Most people experience muscle cramps or spasms at some point in their life. It is an involuntary and sudden contraction that occurs in various muscles. Commonly affected muscles are the back of the lower leg and the back and front of the thigh. However, you may also experience cramps in your abdomen, arms, hands, and feet.

Causes of Muscle Cramps

  • Overused muscles (exercise)
  • Dehydration
  • Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium deficiency
  • Having low blood supply in the leg
  • Prior injury

In some cases, muscle cramps can also cause by a medical condition, such as:

  • Spinal nerve compression
  • Alcoholism
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nerve damage

3 Types of Muscle Cramps

True Cramps

It is the most common type of skeletal muscle cramps that are caused by hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles. It can occur in the following circumstances:

  • Injury and vigorous activity muscle cramps
  • Rest cramps and dehydration muscle cramps
  • Body fluid shifts, low blood calcium, and low potassium muscle cramps

Tetany Cramps

When all of the nerve cells in the body are activated and stimulate the muscles, it will cause spasms or cramps throughout the body. Low in calcium and magnesium increases tetanic cramps.

Dystonic Cramps

It is the final category, in which muscles that do not need the intended movement stimulates to contract. Dystonic cramps affect small groups of muscles, including eyelids, jaw, neck, etc., and the hands and arms may also be affected during the performance of repetitive activities (writing, typing, playing musical instruments, and others). Dystonic cramps are not as much as true cramps.

How to Prevent Muscle Cramps?

The simplest and most practical solution to prevent muscle cramps is avoiding or limiting the exercises that strain the muscles that cause cramps.

Also, you can:

  • Take some stretching or warming up before participating in sports and exercises.
  • Don’t do exercises right after eating.
  • Lower the intake of food and drink containing caffeine, such as coffee and chocolate.
  • Drink plenty of liquid to avoid dehydration when exercising.
  • Increase calcium and potassium intake by drinking milk and pickle juice or eating bananas.

Muscle spasms are usually short-lived and benign, so self-treatment, particularly stretching exercises, works. If you have muscle spasms frequently, or if the pain is unbearing, seek manual therapy!

When searching for the most reliable Manual Physical Therapy whenever muscle cramps strike, Massage Rx is the right one to call! We will help you strengthen the affected muscles with our comprehensive and specialized stretching exercises and get your flexibility back again in no time. To learn more, click our video here:

Also, we are known for our reliable In-Home Physical Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Massage in Los Angeles!

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