Muscle cramps are produced due to the unusual shortening of the muscles causing severe, sharp pain. Muscles are able to contract and lengthen, to provide movement in our body. Sometimes, the voluntary, or the skeletal muscles, present in our legs, arms, back, chest, and abdomen, stays in the state of contraction for longer than expected or required. This results in muscle going through a muscle spasm characterized by pain. Pain is sudden, sharp, and usually severe. There is also rigidity of the muscles with limited movement. Muscle cramps usually affects the muscles present in the legs, arms, and the back. However, any voluntary muscle can go through muscle cramp.
There are numerous reasons for muscles to suffer from cramps. The most common cause is overexertion of the muscles. After a strenuous exercise or working for long hours doing laundry, using the muscles of the legs for long periods of time, is the biggest risk factor for muscles to undergo severe cramps. This is due to the loss of essential nutrients during the activity and built up of waste products that make the muscles unable to relax from a state of contraction. Other important factor causing muscle cramps in dehydration. Loss of essential electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, due to any cause can produce muscle spasms. Lack of vitamins, certain medications, pregnancy, inactivity for long time, and poor circulation, are also some commonly seen causes of muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps are dreadful with excruciating pain. If you suffer from muscle cramps, there are certain self-care techniques that can be used to get relief from the muscle cramps. The best technique, when you get a muscle cramp, is to massage the affected muscle. Massage help increase the blood circulation which relieves the cramps. Stretching is also a good practice to overcome the affected muscle from cramps. Taking a hot shower, or immersing the affected muscle in warm water, is also helpful. However, the key to prevent muscle cramps from occurring is to incorporate a healthy diet in your lifestyle. Your diet should be rich in potassium which is seen in foods such as potatoes and bananas. Magnesium and calcium, found in dairy products, should also be taken in your diet. Sodium is also an essential mineral which prevents muscle cramps. It is also essential that dehydration is prevented. Consuming at least 8 to 10 glasses of water is necessary to prevent dehydration; hence, muscle cramps.
Certain homeopathic medicines also work well for muscle cramps and soreness. Examples of such medicines include Calcarea Carbonica, which is good for muscle cramps due to exertion. Causticum and Ignatia Amara are helpful for muscle as well as joint stiffness. Lastly, Magnesia Phosphorica provides a warm application to relieve the pain.