Muscle cramps and spasms are common complaints, and they can be extremely painful and frustrating.
They can keep you from doing the things you love, and they can even make it difficult to do everyday tasks.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best ways to treat muscle cramps and spasms. We'll also provide some tips for preventing them. So if you're currently dealing with the frustration of muscle cramps and spasms, keep on reading!
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Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in the muscles.
They are often brought on by physical activity, though some people get them at night. Cramps can be painful, and they can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
Cramps can affect any muscle. However, they mostly occur in the leg, including the calf and the front and back of the thigh.
Symptoms of muscle cramps can include a sharp pain, or a pain that is duller and more intermittent.
You might also feel a hard lump beneath your skin where there's been excessive strain on the tissue, which causes it to become swollen.
Cramping can also be accompanied by heat-induced swelling.
The exact cause of muscle cramps is unknown. However, they are usually caused by overuse of the muscle, muscle strain, muscle fatigue, or simply by holding a position for a long period of time. Dehydration and loss of electrolytes also often contribute to muscle cramps.
Dehydration causes muscle cramps, as water plays an integral part in circulating minerals and nutrients around the body that keep muscles and organs functioning correctly.
Most muscle cramps are harmless and resolve on their own. However, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as:
Certain risk factors may also increase your risk of developing muscle cramps, such as:
Cramps are never fun, but there's some things you can do to make them less painful. First off, stop any physical activity. Then:
You should consult a doctor if you begin to experience muscle cramps frequently, or if they last for a long time and cause persist pain.
You should also consult a doctor if the cramping does not respond to supportive treatments.
If left untreated, muscle cramps can cause severe health complications like irritation of the spinal nerve, hardening of the arteries, and thyroid disease (among others).
Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of the muscles that can cause severe pain.
They are often caused by physical exertion, dehydration, or inadequate nutritional intake. Muscle cramps can generally be prevented and treated using supportive measures at home. However, they can sometimes be indicative of more serious underlying health conditions.
To learn more about how to prevent, identify, and manage muscle cramps, book a first aid course near you.