Couldn't find what you looking for?


Muscle cramp is also called a muscle spasm. This sensation almost always appears without any warning signs and it is one of the muscle contractions that cannot be controlled. However, the good thing is that it also resolves quite fast as well. In a majority of situations muscle spasms cause pain. Pain ranges from mild to severe. Muscle spasm and muscle twitch are not the same thing and they should not be mistaken for one another. A twitch of the muscle cannot be controlled either but it is a fine movement of not a big part of a larger muscle. A muscle twitch is also visible under the skin whereas muscle cramp is not.

What is muscle cramp

Muscles are not a simple structure and the main function of all muscles in the body is to provide movement in the body. The experts have divided muscles into three types. Heart muscle is the first type and their role is to pump blood. These muscles are also known as cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscles are responsible for the movement of the external part of the body. The third type of muscles is smooth muscles and these muscles move the part of hollow structures that are located inside the body like stomach and intestine.

Skeletal muscles are tied to the bone. This connection can be a direct one but the muscle can also be connected to the bone by a tendon. Through the contraction of the muscles the bones that the muscles are connected to move. Thanks to that a person is able to raise the arm, move the legs and smile, among other things. Almost all of the muscles are controlled by the brain. Unlike skeletal muscles, smooth muscles circle the structure and at when they contract the structure is squeezed. These muscles are also controlled by the brain but its unconscious part. This is why these muscles are considered to be involuntary.

Physical therapy to prevent muscle cramps

The actual treatment for muscle cramps does not exists and that is why the doctor claim that the best possible option is prevention of these muscle cramps episodes. In a majority of patients who experience muscle spasm dehydration is almost always present. Apart from dehydration, disturbance of the electrolytes is present quite often as well. This is why proper hydration of the body is essential for the prevention of muscle spasms. Fluid loss is often associated with certain conditions such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea. If that is the situation, a person needs to treat the symptoms of these conditions in order to prevent fluid loss. Those who exercise or simply work in a hot environment need to keep hydrated by consuming a proper amount of fluids in order to prevent dehydration and muscle spasms.

Another excellent way to prevent muscle cramps is to make muscles ready for the physical activity that they are about to perform. Athletes warm up and stretch before they are about to participate in their discipline. Ordinary people need to warm up before they are about to participate in heavy labor like raking, mowing or shoveling snow.

In situations when the spasms do occur, the best option is to extend and stretch that muscle to its full length. By doing that, the breaking the cycle of the spasm will occur. However, this stretching of the muscle needs to be done gently. Massaging the muscles where the spasms occurred is of great significance as it will relieve the pain. A person who does not know how to stretch the muscles of the leg should talk to the physiotherapist in order to get some advice. If the spasm is a severe one, the doctors advise placing of icepack. Cold is good as it will relax the muscles within a couple of minutes. After that initial treatment, in some situation there is need for further treatment. A person should definitely mention to the doctor if he or she is experiencing cramps for longer than several minutes. In these situations an underlying cause is usually present. That treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the cramps. If damage of the muscles occurred, a person will need to take certain medications in order to treat the pain. Some of the medications that are usually prescribed are anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, narcotics and muscle relaxants.

When a person goes to the hospital he or she should talk to the doctor about the best possible ways to prevent muscle cramps from occurring. The best way to prevent muscle cramps is to increase the level of physical fitness. Regular stretching exercises need to be made a part of the fitness routine that a person is following. Warming up and stretching before any physical activity is essential. Consuming a lot of fluids during the exercises and any other physical activity must be done. A proper diet, full of fruits and vegetables, is vital.

Your thoughts on this

User avatar Guest