Muscle cramps: what they are and how to avoid them

The muscle cramps As they are generally known they are actually spasms that occur in the muscles. Spasm is the contraction suffered by the muscle and as a consequence of this we notice that the muscle tenses.

The muscle is not relaxed and usually produces enough pain until it relaxes again or returns to its normal state. The most common or frequent cramps usually occur in the legs and sometimes when we are sleeping.

The causes that cause muscle cramps can be several, and often appear as a result of excessive muscle strain when we are exercising and as a result the muscle is overloaded.

Other causes why cramps can affect us:

  • Lack of hydration, not being well hydrated before exercising.
  • Lack of some minerals such as: magnesium, sodium, calcium.
  • Perform excessive exercises without being prepared before.
  • Do not warm up the muscles before exercise and stretch them when finished.
  • Exceed more by doing the exercise for longer than we are used to.

Cramps can usually appear in any muscle but the most common are in the calves or twins, in the quadriceps that is the front of the thigh or in the hamstrings that the back of the thigh.

There may also be cramps in the neck or cervical area, spasms in the muscles of the back as a result of a herniated disc.

How to treat them once they appear

When the muscle cramp appears performing physical exercise we must stop the exercise especially because the pain will prevent us from continuing.

Then we try little by little and gently stretch the muscle with gentle stretching keeping the muscle stretched and massaging the area a little until the muscle relaxes.

Sometimes although the muscle returns to its normal state can be a slight pain or discomfort that we try to relieve by applying local cold in the area or heat.

If a few days pass and we are still sore, it is advisable to go to the doctor or the physiotherapist.

How to prevent them

Sometimes it is inevitable that we may get to affect some cramp that another and good advice or good practice before starting the exercise can help us enough to prevent as much as possible from suffering from them.

Here are some simple and healthy recommendations:

  • Warm up the muscles before starting the exercise and stretch well afterwards.
  • Be well hydrated before doing the exercise, during, and after.
  • Adapt the exercise to our possibilities, without making efforts.
  • When changing the intensity of the exercise, do it gradually, little by little.
  • Replace after exercise with isotonic drinks the liquids and electrolytes that we have lost with the effort.
  • That your diet does not lack carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, minerals, especially magnesium, calcium, sodium.
  • The equipment is also important, good shoes adapted to your type of footprint (neutral, pronadora or supinadora).
  • Adequate clothing, lightweight, breathable, and according to the temperature that makes at that time.

Following these healthy recommendations without any doubt we can move away as much as possible the appearance of annoying and uncomfortable muscle cramps. ThemesExercise Sports injuries

Massage for Muscle Spasms & Cramps (December 2020)