Muscle cramps occur involuntarily, and may cause intense pain if the contracted muscle doesn’t relax. Learning the various cramps causes will aid in preventing, and treating this condition.
Cramps Causes – Basic Understanding of Muscle Stiffening
Some of the common cramps causes include vigorous activities, prolonged rest periods, dehydration, and low levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium in the blood. Vigorous activities such as running and prolonged swimming can make the muscles fatigued; this is common in older adults who repetitively use their muscles. Nocturnal cramps may result in long periods of inactivity; it usually occurs in the middle of the night, and may disrupt sleep. Having low levels of serum calcium, magnesium, and in rare cases potassium, are also common cramps causes since a lack of these minerals can make the muscles twitch and contract on their own; this commonly occurs in pregnant women, older adults, and those who take diuretics.
Cramps Symptoms – Painful Signs and Symptoms
Muscle cramps symptoms are intensely painful because of the forceful and involuntary contractions or twitching. The pain is sudden and sharp, and there would be either spasms or contractions, which may occur in the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Cramps symptoms will also include muscle tenderness, swelling, and at times an immobilization of the affected area for the entire duration of the contractions; in more severe cases, the area will still feel sore, even after a few days. The group of contracted muscles will also be visible while it is cramping; it will look like a round, or elongated bulge that feels firm.
Cramp Remedies – Cramping Relief
Cramping up can be a painful experience, however, with the right home remedies it can easily be relieved. When you are in pain do deep breathing exercises, this will help relax the muscles, and provide psychological relief as well. When cramping occurs, lightly massage the affected area using your hand; a mild application of a soothing balm may also give relief. For cramping on the calf muscles, sit on the floor or elevate the affected leg while pointing your toes towards the body. These cramp remedies are frequently used because of their effect of reducing the pain caused by involuntary muscle contractions. In addition, one may also use a cold pack on the muscle while it is contracting, to promote relaxation; apply a warm pad to reduce the pain and tenderness after a cramp.