Muscle cramps occur when nerves send uncontrolled impulses muscle cells and thus the muscles aren't able to relax. In addition, muscle spasm leads to muscle cells damaging which later manifests as pain.
Intense pain occurs suddenly and usually lasts for a few seconds. Elderly, pregnant women and athletes are in the highest risk of muscle cramping especially at night during sleep or during sports activities.
CausesIn many cases muscle cramps are caused by disturbances of the electrolytes composition in the intercellular space that leads to excessive nerve activity and thus increased frequency of cramps. This is why cramps occur when athletes sweat a lot and do not compensate the fluid and minerals lost by sweating.
Hormonal changes in women lead to electrolytes composition changing, so pregnant women often suffer from muscle cramps.
Occasionally, the nerve damage and inflammation and diseases of the veins may be the reason for the occurrence of the muscle convulsions.
If cramps in the muscles appear more frequently, it is necessary to consult a physician because sometimes the cramps may be caused by undiagnosed diabetes mellitus.
MagnesiumTaking magnesium supplements is recommended only if the lack of minerals causes muscle cramps, but even in this case magnesium should not be taken in excessive quantities because it may cause diarrhea and thus an additional loss of minerals. Food rich in magnesium include cereals, pumpkin seeds, sesame, beans, nuts, vegetables, and fish, It is also very important to drink mineral water that contains magnesium. Regular exercising with stretching reduces the incidence of cramps. It is also important to enter enough fluids and minerals b healthy food, especially vegetables and whole grains.
Tomatoes and BananasEating fresh green vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean dairy products supply muscles with calcium, iron and potassium, providing muscles to function normally. Bananas and tomato juice are especially recommended because they contain potassium. Before going to bed it is advisable to drink a cup of chamomile tea.
WalkEasy walk in duration of 30 minutes a day will improve circulation. Long-standing, sitting with crossed legs, uncomfortable, tight shoes and high heels should be avoided. Person should lift her/his legs and relax them whenever is possible. Moderate exercise is pleasant for muscles, but if it is about running or swimming, stretching legs is necessary in every half-hour.
Stretching the muscles is very helpful in subsiding the acute muscle spasm. It breaks the nerve impulses that send signals to muscles and thereby relieve the pain.
Also, full body weight pressure on the legs with slightly bent knees is another helpful way for overcoming this problem.
Baths and OilsHot bath before bedtime is an excellent tool for the prevention and elimination of pain caused by muscle cramping. Muscle heating with heating pads is also very useful. Warm compresses with lavender or ginger oil should be applied to the cramped muscle. Gently massaging cramped muscle reduces tense.