All About Leg Cramps
Have you ever experienced excruciating pain in the legs? This would well be a result of the calves being contracted, which is the main cause of leg cramps. This happens involuntarily and in case you forcibly contract the muscles then it could cause a lot of pain. Often this happens due to muscle fatigue and dehydration. Additionally, when the muscles are overexerted during exercise or sports, when the body is not yet ready to undergo an intense workout, this can occur. Continue reading this article to know more about leg cramps and their causes so that you would be able to counter it effectively the next time you experience it.
What are Leg Cramps?
First, it is essential to understand what leg cramps are. In the simplest terms it can be described as an involuntary muscle contraction that would cause immobility and pain. Most people have experienced this sometime or the other. There are plenty of cause of leg cramps which include and are not restricted to muscle strain, stationary position of muscles, inadequate amount of potassium, lack of fluids and injury. Another common reason which is cited for leg cramps is over exertion of the muscles.
The best way to prevent cramps is to decrease the amount of load on the muscles by performing minimal work. You can do this by regularly hydrating, staying active, stretching, avoiding strain, intake of potassium and taking medication. However if it keeps persisting you must consult a doctor.
There are quite a few cause of leg cramps which have been listed out and discussed in later sections.
- Muscle stiffness
- Problem with blood circulation
- Poor dietary habits
The first cause is due to muscle stiffness just before the cramps begin. This can be countered by stretching the muscles and massaging it. This is essential otherwise it could lead to an injury. Another common problem which is tied to leg cramps is a problem with blood circulation. This can be caused by being in the standing or sitting position over a long period of time. Therefore, it goes without saying that good blood circulation would reduce the likelihood of you encountering muscle cramps.
Another major cause for leg cramps is dehydration, something which can be avoided easily. So, you should make sure that you drink at least eight glasses a day. In case you are an athlete, you should drink more water since you would be losing a lot of water while perspiring. Ensure that you take at least 8-16 glasses of water everyday.
The last reason which causes leg cramps are poor dietary habits. This means that if you are not consuming enough sodium, magnesium, potassium or carbohydrates then you would be likely to experience muscle cramps. The crabs would effectively reduce muscle fatigue. Then the increased intake of sodium would help prevent cramping, this can be found in multitudes of foods. Calcium which is present in milk, yogurt and other foods also prevent this.
These are some of the causes of leg cramps.