How to Avoid Muscle Cramps
If you’ve ever had a muscle cramp, sometimes called a charley horse,
you know just how painful the experience can be. You might have heard
that avoiding muscle cramps is as simple as staying hydrated; however,
drinking plenty of water may be only a small part of the story. To help
stave off cramps, it is important to understand what causes these muscles
spasms as well as their warnings signs.
Common causes of muscle cramps include:
electrolyte deficiency: When you engage in exercise, your body cycles through water, electrolytes,
and nutrients in an effort to power your muscles. If you lose (and don’t
replace) too much sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium, it may result
in muscle cramps.
Overexertion: Another common cause of cramps is the overuse of a muscle or muscle group.
This is frequently seen in distance sports such as running and swimming
where athletes tend to push their bodies for extended periods of time.
Always listen to your body and if you feel a muscle beginning to fatigue,
consider taking a break.
Dehydration: Your body needs to stay hydrated to perform at its peak. Restrict your
water intake for long enough and your muscles may begin to cramp up. Whether
you plan on exercising or relaxing, always make sure that you get enough water.
Side-effects of medication: Sometimes the risk of cramps are out of your control, such as when they
are a side effect of a medication you regularly take. If you notice that
a series of cramps is related to the time frame in which you take your
medication, consider talking to your doctor about your options.
Symptoms of other conditions: Muscle cramps are sometimes symptoms of much more serious conditions
such as restless leg syndrome or kidney disease. If you have any reason
to believe that your cramps are related to a bigger condition or last
for extended periods of time, see a doctor immediately.
Muscle cramps can strike at seemingly unpredictable times; you might experience
one while out for a run or be woken out of a deep sleep by a spasm. The
truth is that how you treat or prevent a cramp will depend on why it is
occurring. To get more information on battling persistent cramps, contact
us today. Our lead
Manhattan sports medicine doctor can help you on your fitness journey or in your quest for a pain-free life.
If you have questions about your fitness goals or
health concerns, call (646) 798-1330 or
schedule a consultation today.