During movement, there is voluntary contraction and relaxation of the muscles in a simultaneous manner. The muscles or fibers that uncontrollably contracts will result to spasm and sometimes can become a muscle cramp which is felt as the hardening of a particular muscle.
Muscle cramps are a common condition and can happen in different areas of the body and usually happen in the legs, especially the calf muscles. When cramping of legs happens in the calf, it is called charley horse. Leg cramps can also affect the hamstring and the quadriceps muscles. It can happen in both adults and children that usually last less than a minute or longer. Leg cramps usually happen during night time.
- Tingling and twisting of the muscles before sudden pain
- Swelling and soreness of the muscles
- Difficulty moving the leg and it is tender when touched
- Flat feet
- Restless leg syndrome
- Muscle fatigue
- Starting a new exercise routine
- Excessively performing exercises
- Calcium deficiency
Treatment of muscle cramps
- Keep the body hydrated all the times. Drink plenty of liquids every day in order to help prevent muscle cramps. When performing exercises, drink water before and after in order to help replace the fluids lost while sweating and also helps balance the electrolytes in the body and also helps prevent leg cramps.
- Massage the tightened muscles gently. Apply a hot water bottle on the affected area in order to help in relaxing the contracted muscles. Another way is taking a hot shower before going to sleep to prevent leg cramping at night.
- Drink a glass of warm milk before sleeping can minimize muscles cramps at night. The calcium found in milk lessens any deficiencies that can cause leg cramps.
- Drink at least 5 cups of chamomile tea every day for two weeks. Chamomile is a relaxant and helps with the condition since t increases the glycine level which is an amino acid found in the urine. Glycine helps in relieving spasms and cramps of muscles.
- In a glass of warm water, mix one tablespoon of calcium lactate, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. The individual should drink this mixture at least once every day to lessen muscle cramps. Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium content. Remember that the cramping of legs can be caused by a deficiency in potassium.
- Drink red raspberry tea since it also helps with the condition. Drink the tea every morning and evening.
- Take 400mg supplement of magnesium before going to sleep in order to help in relaxing the muscles and help process the calcium in the body.