Cramps strike without a warning and often when you are sleeping. Cramps are described as the sudden, involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. Though muscle cramps tend to be harmless and don’t have any serious complications, they can be very painful. Pregnancy and health conditions such as diabetes or nerve, liver or thyroid disorders put you at greater risk of muscle cramps.
Long duration of physical labour, particularly when done in hot weather conditions, may lead to muscle cramps. Inadequate blood supply and depleted minerals are other causes of cramps. If you are at greater risk of cramps, you need to make some easy adjustments to lessen the frequency.
According to the National Institutes of Health, dehydration is the most common cause of muscle spasm during exercise. It is very important to stay hydrated all the time, but more so during and after physical activity. If you are more prone to cramps, try taking salt tablets or sipping a sports drink.
Always remember to exercise within your limits. When you are working out, it is essential to take adequate rest between sessions of physical activity. Cramping may occur as a result of tiredness and overwork of muscles. Always warm up before and after workout session; stretching warms up muscles, improves flexibility and making them less likely to strain. Furthermore, make sure you have good athletic shoes that give you full support.
As you know that cramps can be the result of a lack of minerals (mainly potassium), you must increase potassium in your diet in order to prevent cramps. Potassium-rich foods such as bananas or apple cider vinegar or by taking a potassium supplements (after consultation with doctor) can increase your levels of potassium.
A warm shower before bedtime is one way you can relax your muscles. If you are feeling strain in a particular part of the body, apply a warm compress to the area or you can also gently rub the muscle while in the shower.
One of the ways you can get rid of muscle cramps is by taking vitamin B complex supplements. However, there may be side-effects of these. So, always seek doctor’s advice before taking supplements.
You don’t need to consult a doctor for most cramps as they can be treated with self-care measures. See a doctor for recurrent cramps that often disturb your sleep. However, frequent and severe cramping is an indication of an imbalance or a serious medical problem that should be addressed by your health care provider.
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