Muscle Cramps and It's Home Management

Muscle Cramps and It's Home Management

Muscle Cramps and It's Home Management

A muscle cramp may be defined as the involuntary and forced contraction of muscle fibres that do not relax simultaneously. At some time in life, everyone experiences a muscle cramp. There are many types of muscle cramps, according to the aetiology and site of the body. It can be relieved if the affected muscle or muscle group can be stretched.

Though there are several medicines and treatments that are practised, a muscle cramp can be easily prevented by proper hydration, nutrition, exercise in the proper way and avoiding other etiological factors of muscle cramps.

Causes or aetiology of muscle cramps

There are many causes of muscle cramps. Here are some conditions that can trigger a muscle cramp.

  1. Exposure to cold. Especially during bathing or exposure to cold water. It may cause muscle spasms.
  2. Any stress like injury, exercise or any unwanted sudden stressful movement of a muscle.
  3. Putting any muscle group, such as muscles of the legs, in an awkward, uncomfortable position during sleep or enjoying TV shows for a long time.
  4. Standing and sitting or maintaining the same posture for a long time causes stretching of the same muscle group for a long duration and may cause cramps.
  5. Pregnancy is also an essential factor that can cause muscle cramps due to a relative deficiency of certain minerals like calcium and magnesium by increasing body demand.
  6. A deficiency of micronutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium etc., may cause muscle cramps.
  7. Dehydration is also one of the leading causes of muscle cramps. Due to prolonged exercise, loss of body fluid by sweating plays a key role to develop muscle cramps in an athlete.
  8. Some medical conditions like peripheral vascular disease (that causes impairment of blood supply), Kidney disease (causes impairment of potassium imbalance in the blood), thyroid disease (that may impair the regulation of calcium and other metabolic processes in our body) and multiple sclerosis may cause muscle cramps.
  9. Different medications, like antipsychotics, contraceptive pills, steroids, diuretics, and statins, may predispose to muscle cramps.

Prevention of muscle cramps

For the prevention of muscle cramps avoiding all the risk factors is the key. No one can guarantee that you can prevent muscle cramps strictly. But we should follow the best available scientific evidence to prevent it.

  1. Stay hydrated: Try to stay hydrated. Take two glasses of water at least half an hour earlier from starting your exercise or any work. It will keep you hydrated during the procedures. After exercise, take some rest and again drink at least two glasses of water. But during exercise, sips of water is better. Drink as much as possible in a day. Don’t follow the ‘8 glass’ myth. Drink more.
  1. Stretching: Stretch and warm up before exercise or any heavy activities which will involve your muscles. Stretching causes your muscle to achieve their highest length and prepare them for coming stressful workloads. If night cramping has frequently attacked you, you should do these stretching techniques before going to bed for a few minutes. Stretching should be done n a proper way. It is better to learn them from a trainer at first and then practice them individually. Make sure the involvement of all or maximum muscle groups during stretching.
  1. Train or do exercises according to your capacity: Most of the time, cramps happen when you push yourself more than your limit. Try to start with comfortable and suitable exercises, then gradually increase your workload over the weeks. It is an excellent way to avoid cramps. Try to start with a guideline of an expert.
  1. Nutrition: Take calcium and magnesium supplements if needed. Consult with your doctor, and he or she will advise you on what mineral you should use. You can take multivitamins and multi-minerals found in the market as ‘over-the-counter drugs to avoid these types of episodes.

Eat fruits and vegetables to meet your potassium needs. If you are a pregnant woman, you must ask your doctor about the supplements during your next follow-up if you are facing muscle cramps. (

Home management of muscle cramps

If you face any episodes of muscle cramps, you should follow-

  1. Stretch the muscle with a massage. A light jiggle of your leg; walking around may relieve calf muscle cramps.
  2. Apply a heating pad over the muscle repeatedly for a few minutes.
  3. Take a shower with warm water to relax the muscle.
  4. You can use a cold pack or ice over the muscle.
  5. If you are taking any medicine for your repeated muscle cramp episode prescribed by your doctor, take it.
  6. Try some over-the-counter medicine, like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen etc.
  7. Drink plenty of fluids. Sports drinks may be beneficial.

If cramps persist for several hours or the pain is unbearable, you should consult with your doctor.

These are some basics of cramp and cramp management. Follow some easy rules. You may avoid a muscle cramp.


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