Muscle cramps are consequence of accumulation of lactic acid in muscle (exercise, a lot of walking, swimming, and jumping) or lack of oxygen in the muscle (crossed legs, uncomfortable and tight shoes, and too high heels). They can also be a result of dietary deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B6, nervous irritability and mental stress.
Muscle cramps occurs when nerves send uncontrolled impulses to muscle cells and thus the muscles can not relax. Then, spasm leads to muscle cell damage that cause pain. Pain occurs suddenly, usually lasts a few seconds and feels intense. It is most common in the elderly, pregnant women and athletes and at night during sleep or during sports activities.
In many cases, muscle cramps are caused by disturbances in the electrolytes composition in the intercellular space that lead to excessive activity of nerves and thus an increased incidence of cramps. This is why cramps often occur when athletes sweat a lot and does not bring in the fluid and minerals lost by sweating. Also, athletes, especially those who are currently in poor condition, due to the long and arduous training overload their muscles will cause cramps on a couple of hours later.
Since in the mid-40's muscle functioning begins to decline, muscle cramps become frequent in older people. Also, their muscles become less resistant to temperature changes and have reduced ability to respond to dehydration.
In muscle cramps begin to appear more frequently it is necessary to consult with the doctor because sometimes cramps appear due to undiagnosed diabetes.
To relieve the cramp, it helps stretching the muscles which break the nerve impulses that constantly send signals to the muscles and thereby break the pain. Full body weight pressure on the legs and slightly bending the knees also helps.
Regular physiotherapy with stretching muscles reduces the incidence of cramps. Exercises such as lying on the back with legs elevated for 2 minutes, sitting on the edge of bed allowing feet to hang until they become pink, moving feet up and down, twisting ankles inside and out, massaging toes, feet and lower leg, lying on the back for 2 minutes with your feet covered are crucial for the elimination and prevention of muscle cramps. These exercises should be repeated 4 times a day. It is also important to drink enough fluids and enter enough mineral by consuming healthy food, especially vegetables and whole grains.If cramps arise during night it is advisable to lie on back with fingers pointing towards the ceiling or get up and walk or get into a bath of warm water until the cramp subsides.
Taking preparations containing magnesium is recommended only if the cause of cramp is lack of minerals, but magnesium should not be taken in excessive quantities because it can lead to diarrhea.
The most effective method for eliminating cramp is a massage that can be applied independently at home using certain oils applying directly to the contracted muscle. Some oils can also be homemade such as the garlic oil. 10-15 garlic cloves squashes and add to 50 ml of vegetable cooking oil. Then, the mixture cooks on low heat until half the oil remains. Then, the obtained mixture is filtered and cooled down when can be applied to affected area.