Did you know that musculoskeletal pain affects almost half of the general population? Many of these individuals even experience such problems in the long term.
Muscle cramps, in turn, are some of the most common forms of musculoskeletal pain. They sometimes result in mild discomfort, but they can cause intense pain in many other cases.
Fortunately, several methods exist for muscle cramp relief. We’ll go over them below, so be sure to read on.
Muscle cramps occur when one or more muscles contract or tighten involuntarily. You may even notice the affected muscle bulging from the skin if you experience a spasm.
Since a cramping muscle can’t relax, a gentle stretch may help it unwind.
For example, if you get calf muscle cramps, try straightening the leg where the spasm occurs. Next, bend your upper body until your hand reaches the foot on the affected side. Then, pull the top of the foot while keeping your leg straight.
A Gentle Massage
Gently massaging a cramping muscle may also help it relax and stop the spasm. For one, a massage can aid in the unwinding of the contracted muscle. In addition, it can promote better blood flow to the affected muscle.
Applying a Heating Pad
Cramps can occur when not enough blood reaches the muscles. Blood, after all, brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Moreover, it helps remove lactic acid, thereby reducing muscle fatigue.
For that reason, increasing the blood flow to cramping muscles can help stop the spasms. One way to do that is to apply a heating pad or warm compress on the affected muscles. Heat can aid in improving circulation in the application area.
Once a cramp has subsided enough that you’re no longer in severe pain, start moving the muscles again. For example, if you’ve had muscle cramps in the legs, you can try standing up and walking around bit by bit. Those movements can help the blood flow into the affected muscles.
Exercising or physical activities in the heat reduce the body’s water supplies faster. From there, dehydration can occur.
The thing is, dehydration can cause muscle cramps in the legs, feet, arms, hands, and abdomen. For that reason, it’s vital to stay hydrated before and during physical activity.
Now, you may have heard some people say they drink tonic water for cramps, but it may be best to stick to regular water. That’s because tonic water may contain added sugar yet have no nutritional value.
Another thing to note is that hydrating only after a cramp has occurred may not stop the spasm right away. That’s why you’d want to drink enough fluids before and during exercise. That way, you can lower your odds of experiencing such painful muscle woes.
Follow These Tips for Muscle Cramp Relief
Keep in mind that about 80% of muscle spasms affect the calf area. Thus, if you get a sudden calf cramp while you’re on your feet, it can cause temporary immobilization. Worse, it can put you at risk of falling over and injuring yourself if you try to move any further.
So, the next time you experience a spasm, use the tips we discussed above for quick muscle cramp relief.
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