A Natural Approach to Health
Living With Muscle Spasms
I had a question the other day about muscle spasms.
You could be out for a run or drifting off to sleep when it happens: The muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful.
You’re having a muscle cramp.
Sometimes called Charley horses — particularly when they’re in the calf muscles — cramps are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles.
In addition to the foot and calf muscles, other muscles prone to spasms include the front and back of your thigh, your hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along your rib cage.
Almost everyone experiences muscle cramps, which come without warning.
Muscle cramps can have many possible causes.
>Poor blood circulation in your legs
>Overexertion of your calf muscles while exercising
>Not enough stretching before exercise
>Exercising in the heat
>Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency
>Calcium deficiency in pregnant women
>Malfunctioning nerves, which could be caused by a problem like a spinal cord injury or pinched nerve in your neck or back
Muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of some drugs.
When muscle cramps occur, there are several things you can do to help ease them, like massaging, stretching, or icing your muscle, warming your muscle, or taking a bath with Epsom salt.
For a Charley horse in your calf or a cramp in the back of your thigh (hamstring), try putting your weight on the affected leg and bending your knee slightly, or sit or lie down with your leg out straight and pull the top of your foot toward your head.
For a cramp in the front of your thigh (quadriceps), hold onto a chair to steady yourself and pull your foot back toward your buttock.
In most cases, self-care measures are enough for dealing with muscle cramps, which typically go away within minutes.
But if you experience them frequently or for no apparent reason, you should speak to your health care professional.
They could signal a medical problem that requires treatment.
To deal with muscle spasms it’s beneficial to:
*Adopt a regular stretching and exercise program
*Eliminate or decrease your use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco
*Hot baths, heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs
*Good sleep habits
*Eat more foods high in vitamins, magnesium, and calcium
*Stay well hydrated, drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate your cells.
*Increase EFAs (essential fatty acids) with Omega 3, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc., because these help decrease inflammation
*Increase B-complex, Lecithin, Cal/Mag, and VitalMag because these support nerve function.
*Maintain a healthy weight.