A cramp is the involuntary contraction of one or more muscles. A rapid muscle contraction is a muscle spasm; a spasm occurs when the muscles contract involuntarily. The person experiences unpleasant painful sensations at the same time. The choice of treatment depends on the location of the spasmodic muscle, as well as on the intensity and duration of antispasmodic attacks. This article lists several ways that you can help relieve cramps.
Method 1 of 3: Home Treatment
Step 1. Stretch the contracted muscles
By doing it right, you can relieve muscle spasms. When a muscle is stretched, some of the muscle fibers are stretched, so you are unlikely to experience an unpleasant cramp. Stretching shouldn't be painful. If you are in pain, reduce the intensity of the stretching exercise.
- If you are experiencing a cramp in the calf muscle, stand up straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, and put the leg in which you are cramping forward. Shift your weight onto your front leg, bending it slightly at the knee. Keep your heels on the floor. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
- Do the following exercise: Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Keep your legs in a relaxed position and keep your back straight. Place your hands on the floor. Lean forward gently towards your feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Do a thigh stretch. Stand straight, bend your leg at the knee and bring it back to the buttock. Hold your leg with your hand on the ankle or the back of the foot. Try to squeeze your leg as close to your buttock as possible, while feeling the stretch in your thigh muscle. Hold this position for 30 seconds. With your free hand, hold onto a wall or chair to maintain balance.
Step 2. Apply heat or cold
A warm heating pad or ice pack can help soothe pain. Apply cold or heat for 20 minutes in one session. Never apply ice or cold compresses directly to your skin. Be sure to wrap it in a towel before applying it to your skin. Be careful when using a heating pad if you go to bed. If you fall asleep, the heating pad can cause a fire.
- If you are taking a hot shower to relieve muscle spasms, direct the stream of water towards the affected area. If you can increase the intensity of the water jet, this will have a positive effect on the result.
- Note that ice is more effective for injuries. If you are in severe pain and feel heat under your skin, apply ice. Apply heat if you are experiencing chronic pain or tension.
Step 3. Massage the spasmodic muscle
If you have a cramp in a part of your body that you can reach with your hands, such as leg muscle cramps, try massaging your limb. Use your hands to massage spasmodic muscles to release tension.
- If you are unable to massage the spasmodic area, ask a loved one to help you. Your loved one does not have to be able to massage. Just ask him to massage the muscles deeply to relieve tension.
- The massage shouldn't be painful. In some cases, massage can do more harm than good. Never continue with a massage session if you are experiencing pain.
- Deep tissue massage is one of the most effective massage methods. A professional massage therapist will not only massage deep tissue, but also treat muscle cramps. Regular professional massage sessions, perhaps weekly or monthly, can help relieve cramps that are chronic and difficult to deal with on your own.
- Use a massage roller. Place the roller over the affected area. Apply the roller over the skin, applying light pressure on it, for about 5-10 minutes. You can also use a tennis ball.
Step 4. Take pain relievers
Take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). These drugs reduce pain caused by muscle cramps. Note, however, that these drugs do not treat seizures.
- Talk to your doctor if you are considering taking pain medications. For some diseases, taking painkillers is contraindicated. Also, if you consume more than three servings of alcoholic beverages a day, tell your doctor.
- Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine (flexeril), orphenadrine (norflex), and baclofen (lyoresal) can reduce muscle tension. Consult your doctor. Find out if these medicines can be used in your case.
Step 5. Use home remedies
If the above methods don't work as expected, try home remedies. Despite the fact that they are not always effective, in your case they can bring a positive result.
- Dissolve half a cup of Epsom salts in the bath. Take a bath for 20 minutes.
- Mix one part gaulteria oil with four parts vegetable oil. Before going to bed, massage spasmodic muscles using this mixture.
- According to some studies, vitamin E can help fight seizures. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking supplements.
Method 2 of 3: Solving Basic Problems
Step 1. Drink plenty of water
One of the most common causes of seizures is dehydration. Drink as much water as possible before, during, and after your workout. Also, drink enough water throughout the day to help prevent seizures.
- Drink 0.5-0.8 liters of water at least one hour before your workout. This will prepare your body for exercise.
- Keep a water bottle by your side during your workout.
- Exercise and drink water. You can also drink an electrolyte sports drink.
Step 2. Change your eating habits
Muscle cramps are mainly due to a lack of calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, try changing your diet.
- Don't take supplements on your own. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking nutritional supplements, as in some cases they can do more harm than good.
- Eat a balanced diet to keep your body getting enough electrolytes. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet, including leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. Eat bananas as they are high in potassium.
- Also, be sure to eat a few hours before your workout.
Step 3. Pay attention to the drugs you are taking
Some medicines can cause seizures as a side effect. If the convulsions began after you took a new drug for you, then most likely the reason lies in it. Pay attention to the side effects that are mentioned in the instructions. If your condition does not improve, you still have seizures, talk to your doctor, who will either reduce the dose or prescribe a different one.
Method 3 of 3: Preventive Measures
Step 1. Warm up your muscles and do stretching exercises before and after your workout
Warming up and stretching before and after training can prevent muscle cramps. Dedicate 10 minutes of warm-up and stretching exercises before exercising. After you've warmed up your muscles, do some stretching exercises. The warmed-up muscles will already be prepared for the load and will be able to work more efficiently. After training, stretch again for 5-10 minutes and allow the muscles to cool.
Step 2. If you are pregnant, take magnesium and calcium supplements
During pregnancy, many women experience uncontrolled muscle contractions. Ask your health care provider about taking magnesium or calcium supplements. Taking these supplements can help reduce cramps during pregnancy.
Step 3. Wear suitable shoes
Uncomfortable tight or high-heeled shoes can cause cramping. Wear shoes that are right for you and are comfortable for you. If you are unsure of your shoe size, ask your shoe store to help you determine your shoe size.
Step 4. Consult your doctor if you experience cramps while walking
These seizures can be a sign of poor circulation. Frequent seizures can indicate poor circulation. Since poor circulation can be a symptom of various medical conditions, make an appointment with your doctor so that he can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.