A cramp in your muscles might cause you to lose control of your movement and hit your foot on the ground. If you have ever awakened in the night or your movements were suddenly stopped by a cramp, you know just how serious a muscle cramp can be. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make the affected muscle temporarily unusable.
Extreme amounts of physical labor or physical exercise, particularly in warm weather, will result in muscle spasms. Muscle spasms may be caused by a number of medical ailments and medicines. Back in the drawing-room, you can treat muscle spasms by consulting alone or with home treatments.
Most muscle cramps are likely to occur in the leg muscles, particularly in the calf. In addition to the sudden, sharp pain you’ll also feel a hard lump of muscle tissue under your skin.
When to see a doctor
Muscle cramps usually subside on their own and may never reach the level of severity that necessitates medical attention. However, consult with your doctor if your cramps continue or become severe.
- Cause severe discomfort
- Are associated with leg swelling, redness or skin changes
- Are associated with muscle weakness
- Happen frequently
- Don’t improve with self-care
- Aren’t associated with an obvious cause, such as strenuous exercise
Muscle overuse, dehydration, muscle strain, or holding one’s position for a long period may result in a muscle cramp. In many cases, however, what’s causing the cramp is not well-known.
Muscle cramps are often harmless, but certain types may be indicative of an underlying medical problem, such as:
- Inadequate blood supply. The narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to your legs (arteriosclerosis of the extremities) may cause cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while you’re exercising. These cramps typically disappear soon after you stop exercising.
- Nerve compression. The compression of roots in your spine (lumbar stenosis) can give rise to discomfort in your legs. Your pain usually intensifies the longer you walk. When walking in a slightly forward position, such as you would use when you push a cart ahead of you, your symptoms may frequently improve or delay.
- Mineral depletion. A lack of potassium, calcium, or magnesium in your diet can lead to leg cramps. Diuretic medications are often used for high blood pressure and can also cause a loss of those minerals.
Factors that might increase your risk of muscle cramps include:
- Age. Older individuals lose their muscle mass, so the remaining muscle tissue will be more susceptible to injury.
- Dehydration. Athletes whose muscles become fatigued and dehydrated while participating in hot-weather sports often experience muscle cramps.
- Pregnancy. Muscle cramps also are common during pregnancy.
- Medical conditions. The chance of muscle cramps is increased if you have diabetes, a nerve disorder, a liver condition, or a thyroid condition.
These steps may help prevent cramps:
- Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids every day. The amount depends on what you eat, your gender, your level of activity, the weather, your health, your age, and the medications you take. Fluids help your muscles contract in a relaxed manner and keep your muscles hydrated and less irritable during physical activity. When performing an activity, drink fluids at regular intervals, and drink fluids again after you are done.
- Stretch your muscles. Stretch before and after you use any muscle for an extended period. If you tend to have leg cramps at night, stretch before bedtime. Light exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before bedtime, may also help prevent cramps on the job while you sleep.
Muscle pain can be a frustrating experience. There are many things you can do to make it more bearable, but sometimes the best thing is to just not do anything and let the pain go away on its own. One way to do this is to use an all-purpose wrap. This simple remedy can help reduce inflammation and pain in the muscle tissue. Simply apply a bandage or wrap directly to the area where you’re experiencing pain and allow it to work its magic.
Here at elastogels.com, we offer different types and sizes of Hot/Cold All-purpose Therapy Wraps which you can use with your muscle pain. You may visit our website or call us at 770-441-9808.