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Cramps and muscle spasms

Cramps and muscle spasms are affection that strikes most of us at one time or another, but are quite unknown. A cramp is an involuntary, painful and transient muscle contraction. It occurs suddenly, joined with a sensation that can range from small jumps to a full painful contraction and then disappears after a few seconds or several minutes and so, without consequences.

A cramp usually occurs, but not always, due to a deficiency, muscle fatigue or neuralgia, and more commonly affects the arms and legs flexor muscles.

Causes

A combination of several factors is often involved in the apparition of these symptoms. During intense physical training, for example, a lack of warm-up, hydration and stretching can cause muscle cramps.

However, spasms can also occur without any apparent reason, as in the case of nerve pinching or neuralgia. The nerve impulse can be misinterpreted by the irritated nerves and cause a cramp.

Magnesium deficiency, due to a lack of it in a diet or of an excessive use from the body, can also cause this type of muscle relaxation dysfunction. Finally, a muscle spasm can also be the result of a sudden muscle movement and the body reacting to it.

Relieving a muscle cramp

To ease relaxation and relieving the pain from a cramp, you can do gentle stretching, apply heat or take a warm bath to which you can add Epsom or coarse salt to help relaxing the muscles. You can also massage the concerned region to stimulate blood flow or consult a massage therapist.

Prevention

To prevent the slight tickling of a muscle from getting worst, increase your magnesium intake. Plus, remember to warm up before practicing any kind of activity and respect your body’s limit to avoid any sudden and abrupt movements.

For more advice, check out our blog (in French) on the subject.

 

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