Muscle Cramps – Symptoms & Treatment

Muscle Cramps – Symptoms & Treatment

Muscle cramps, also known as muscle spasms, are uncomfortable contractions of your muscles. They are frequent, uncontrollable, and involuntary. Even while there are actions you can take to avoid muscle spasms and techniques to deal with them when they do occur, these solutions are not always effective. The most likely treatments are massage, stretching, and muscle relaxants.

Muscle Cramps

Spasms, often known as muscular cramps, happen when your muscle contracts quickly and impulsively yet are unable to release. These are quite common and can affect any of your muscles. They may involve a single muscle, a group of muscles, or both.

Muscle spasms typically happen in the thighs, calves, feet, hands, arms, and abdomen. Specifically, when they affect the calves, such cramps are referred to as “Charley horses.” A “nocturnal leg cramp” is a leg cramp that occurs at night when you are resting or asleep.

Symptoms of Muscle Cramps

Muscle spasms can be slightly uncomfortable or extremely painful. It’s possible that your skin will twitch and feel harsh to the touch. Spasms happen on their own. The muscles tighten, and it takes time and therapy for them to loosen up. They are quite prevalent, particularly in older people and sportsmen.

Make an appointment with your healthcare professional if the muscular spasm is severe, occurs regularly. Also, consult a doctor if it does not improve with treatment, and has no evident reason. Spasms could be connected to underlying causes.


A muscle cramp can develop as a result of overusing or straining a muscle, dehydration from sweating or just maintaining a position for an extended period of time. However, this is frequently the case. Muscle cramps are often not harmful. However, some may be connected to a health issue, such as:

Inadequate blood flow

During the activity, cramping discomfort in the legs and feet arises due to a constriction of the arteries that supply blood to the legs. Typically, these cramps disappear shortly after exercise has ended.

Compressed nerves

Leg cramps might also result from pressure on the spine’s nerves. Walking typically makes the ache worse. The cramping could be relieved by walking bowed slightly forward, such as when pulling a shopping cart.

Lack of minerals

Leg cramps arise due to a diet low in potassium, calcium, or magnesium. The body may lose these minerals as a result of increased urine brought on by common blood pressure medications.


  • When a muscle spasm initially appears, you can relieve the discomfort of muscle cramps by applying a hot or cold compress to your aching muscles. Any of them, including a heated cloth, a heating pad, a cold cloth, or ice, can be beneficial to use.
  • The discomfort of muscular cramps can also be reduced by stretching the afflicted muscle. For instance, you may pull your foot forward with your hand if your calf was cramping in order to stretch the muscle.
  • Try taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug if your discomfort does not go away. Gentle stretching of the painful muscles may also be beneficial.
  • These muscles cramp may also disturb your sleep. Consult your doctor about a prescription muscle relaxant if this occurs. This medicine relieves muscular tension and reduces spasms.
  • You can reduce your symptoms and stop spasms by treating the underlying cause of your muscular cramps. For instance, your doctor can advise supplements if low calcium or potassium levels are the cause of cramps.

Preventing Muscle Cramps

Avoiding or limiting movements that strain your muscles and result in cramps is the easiest strategy to prevent muscular cramps. Additionally, you can:

  • Before engaging in physical activity or sports, warm up by stretching. Insufficient warm-up time might lead to strained or damaged muscles.
  • Avoid working out shortly after eating.
  • Reduce your consumption of caffeinated foods and beverages like coffee and chocolate.
  • Ensure that you consume enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Exercise causes your body to lose more water, so drink additional fluids after your workout.
  • By consuming milk, orange juice, and bananas, you may naturally boost your intake of calcium and potassium.