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What Are Muscle Cramps? How to Prevent Them?

What Are Muscle Cramps? How to Prevent Them?
By Kya Grace

Experiencing muscle cramps is a common phenomenon. Muscle
cramps can often last for several minutes and make the affected
muscles sore which makes the entire area very sensitive and
painful. Cramps are involuntary contractions in a muscle or in
groups of muscles, usually in legs. The sudden shortening and
contraction in muscles causes the intense and sharp pain. Have
you ever wondered what the causes of muscle cramps are? Here are
some of the causes:

1. Dehydration. This is the most common cause for cramps. Your
body may be suffering from lack of electrolytes- consisting of
sodium, calcium, potassium- which helps the cells in your body
to function normally.

2. Injury- It is a common phenomenon to experience muscle
cramps after suffering an injury like a fractured bone.

3. Strong activity- This is caused because of muscle fatigue
and severe muscle tension. These types of cramps occur during
the activity ort after the activity is over.

4. Inactivity- Cramps may occur if you are sitting or lying in
a still position for a very long period of time. This is because
the muscles in your body are not being shifted or moved about
for a long time.

Muscle cramps frequently occur in the legs, mostly in the
calves. It is also a common phenomenon to experience cramps in
the night, while sleeping. These are called nocturnal cramps.
These types of cramps are excruciating as they disturb sleep,
cause severe pain and recur frequently. It has been seen that
nocturnal cramps can be triggered off by making movements while
sleeping or because the body was lying in an awkward position
for a very long time. Muscle cramps are a common phenomenon;
nearly everyone has experienced cramps at one point of their
time. Here are some of the ways you can prevent the frequent
occurrence of muscle cramps:

1. Drink plenty of fluids to avert dehydration - Oral
re-hydration prevents loss of fluids from your body thereby
preventing loss of electrolytes. This is one of the reasons why
athletes and sportsmen drink a lot of energy drinks and fruit
juices. Drink sufficient amounts of water after working out.

2. Incorporate a diet rich in calcium and potassium - These
minerals can help to keep muscle cramps at bay. Make sure to
include fresh, green, leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your

3. Regular stretching exercises - Make it a habit to flex your
muscles regularly at regular intervals throughout the day. If
your work requires you to sit at a desk for the major part of
the day, make it a habit to walk around your office and flex
your leg muscles regularly. This will ensure muscle activity in
your leg and will also improve the blood circulation in your

4. Immediate measures - Some measures that you can immediately
take after getting a muscle cramp include taking a hot shower
(the hot water helps to relieve the muscles and relieves the
pain), rubbing ice over the affected muscle and gently massaging
the affected muscle.

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Source: http://www.isnare.com

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