A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour or occasionally longer. Any of the muscles that are under our voluntary control (skeletal muscles) can cramp. Cramps of the extremities, especially the legs and feet, and most particularly the calf (the classic "charley horse"), are very common. Involuntary muscles of the various organs (uterus, blood vessel wall, intestinal tract, bile and urine passages, bronchial tree, etc.) are also subject to cramps.
Muscles cramping is often caused by an imbalance in the body’s level of electrolytes – minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium which in turn can be due to illness or exercise.
1) A common cause is unaccustomed physical overexertion, overuse, or strain. Sitting, standing, lying in one position; anemia; the use of tobacco, inactivity; fibromyelagia; harmone imbalances, allergies, arthritis and even arteriosclerosis can also result in cramping,
2) As can in dehydration, heat stroke, hypothyroidism or varicose veins or more rarely the early stages of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Also deficiency of Vit E.
3) Some medication can cause muscles cramping as a side effect. The use of diuretic drugs for high blood pressure or heart disorders may lead to electrolyte imbalance causing muscles cramps. Poor circulation also attributes to leg cramps.
1) Herbs: - Alfalfa, bay berry, blessed thistle, caymene, garlic, ginkgo biloba, horse tail and saffron are good for circulation.
2) Horsetail, meadowsweet, valerian and skullcap help to relieve muscle cramp. Rubbing lobelia extract on the affected area helps to relieve muscle cramps.
3) Taking Valerian root at bed time helps to relax muscles spasm.
4) Drink plenty of fluids to stave of dehydration. Take a large glass of quality water (preferably steam distilled) toxins stored in muscles. Do this every three hours throughout the day.
5) Warm up before intense exercise and cool down and stretch afterward. Avoid overworking your muscles.
6) Rub pure, unprocessed olive or flaxseed oil into your muscles before and after strenuous exercise. Add 25 drops of oil to a hot bath and soak. Canola oil is also good for this purpose. Massage cramping muscles n use heat to relieve pain.
7) Take hot bath using mineral salts before bedtime to increase blood flow to the muscles. Before going to bed gently stretch muscles that tend to cramp during the night.
8) If you are on diuretic medication for High blood pressure or heart disorder, be sure to take supplemental potassium daily.( Do not take supplemental potassium if you are taking a potassium sparing diuretic, discuss with your doctor )
9) If you have cramps during the day, while you are active. This can be sign of impaired circulation or arteriosclerosis.( Consult your healthcare provider )
“Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.”