Do you often wake up in the middle of the night with a severe cramp in your calves or feet? Or maybe you had a hard day at the gym and your muscles are acting up. Muscle cramps are usually caused due to overuse of a muscle or due to holding the same position for a very long time. Dehydration has also been identified as the cause of muscle cramps. No matter what are the causes of muscle cramps, one cannot deny that it causes excruciating pain while it lasts. Even when the pain subsides, the remnants of the same lingers from the entire day, making walking or running an impossible task.
If you wake up at midnight, clutching your calf, popping a pain-killer won’t do the trick for you. What you need is a quick relief to end your pain. Here are some tried and tested methods that would relieve you off your pain immediately.
Massage- When you experience the onset of a muscle cramp, gently massage that area. Use your forefingers and apply pressure on the tensed muscles. You can use the hard and soft technique of massage simultaneously till the muscles relax. A good massage would help ease your tensed muscles and would help the blood flow to the affected area.
Hot and cold compress- Muscle cramps imply contraction of the muscles. This tightening can be loosened with the help of a hot compress. Apply a heating pad to the affected area for a few minutes and you can sense the knot loosening. Also, you can use a cold compress, i.e., an ice pack and apply it on the affected area. The ice helps in reducing the pain and the inflammation.
Increase your fluid intake- Dehydration is a major cause of muscle cramps and the only way to combat this is by increasing your fluid intake. Water increases the elasticity of the muscles and would prevent it from tightening.
Stretch- Gym-goers understand the importance of stretching before their workout and thus, they perform their stretching exercise as a ritual. Stretching before and after your workout helps in reducing chances of muscle injury. In case of muscle cramps, stretch your legs or your arms and hold the position till the cramp subsides.
Toe stretchers- Toe stretchers are a great way of keeping muscle cramps at bay. Toe stretchers reduce the frequency of muscle cramps since it improves bone alignment and stretches the muscle ligament which reduces muscle tension around the toes. So, wear it for at least one hour a day to avoid muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps, though lasts for a few minutes, cause unbearable pain. So, follow these quick-relief methods and say farewell to muscle cramps.