How to Prevent and Treat Muscle Cramps
A cramp is a sensation of electricity that attacks the muscles during exercise or movement. Those who suffer most from this pain are athletes but anyone can suffer from it. In the following article, you’ll learn how to prevent and treat muscle cramps.
Reasons for muscle cramps
Excess lactic acid
There are different theories as to why muscle cramps occur. The most widespread and proven is when the body or an area in question has an excess or accumulation of lactic acid, which is a chemical compound that, when produced in excess, causes muscle fatigue.
Failure in the relaxation-contraction
Another theory is based on the relaxation and contraction of muscles, ie antagonistic and agonistic movements that occur during exercise. In this process, the muscle function is insufficient and can’t relax.
Overexcitation and fluid loss
Thirdly, another popular theory as to the occurrence of cramps is due to overexcitation of the muscles and fluid loss due to continuous activity during training or exercise. This causes a decrease in inhibitory signals from the nervous system and results in involuntary spasms.
Other origins of cramps are:
- Poor nutrition and/or hydration
- A high level of stress
Cramps that occur during the night are mostly due to overexertion that day along with the other two causes.
How to prevent muscle cramps
Exercise in a balanced way
You need to find a balance when exercising or training. Throughout the session, vary your speed and load, and don’t forget to drink water from time to time, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Be careful because a higher water intake can also have negative consequences. For a short training session, a few sips every ten minutes is the right thing to do. If it is more strenuous, then opt for sports drinks.
Stretching and stretching
Before and after sporting activity it is important that you stretch and warm up your muscles to prepare them for exercise. Include all muscle groups in your stretching routine. On days when you don’t go to the gym, also stretch a little, even if it’s just after you get up or before you go to bed.
In addition to the first tip, your exercise routine needs to be tailored to you. You don’t want to do everything the first day, like lifting very heavy weights, if you’ve never done it before.
Design an exercise program with a professional so you can gradually increase the intensity. Variations in exercise should be gradual as well.
When you suffer a lot of cramps it may be due to a deficiency in calcium, potassium, or magnesium. Therefore, a good idea is to consult a nutritionist or pay more attention to what you eat. Feel free to add bananas, avocados, potatoes, spinach, skimmed milk, cheeses and yoghurt to your daily diet.
The amount of sleep you should get per day will depend on several factors, such as your age, the activities you do, whether you are ill, etc. However, it should never be less than 7 hours a day, although the ideal is 8.
If you can, rest for half an hour in the afternoon, a short nap will increase your physical and mental performance. This will help your muscles to relax and reduce the chance of cramps.
Tips to treat muscle cramps
- Massage in the opposite direction of the pain to stretch the muscle and relax it.
- Wrap the area with an elastic bandage to reduce the pain. However, you shouldn’t wrap it too tightly because it will cause swelling.
- Press your upper lip with your thumb and index finger for 30 seconds. This acupressure exercise is good for leg cramps.
Recipes and ingredients to treat muscle cramps
- Drink an infusion with three tablespoons of Gingko Biloba per cup of water, boiled for 10 minutes. No more than one cup a day. Improves circulation, the supply of nutrients to the muscle tissue, and the elimination of toxins.
- To treat muscle cramps, apply a few drops of rosemary, thyme, eucalyptus or pine essential oil to the area affected by cramps. This will serve to relax the area.
- Mix a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water. Drink one each day.
- Pour a teaspoon of mustard seeds in a liter of water and boil for ten minutes. Then soak your legs for 20 minutes in the mixture.
- Drink a cup of water with ten drops of laurel tea twice a day. Repeat for three days in a row.
- Apply cloths soaked in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and arnica to the area. Leave on for about five minutes. This relieves pain and activates circulation.
- Crush 20 grams (nearly 1 oz) of rue, 20 grams of wormwood, 20 grams of mint and 500 grams (20 oz) of pork fat. Place in a saucepan and heat over moderate heat. Pour into a container and let cool. Apply as if it were ointment. Every time you want to use it should be warmed.
- Pour a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Mix well and drink. Not recommended if you suffer from fluid retention or high blood pressure.
- Pour a glass of skimmed milk, half a cup of natural yogurt, a peeled banana, and half a cup of natural orange juice in a blender. Blend well and drink every morning.
- Mix a teaspoon of cumin seeds in half a liter of water. Leave to steep for half an hour and apply with a clean cloth to the affected area.
- Dilute 20 ml of almond oil, two drops of lemongrass essential oil, four drops of nutmeg and four drops of coriander. Apply in circular motions until it passes.
When you start exercising, it’s best to schedule a routine with a trainer or gym instructor. This will avoid unnecessary overexertion that causes cramps.
However many occur without there having been an improper movement and you’ll be able to find help with all the tips we’ve told you about.
However, if this happens to you very often it’s best to consult a doctor to see if you have suffered a major injury.It might interest you...