When a muscle cramp occurs, you can often find relief in the moment by stretching the muscle gently, but to find a long-term solution to muscle cramps, you might need to examine more complex causes of your muscle cramps.
The reason dehydration causes cramping may be because fluid depletion causes nerve endings to become sensitized, triggering contractions and stressing motor nerve endings. This depletion is exacerbated by hot conditions or exercising since you lose more fluid through sweat. Simply keep water with you during strenuous workouts, during hot days, and whenever your heart rate rises to avoid dehydration based muscle cramping.
Low electrolytes can also cause leg cramping. Loss of certain electrolytes and minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium can trigger spontaneous cramping. Sports drinks can help you avoid the worst of your muscle cramps thanks to their sodium, but bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt, and nuts are rich in the minerals that may fight spontaneous muscle cramping.
Long runs, aggressive boot camp sessions, vigorous aerobics — these can all cause cramping later on. The nervous system is to blame — when the nerves running from the brain and spinal cord down to the muscle become overexcited, an involuntary cramp can often be the result. Cool down and warm up is especially important in these circumstances.
Renew Physical Therapy is proud to serve Portland-area residents. Renew Physical Therapy utilizes several therapeutic modalities to restore pain-free function. We make it our personal goal to ensure that every patient who walks through our door has a positive experience, and provide the proper education in preventing muscle cramps.
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