Muscle cramps are when a muscle gets tight (contracts) without you trying to tighten it, and it does not relax. Cramps may involve all or part of one or more muscles.
The most commonly involved muscle groups are:
• Back of the lower leg/calf
• Back of the thigh (hamstrings)
• Front of the thigh (quadriceps)
Cramps in the feet, hands, arms, abdomen, and along the rib cage are also very common.
Muscle cramps are common and may be stopped by stretching the muscle. The cramping muscle may feel hard or bulging.
HOW IS MUSCLE CRAMPS DIAGNOSED?
The health care practitioner will examine and ask questions about the symptoms and details of medical history. Blood tests may be done to check for the following:
• Calcium, potassium, or magnesium metabolism
• Kidney function
• Thyroid function
HOW IS MUSCLE CRAMPS TREATED?
There are a number of home treatments available for treating muscle cramps. Simple stretches may help relieve muscle cramps. Taking vitamin B complex supplements helps prevent muscle cramps in some cases, but this needs further research
DID YOU KNOW?
Muscle cramps can have many possible causes. They include:
• Poor blood circulation in the legs
• Overexertion of the calf muscles while exercising
• Insufficient stretching before exercise
• Exercising in the heart
• Muscle fatigue
• Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency
• Calcium deficiency in pregnant women
• Malfunctioning nerves, which could be caused by a problem such as a spinal cord injury or pinched nerve in the neck or back