Muscle cramps- the remedies and prevention
In my previous post I had mentioned about muscle cramps and the possible causes. In this post the focus is on the remedies of muscle cramps and what should be done to prevent them.
How can you treat it?
Exercising makes one stretch and that stops cramps. The exercises to treat a muscle cramp are as follows:
For a thigh muscle cramp
- Sit comfortably
- Stretch the legs out in front
- Bend the foot so that your toes point towards the ceiling.
- Bend at the waist and try holding your toe.
- Pulling the toe towards yourself, hold for about 30 seconds.
- It is ok if you are not able to touch your toe, just bend as far as you can.
For a calf muscle cramp
- Stand 2 feet away from a wall.
- Bend the arms at the elbow and place the forearms against the wall, in a manner that your body is tilted towards the wall and the knees and back are straight.
- Ensure that your heels are on the floor and don’t bend the back.
- Lie down facing the ceiling and bend your feet such that your toes are pointing upwards.
- Bend the knee of the leg affected by the cramp.
- Hold your toe and straighten your knee.
- Straighten your leg in such a manner that it is at an angle of 90 degrees to the floor. If you cannot completely straighten your knee, straighten it till you have a feeling of a stretch in your calf muscles and hamstring.
For a wrist or palm cramp
- Stand against the wall and press your affected hand against a wall; your fingers should be facing down.
For a cramp during leg exercise
- Gently massage the affected area.
- You can also walk on your heels for a little while. This will help in stretching out your leg muscles and will relieve a cramp.
How to prevent cramps?
Since prevention is better than cure, here are ways to prevent cramps-
When you do not consume enough fluids you can get more cramps. The solution for this is easy: just drink lots of water before you exercise, during your exercise and of course post-workout. To check whether you are taking the required amounts of fluids, make a note of your washroom visits. While doing a heavy workout you should hydrate yourself as much as possible. To make your own electrolyte at home, to a litre of water add two to three teaspoon sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and a little lemon juice.
Maintain the right levels of calcium and magnesium
The minerals calcium and magnesium play an important role in muscle contractions. When the levels of any one of the minerals decrease the nerve endings and muscles get excited. This can be a cause of cramps in older adults and sportspersons.
Consume dairy products and green leafy veggies for your calcium needs and pulses, grains and sea food for your magnesium needs.
Consume potassium-rich food
Lack of potassium can play a role in muscle cramps. Try to consume a diet rich in potassium. Make it a point to include fruits and veggies in your diet. You can include tomatoes, green leafy veggies, lemon, oranges, coconut water and raisins.
Don’t eliminate salt from your diet
There are people who completely eliminate salt from their diet as they fear having a high blood pressure. Cutting out the salt completely can cause a sodium imbalance in the body that can lead to cramps. It is not advisable to be on a self imposed, zero sodium diet. Fatigue and lethargy along with cramps can be due to very less salt in your daily diet. Nevertheless, consult a doctor.
Get a massage (hot or cold)
If you have a cramp, you can get relief with the help of ice. Ice provides relief from both pain and inflammation. If you can’t handle ice, try heat. Some people find heat more soothing than ice as it improves blood circulation on the surface and makes muscles more flexible. Even a hot shower can be good to treat cramps.
In order to prevent cramps, it would be better to stretch the main muscles of the lower limbs for about five to ten minutes. This should be done during warm-up and cool down sessions.
Hope you found this post on Muscle Cramps- The Remedies And Prevention useful!!!
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