A strong, painful contraction which also causes the tightening of a muscle is a leg cramp. This occurs suddenly and lasts for a couple of seconds or sometimes even several minutes. In most cases, it often occurs in legs. This is a type of a muscle cramp and is also known as the charley horse. During the night times, these leg cramps usually occur in sudden forms of spasms that tightens the muscles in the calf.
Why Do Leg Cramps Occur?
Leg cramps occur due to the overuse of muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or even due to holding your body in one single position for an extended period. In some cases, the causes are even not known. Muscle cramps are considered harmless. Some of these cramps may be the reason of an underlying medical condition like inadequate supply of blood, nerve compression or mineral depletion. Various factors lead to causing of leg cramps such are:
- Age: As we get older, we start losing out on muscle mass and hence the remaining muscles in the body get overused which eventually leads to cramps.
- Dehydration: Athletes face the issue of fatigue and dehydration caused due to participating in warm weather sports. This is done on a frequent basis and leads to causing muscle cramps.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women face the issues of muscle cramps which is a common factor.
- Medical Conditions: Health conditions such as diabetes, liver & thyroid diseases are factors that lead to leg cramps.
How To Stop Or Avoid A Leg Cramp?
Cramps can be painful and people tend to immediately react in various ways which can be dangerous.
- During a leg cramp situation, ensure to relax the cramping muscles.
- Put an immediate halt to any activity that may have induced the cramp.
- Give a light stretch to the muscle by gently holding the stretch.
- A gentle massage to the muscle after your stretch may help.
- Try the application of a heating pad after you have completed the stretching.
If you are one of those who faces the regular issue of leg cramps, this means that it is related to a more severe condition. This could mean that your body is low on magnesium. Consume nuts and seeds as they are an excellent source of magnesium. The dehydrated body also leads to causing leg cramps. Thus, you should ensure to keep your body hydrated at all times. It might take some time to address this pain though, however, once you have had water or any sports drink that makes use of electrolytes, this can help to prevent another cramp.
As per a certified personal trainer Hanry Halse: “If you are experiencing leg cramps, the best thing to do is just stand or start to walk around.” This helps to send a signal that your muscle requires to contract and relax eventually. This feels like giving your muscle a reset button stimulation. If all of these fail and yet you face the issue of regular muscle cramps, getting regular body massages helps. However, do note that body massages are a good option in any case with or without cramps. They promote a healthy blood circulation throughout the body which enhances your health conditions.