26 September 2016
Whether you are an athlete or not, at one point or the other, you must have experienced muscle cramps and was at a loss as at what to do.
When muscle cramps happen to non-athletes, they often do not last for long – and their frequency of occurrence is low. For athletes, however, it is what they regularly have to deal with.
For those who are not athletes, it usually happens at the muscles in the leg especially when they stretch, mostly on the bed.
Athletes, as a result of what they do, know how to deal with muscle cramps when they happen, so for non-athletes, here are some eye-openers.
Muscle cramps can occur in any group of muscles, not just in the leg or in the arm. It can also occur when the muscles involuntarily contract for a short time.
However, the contraction of the muscles is caused by straining, an underlying medical condition or even dehydration in most cases.
The next time you experience muscle cramps, that might be your body telling you, you are dehydrated and need some water.
Muscle cramps are mostly characterised by a sudden sharp pain around the affected muscles, with the place forming a hard knot of flexed flesh. When you touch it, it could be soft and sometimes a colouration can be seen.
It usually happens when one has just finished an exercise and for people who don’t exercise, they usually feel it after they stretch their legs or hands beyond the normal stretching.
If this occurs regularly, it should be a source of concern.
Below are natural remedies for treating muscle cramps:
Vitamin E is recommended because it has been shown to boost blood flow through the arteries, which can make it much harder for muscle cramps to form.
Dehydration is probably the most common cause of muscle cramps. When your muscles don’t get the proper amount of water being sent to them, they are unable to function, and they lock up, resulting in a cramp. Flooding your system with water is a quick and reliable way to eliminate a muscle cramp, particularly when combined with the next remedy.
One of the most important minerals in the body is calcium. From bone mineral density to nervous system functioning, calcium plays a key role in all of our activities. In terms of muscle cramps, many specialists believe that calcium deficiencies are responsible for a large amount of these conditions, as a lack of calcium prevents proper muscle control and movement. Foods containing calcium include leafy greens, cheese, almonds and fish.
The two primary electrolytes that relate to muscle cramps are potassium and magnesium, so if you are suffering from chronic muscle cramps, there is a good chance you’re lacking these nutrients. Magnesium is commonly found in nuts, beans and grains, while potassium can be accessed in bananas and cantaloupes.
When you apply pressure to the site of a muscle cramp, that pressure can often induce more blood flow to the region, causing the muscle to loosen up. This can come in the form of a gentle massage, or simple pressure being put on the cramped muscle.
Author: Dotun Obatuyi
My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.