A muscle cramp occurs in an area of the body involuntarily contracted; can attack without warning, putting a brake on any training, or physical exercise, whether intense or not.
Although there is nothing completely certain about muscle cramps, which commonly attack those of the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, arms and abdominals, the fibers shorten in these cases and, when contracting, a tension occurs along with a sensation of oppression and irritability.
They can last from a few seconds to fifteen minutes or sometimes longer; It is not uncommon to repeat it several times until it finally resolves. The cramps can occur up to six hours after exercise, even often attacks the muscles of the legs in the middle of the night.
SYMPTOMS OF MUSCLE CRAMPS
– A muscular cramp produces pain, often severe; It also involves the detection of any activity that is underway and seeking relief from cramping.
– The person feels unable to use the affected muscle while there are cramps.
– Severe muscle cramps may be associated with inflammation and pain, which can sometimes persist for several days after the cramping has persisted.
– It may appear at the time of cramps, a knot or lump in the muscle, which feels very firm and sensitive.
How to prevent muscle cramps
– Stay hydrated, because dehydration is the main cause of muscle cramps.
– Monitor diet, lack of sodium and potassium can be the reason for muscle cramps; A good source of potassium is eating a banana. In unforeseen situations, isotonic drinks, such as Gatorade, in addition to rehydrating you help you recover lost carbohydrates and electrolytes.
– You should also eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, D and E, and minerals such as magnesium and zinc, which in addition to avoiding muscle cramps , can help relieve pain.
– Perform plyometric exercises to increase neuromuscular coordination, while helping to prevent muscles from getting tired; Do the exercises at least a couple of times a week. With these exercises a cycle of stretching-shortening occurs and is related to the multi-highs, although you can work with explosive push-ups.
– Warm-relaxation cycle; begins with a warm-up before the exercises and ends with relaxation exercises after the exercise, to keep the cramps at bay.
– Keep your body flexible, stretching before and after exercise; It will help you to prevent cramps and muscle pulls.
Vitamin deficiency and poor circulation
Vitamin deficiency can directly or indirectly result in muscle cramps, which include deficiencies of B vitamins, such as B1, B5 and B6.
The poor circulation in the legs, causes lack of oxygen in muscle tissue and can cause severe pain in the muscles, sometimes known as intermittent claudication, which occurs when walking or exercising and commonly occurs in the calf muscles.
Treatment of muscle cramps
– The majority of cramps can be reduced or eliminated if the muscle can be stretched, as with foot and leg cramps, which can be relieved by standing or walking.
– You can also gently massage the muscle, to help you relax.
– It is convenient to apply heat with a heating pad or a hot bath.
– If cramping is associated with the loss of fluids, when performing a vigorous physical activity, it is essential to replace the lost fluids.
– The treatment of cramps that are associated with specific medical conditions, usually focuses on the treatment of the underlying condition; that is why additional specific medications can be used to treat muscle cramps with some of these conditions.