Muscle Cramp Causes and Prevention
Muscle cramp can occur for a number of reasons and they will vary with the individual (in fact for some people who suffer from muscle cramp the cause is not known!). A number of factors can increase the likelihood of muscle cramp.
- Dehydration during exercise (where hot weather can be another contributing factor).
- Changes in the persons musculature from minor muscle fibre tears to minor bleeding
- Restricted circulation (e.g. tight clothing)
- General state of health
- Correct warm up including stretching.
- Adequate water and minerals. (Possibly including supplements, magnesium is a likely key nutrient).
- Good technique in the sport/activity.
- Massage the affected muscle.
- Activate the antagonist (muscles normally work in pairs, one relaxes when the other tightens and vice versa).
- Consider applying ice.
- Gently stretch the affected muscle.
- Rehydrate and replace lost minerals (e.g. suitable sports drink, appropriate foods).
Long term cramp (either a single episode or repeated cramp in the same area) can result in more serious effects. Seek medical advice in these cases.