Muscle cramps are painful unpleasant sensations, occurring because of the contraction or over-shortening of the body muscles. They can occur in any age-group and are often the result of low levels of calcium in the blood, overexertion or cold. Apart from this, cramps can also occur as a symptom or as a complication of certain conditions, like pregnancy, multiple sclerosis, varicose veins, kidney diseases, thyroid diseases and decreased levels of the calcium and potassium in the body. The main patho-physiology or the main mechanism behind this is excessive loss of interstitial fluids in the body, leading to electrolytic disturbances. This leads to disturbance in the osmotic levels and the subsequent swelling of muscle cells that contain these osmotic ally active particles. The presence of excess amounts of lactic acids in the cells leads to this condition. Muscle cramps can be mainly classified into 4 headings: nocturnal leg cramps, smooth muscle cramps, menstrual cramps and skeletal muscle cramps. Here are a few remedies that will help you overcome the painful sensation of muscle cramps in a few minutes.
Muscle Cramps Treatment
- The main aim behind muscle cramps treatment is to relax or lengthen the contracted muscles. This can be achieved in a number of ways, of which the most popular one is by applying gentle massage to the area, in the natural direction of the muscles. This gentle rubbing relieves the contraction, by improving the circulation in the affected area.
- Another great method to treat the condition is by applying the cryotherapy technique or cold treatment. Ice works wonders over cramped areas and hence, you can apply an ice pack for a period of about 5 to 10 minutes or until the affected area turns red. This indicates that the blood cells are heating the muscles. This provides instant relief to the affected muscle area.
- An alternate method of treating cramped muscles is by using heat pads to relax the muscles and initiate blood circulation to the area.
- A very pleasant and effective way to treat this condition is by taking a hot shower or a warm bath. Allow the hot water to flow all over the area and relax the contracted muscles.
- It is absolutely necessary that you maintain the electrolytic balance in the body, as its imbalance is the prime cause behind this condition. Replenish all those lost minerals and chemicals by using commercially available electrolytes. They come in different flavors and are very beneficial as an instant cure of the condition.
- A major cause of muscle cramps is dehydration, which you can overcome by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- As with any other condition, a healthy diet plays a key role in the long term treatment of muscle cramps as well. Intake minerals like calcium and potassium, by consuming foods like yogurt, skim milk, bananas and potatoes. You can also consult a dietician or a nutritionist to help you plan a balanced diet.
- Manual stretching of the affected muscles is another great way to help cure the condition. For instance, for cramps involving the calf muscles of the leg, stretch the legs with the toes pointing upwards, towards the head. Maintain this position for a period of about 30 seconds. Proper planning and maintenance of a good stretching regimen is also important to prevent any muscle cramps in future.