Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are common discomforts that everyone has had to deal with at one time or another. Here are some signs of a muscle cramp :

A sharp, sudden, painful spasm, or tightening of a muscle, (especially common in the legs).

Muscle hardness

Twitching of the muscle

Persistent cramping pains in lower abdominal muscles

Sometimes occurring when a muscle contracts with great intensity and stays contracted, refusing to stretch out again.

Causes

Imbalances in certain minerals, body fluids, hormones, and chemicals which allow the lengthening and contracting of our muscles to occur can prompt spasms and cramps. As well as this, malfunctions in the nervous system itself can also cause problems. Excessive physical activity and hormonal imbalances causes us to sweat , which brings about the loss of many essential minerals (such as potassium) our muscles need.

Traditional Treatment

For everyday muscle cramps, there really isn’t any medication specifically for them. Try to stretch the muscle and massage out the cramp it you can.

Muscle cramps can also be caused by a lack of potassium and vitamin E, so eating something like bananas or pineapple can help to replenish the minerals you’ve lost. Calcium is also thought to help prevent muscle cramps, so drink your milk!

If you take vitamin E supplements it will help prevent nighttime muscle cramps, which can be quite an annoyance.

Prevention

Drink 6 to 8 cups of water every day.

Be sure to get enough potassium, vitamin E, and calcium into your system.

Be sure to warm up before exercising.

When to seek further professional advice

If you suffer from frequent or severe cramps, see your doctor. And severe cramps in your chest, shoulders, or arms can be symptoms of a heart attack; call immediately for medical help.

Your muscle cramp lasts more than an hour.

Your cramp is in your chest or arms.

*** Before administering any first aid to anyone outside your family, be aware of your rights and responsibilities: The Good Samaritan Law. ***