At some time or another everyone has suffered a cramp or muscle spasm. A muscle spasm is the body’s way of protecting it against injury. If an area is sensed by the body to be heading for injury the muscles around that area will twitch and tighten around the area.
A muscle cramp is a reaction to overworked or stressed musculature. Most often a cramp occurs after a session of activity that has affected the area. Some studies have shown a direct link between low potassium levels and the occurrence of cramps particularly in the legs.
The most common of cramps is hamstring/calf muscle and abdominal.
Abdominal cramps are most often associated with menstrual activity. These type of cramps can be frequent and will subside as the menstruation concludes. How ever during the cramping we often wonder How to Get Rid of Cramps.
How to Get Rid of Cramps: Exercise Related
Muscles that have been used during exercise can sometimes seize up after the activity. These useful tips can alleviate the the discomfort associated with exercise related cramps.
1. Many muscle cramps can be avoided by proper warm up and and proper cool down. Before you begin an exercise or activity, take time to stretch arm, leg, back, and abdominal muscles. A short routine of ten reps for each area should warm the area to the upcoming exercise. When you have concluded the activity, deep breathing and slow deliberate stretches are the best way to keep muscle from revolting. Muscles need oxygen to perform optimally. Stretching delivers oxygen rich blood to area before the activity and carries away proteins and such after the activity. This is the first line of defense against exercise related cramps.
2. Plenty of water s recommended while exercising to keep muscle hydrated and toxin concentration regulated to reduce chance of getting cramps. Sweating removes water form the body replace it as you go with frequent sips of water.
3. Know your limits when performing an exercise. Pushing beyond a reasonable point can cause the muscles to feel impending injury and seize to prevent further muscle upset. Surely you can understand a muscle pull or strain prevented by nature’s telegraph-a cramp. Good personal biofeedback can prevent cramping and injury related to exercise.
4. While prevention is always the ideal solution, how to get rid of cramps is the focus once you get one. Gently stretching the area and a cycle of ice then heat will aid the cramped area. The stretch will pull the muscle out of cramped position. The ice will reduce swelling in affected area. The heat will get the blood flowing again bringing much needed oxygen via the blood.
How to Get Rid of Cramps: Menstrual Cycle Related
Menstrual cramping is similar yet very different than exercise related cramps. Menstrual cramps are most often as result of high concentration of female hormones, and the uterine action of expelling debris blood cells. Unlike exercise related cramps, menstrual cramps may last the entire time the uterus is purging.
1. Heating the affected area brings relaxation to the cramping area.
2. It is not very easy to do, but stretching the abdomen out can bring relief. Stretching backwards with your hands above your head will stretch the abdomen loosen the area around the uterus.
3. Plenty of water to dilute chemicals present from the current state of the menstrual cycle. Note: drinking lots of water a week or two into the cycle will help eliminate incidences of PMS, too.
4. Rest is recommended during menstrual cycle cramping. Unlike exercise related cramps, menstrual cramps are working cramps. They are doing a job, very much the same way the uterus would if a pregnancy was being completed. Resting allows the most energy and oxygen to be directed to the affected area.
How to Get Rid of Cramps: Nutritional Concepts
Oft times muscles cramps are an indication that the body is lacking in nutrition. Potassium most often is the culprit. A body short in potassium will find itself cramping far more frequently then the average. If you are suffering cramps during your sleep chances are your potassium levels are severely depleted.
1. Bananas are naturally enriched with potassium as well as other much needed vitamins and minerals. Bananas are like nature’s multivitamin in convenient tasty package.
2. Multivitamins taken on a regular basis (daily is ideal) will keep nutrients at healthy levels to prevent the occurrence of cramps
3. Water is the foundation of nutrition. When the body has low levels of hydration it begins to steal it from every source there is in the body. Starting from the outside working inwards . Hair, nails skin show the first signs of water depletion. Cramps indicate problematic levels of depletion
4. Balanced diets filled with fruits vegetables and lean protein will feed the muscles and reduce incidences of muscle cramping.
Ideally, preventing muscles cramps is the focus but sometimes we need to know how to get rid of cramps because we have gotten one.
Oxygen, proper nutrient levels and water are the basic needs for prevention and alleviation. Apply cold and heat at 10 minute intervals if you should experience a very intense cramp.
Have Happy Healthy Day!