Muscle cramps- what causes and triggers them
Ouch!!! That is what I feel when I have a muscle cramp! I literally roll all over the bed. I usually have it in my legs. It begins from the feet and till my calf muscles. I can actually see by big toe and the neighbouring toe pulled apart. Such a painful thing it is, but it lasts just for a few seconds and after that everything gets back to normal. I even know why I get this problem. I don’t take adequate fluids 🙁 which is one of the several reasons that cause a muscle cramp.
Muscle Cramps- What Causes And Triggers Them
This post focuses on muscle cramps. Have you ever experienced them? You would have, at least once and if you have you would know how painful they are!
The muscles of our body work by alternatively contracting and relaxing. This enables us to perform physical tasks like lifting and holding things. A muscle cramp occurs when muscle contraction is uncontrolled and relaxation doesn’t take place at the right time.
The exact reason behind muscle cramps is not understood properly. There are several factors that trigger them. Let us have a look at the causes.
If you happen to have cramps after a heavy workout session, it is because you haven’t consumed sufficient fluids that are required by your body. During exercising there can be a loss of fluids and minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium through sweat. The minerals are needed by the muscles in order to relax. When the mineral stores are depleted, the muscles lose their balance between contraction and relaxation that results in cramps. It thus becomes essential to make up for the lost minerals by drinking more fluids while working out.
Low levels of oxygen
Ever wondered why night cramps are common? Oxygen levels at night become low. With the result, the muscle cells do not receive enough oxygen when compared to the supply during the day time. This forces the muscles to carry out a process that produces a metabolic waste called lactic acid. This acid when accumulated in high levels causes cramps.
Improper or interrupted circulation of blood
Incorrect sitting or sleeping posture can exert pressure on parts of the body. This can result in insufficient oxygen supply and nutrients supply to the muscle cells of that region and can cause cramps.
Deficiency of vitamin B
The reason behind frequent cramps can be a deficiency of vitamin B( B1, B5, B6 and B12). The family of B vitamins plays a pivotal role in the production of red blood cells. Due to a lack of B vitamins there is a lack of red blood cells and this affecs the oxygen supply to the body’s cells.
Vomiting and diarrhea
If you happen to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea there can be loss of electrolytes and fluids from the body. This causes dehydration in the body and triggers muscle cramps.
Certain medications like diuretics (causing frequent washroom visits) that are used for BP can also trigger cramps. Drugs containing a chemical furosemide are also known to trigger cramps.
Having painful night cramps may be indicators of a vein disease. When there is a contraction in the leg’s calf muscles, the blood moves upwards through the veins. The check valves in the veins prevent the change in direction of the blood flow. When the valves in the veins are damaged there occurs a pooling of venous blood which is a symptom of vein disease and triggers leg cramps.
So, these were the causes. Stay tuned to know more about the remedies of muscle cramps.
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