Muscle cramps are common complaints during vigorous activities. Nevertheless, it is really simple to prevent and treat to help you go through your activities such as sports. Cramps are involuntary muscle spasms in practically all parts of the body, but the most common site is the legs. It causes painful muscle spasms that may limit you from moving your legs. While muscle cramps are short-lived (it may be relieved after a few minutes), experiencing cramps several times in a day may make it disabling especially if you are in a marathon or a cycling activity. To help you on muscle cramps, there are certain effective measures to prevent and treat it.
Prevention of Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are highly preventable through the following measures:
• Adequate hydration
Loss of fluids in the muscle cells is one of the common causes of muscle cramps. So if you are into sports or you will be working under the heat of the sun, it is best to drink lots of fluids before, during and after the activity. Adequate hydration may come in water, but if you are expecting a vigorous activity, drinking sports drinks is the best because it also replaces the lost electrolytes in your body.
• Never work out in extremely hot temperature
If you plan to work out, make sure that you do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon to prevent heat stroke. Hot weather is also a common cause of muscle cramps because the muscle fibers become spastic when they reach high temperatures. Never workout in midday or if you will, make sure to exercise indoors.
• Eat bananas
Bananas are rich sources of potassium, which is an important electrolyte for muscle contraction. When you lack potassium during an activity or exercise, you usually feel muscle cramps because of the inefficient contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
• Drink milk
Another important electrolyte in the body when it comes to muscle contraction is calcium. In this line, drinking non-fat milk may give you the calcium you need to relax the muscles effectively. Also, milk contains phosphate and magnesium, which are also important in muscle contraction.
• Take some rest regularly
When you workout or exercise, make sure to have adequate rest in between activities to help your muscles relax efficiently.
Treatment of Muscle Cramps
As much as muscles cramps are easy to prevent, they are also easily manageable. If you are a runner or an athlete or you just workout regularly, knowing how to treat muscle cramps will help you continue your activities in no time. Here are the most common and effective managements for muscle cramps:
As soon as you feel that your legs are cramping, sit down and straighten your legs. After which, flex your ankle so your feet is towards your shin while keeping your knees straight. After a few seconds, the muscle cramps eventually subside. This treatment aims at stretching the calf muscles to relieve cramping.
While you feel cramps, it is also essential to massage the muscle affected to help the muscles relax and improve the circulation in the area.
After your cramp is relieved, make sure to stop your activity and rest. Going back to what you are doing may cause the cramps to reoccur.
Muscle cramps are indeed common, but knowing how to prevent and manage it will make the cramping less common for you.