Cramps or muscle cramps are painful contractions of muscles that occur suddenly. They can be so painful that you can get up from your sleep if you get a cramp or would limp during exercise if you get a cramp.

Cramps mostly affect the lower limbs muscles such as the shin muscles. Thigh muscles or lower back muscles can also experience a cramp.

In this article we will answer the following questions about muscle cramps:

  • What are the reasons for muscle cramps?
  • Who can get muscle cramps?
  • What are the treatment options for muscle cramps?
  • How to avoid muscle cramps?
  1. What are the reasons for muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps usually occur due to repetitive use of a muscle in activities such as exercise or sports that require continuous training. Some other reasons for muscle cramps include dehydration due to harsh weather. Besides that, sometimes cramps occur due to lack of minerals such as calcium,magnesium or potassium in the body.

In some cases, muscle cramps can occur due to other problems such as diabetes or obesity.

  1. Who can get muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps can affect anyone, but they occur more to people who are:

  • Old- because they start losing their muscles. The remaining muscles in their bodies work hard to perform the task, so the overuse causes muscle cramps.
  • Sporty and active– because they use the same muscles for repetitive training that can cause muscle cramps.
  • Pregnant- Pregnant women get muscle cramps due to changes in body such as handling of more weight than their usual body weight.
  1. What are the treatment options for muscle cramps?

The treatment options for muscle cramps mostly include self-cure techniques. A doctor prescribes medicine only when the cramps are unmanageable with techniques such as stretching exercises or massaging the affected muscles with an analgesic cream.

During a cramp, put weight on the muscle that is cramping, and then lightly stretch it with gentle massage. When the muscle starts relaxing apply a warm or cold compress. The compress can lower down the pain caused by the muscle cramp.

If a muscle cramp occurs due to rigorous training, take water because muscle cramps occur due to excessive loss of water from the body in response to the heat up created by exercise.

An indicator of dehydration after exercise is the dark color of urine, so it is necessary to check.

  1. How to avoid muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are involuntary movements of the muscles that are not avoidable once they happen. However, to avoid them from happening, you can take small steps such as hydrating yourself after you exercise or any other physical activity that could cause muscle sprain.

The muscles should be stretched before and after starting an exercise.

Taking foods that can provide the required daily doses of calcium, magnesium and potassium can reduce the chances of getting muscle cramps. Food options such as coconut water can quickly relieve a muscle cramp due to its mineral rich natural ingredients.