough electrolytes can also cause muscle cramps.
5 Ways to Cure Cramps
So now that we’ve unpacked all the symptoms and causes of cramps, it’s time to whip out the ways to cure them!
Taking Your Vitamins
Doctors always tell us to take our vitamins but we never take them seriously. It’s only when we experience something like a muscle cramp that we begin to believe them. Taking vitamins such as Thiamine, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Cobalamin, and Potassium are all essential vitamins that can prevent muscle cramps.
Drinking Enough Water
Water is the main life source for our bodies. If we don’t drink enough water, our muscles are not hydrated enough and can’t contract as efficiently. Drinking water also allows our bodies to deliver oxygen throughout our bodies. The more oxygen we get, the better we can perform.
Getting Essential Electrolytes
Electrolytes are so important when it comes to preventing cramps. Electrolytes help to replenish certain minerals and salt your body needs to contract your muscles. Sports drinks like Gatorade or electrolyte packets like Morning Routine can help you get the electrolytes your body needs. For example, if you’re an athlete and you start cramping up during a game, drinking electrolyte drinks can help your muscles absorb water. This helps your muscles contract more easily.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods help prevent cramps by keeping the body’s internal systems from inflaming. Foods like nuts, fatty fish, and spices like cinnamon, are great things to eat if you want to reduce inflammation and prevent cramps.
Over-the-Counter Pain Meds
This one is pretty obvious and the fastest way to relieve cramps. However, turning to pain medication isn’t the first thing you want to do when it comes to cramps. This method would be considered a last resort if none of the above methods work.
If you’re tired of getting cramps and are looking for a solution, try these methods out! Cramping can have many unknown causes but that doesn’t mean you can’t take preventative measures. Making small, simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce and prevent cramps from ruining your day.
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