March 1, 2018

Muscle Cramps: Causes and Treatments

How many times are we stopped in our tracks for a sudden sharp pain while exercising?
Be it running, lifting, swimming or cycling, muscle cramps are almost a common occurrence to any sportsmen.

How do you know you’re experiencing muscle cramps?

1. Sudden sharp pain
2. Feeling and seeing a hard lump of muscle

Why does muscle cramps happen?

There are a few possibilities on why your muscle cramps, but most of the time the cause can’t be identified or is most likely made up by few factors.

1. Overuse of muscle

Overworking your muscle and pushing it to the limit may increase the possibilities of cramps. This usually happens in competition but cramps can also happen when in training. We get it; when in competition you push yourself as hard as you can and when exercising, you want to progress faster, but that’s not the way to do it. Learn to pull the brake sometimes.

2. Muscle strain

Prolonged repetitive movements using the same muscle set might be the culprit to your cramps too. If you insist to keep on repeating the same exercise that targets the same muscle, they can’t help but to contract continuously and cause you cramps. A lot of sportsmen have experienced this due to the repetitive nature of their practice.

Treatment and remedies for muscle cramp

Most of the time, muscle cramps are not a serious enough issue to pay a visit to the doctor. Home treatment and self-care are good enough to put the pain away. Here are some strategies that may provide relief to muscle cramps.

1. Resting

The easiest way for muscle cramp relief would be to just rest your muscle. Cease from the activity you’re doing prior to cramps. If you’re running, stop running and find a safe place to sit and rest. Same goes if the cramps occur during swimming, gently get out of the water and rest the contracted muscle.

2. Stretching

Stretching during muscle cramps are said to be a good remedy for muscle cramps. Depending on the where the muscle cramps you’re experiencing, you can try stretching the involved muscles. It is best if you can try holding the stretch position for at least a minute until it gets better. Repeat stretching if the pain comes back.

3. Move around

By moving around, we meant it by making small movements. Take a rest first and then start by getting up and walking super slowly and in short stride. stop immediately if you noticed the pain intensified as a result of you moving.

However, it worth to note that if your cramps lasted for a long time and the pain keeps intensify, seek medical attention immediately. It could be something more serious than the usual cramps.