Cramp is a painful sudden, involuntary spasm or contraction of the muscles. Cramps usually occur when the affected muscles do not get adequate amount of oxygen. Stress, overindulgence and heavy exercise after a big meal can have an impact on the stomach and cause cramps. There are many kinds of crams (Such as Muscle crams, Leg crams etc.). Muscle cramps occur most often in the legs, arms and back. They happen due to muscle overuse or strain, injury or dehydration, or after a prolonged period of inactivity, such as sitting in the same position for too long. Cramps are more common during exercise in the heat because sweat contains fluids as well as electrolyte (salt, potassium, magnesium and calcium). When these nutrients fall to certain levels, the incidence of muscle spasms increases. Cramps often develop near the end of intense or prolonged exercise, or the night after. Some of the more common reasons for muscle cramps are strains and sprains of the muscles and ligaments.
A cramp has been attributed to the depletion of potassium and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When a cramp occurs, several steps can be taken to reduce symptoms and help stop the cramping. Massaging the muscle can often help the cramp to resolve. Gentle stretching can also help stop the cramps, but should be done with caution or not at all if a serious injury is suspected. Muscle cramps are usually uncomfortable or even painful, and the muscle can remain tight for several minutes. Most cases occur in the calves or thighs, though other muscles can be affected too. It usually occur suddenly during or shortly after the activity. Ice alternating with heat is also helpful to treat any underlying injury and reduce muscle discomfort, which may persist even after the cramps disappear. In some cases, muscle cramps are due to an underlying health problem and not related to the temperature, exercise or other activity. Muscle cramps are a common problem for those who exercise heavily. They usually go away quickly with treatment, but can occasionally indicate a serious underlying injury or health problem.
Prevention of Cramps
- Improve fitness and avoid muscle fatigue.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and is low in fat.
- Try acupuncture or acupressure.
- Avoid exertion in hottest weather.
Home Remedies for Cramps
- Drink chamomile and peppermint tea for stomach cramps.
- Take a hot bath. The hot water relaxes muscles including those of your uterus relieving you of cramps.
- Apply cold packs on the cramped muscle.
- For muscular cramps: Massage the muscle that is opposite to the muscle that is cramping . Example if you have a cramp in the lower thigh, massage the upper part of the thigh muscle.
- Drain some pickle juice and drink 1 cup.