One of the common problems we often encounter is muscle cramps, which is caused due to excessive usage of a muscle, stress, fatigue or dehydration. Suppose, if you keep a part of your body in a frozen position for a prolonged period of time, such as gripping the pen in your fingers continuously for an hour or two, or gripping a paint brush for some time, might cause muscles at the finger to cramp and cause pain.
If you dwell a little further and analyze what is the actual reason for the muscle cramps other than the excessive usage of the muscle temporarily, you might find that the real reason is that your body lacks essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, which regulate the activity of the nerves and muscles in our body.
Understanding the problem is equal to finding half of the solution. Let us see what can be done to get instant relief from muscle cramps.
Excessive use of the muscles is the reason for the cramps. In such cases, the flow of blood due to the tissues and muscles gets affected and as a result, cramps occur. Once the blood flow is restored, one can get relief from the cramps.
To get relief, place a heating pad or a hot face washer on the troublesome muscle to relax the cramp and increase blood flow to the affected tissue. It is enough that the electric heating pad is set at low and applied for a maximum time of 20 minutes. You can remove the electric pad and if required, the same can be reapplied after 20 minutes.
Instead, you can also try out a long bath at warm water to have your muscles relaxed. If you can a little half a cup of Epsom salts to the water in the bath tub, you can get better and quicker relief, the reason being the magnesium present in Epsom salts.
Apart from excessive usage of muscles, muscle cramps are also caused due to dehydration. It is advisable to drink more water. Sports persons or person doing exercise might get cramps during the sessions. For such persons, it is advisable that they drink at least 2 cups of water 2 hours before starting a work out. During the work out session, they should take a break every 10 or 20 minutes and drink a cup of water equivalent to 100ml – 250 ml, in order to have a fruitful workout session without fear of muscle cramps.
We have already seen that lack of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium in our diet might also cause muscle cramps frequently. It is therefore essential that we have a better control over what we eat and ensure that adequate quantity of these minerals are included in our diets.
Wholegrain bread, cereals, nuts and beans contain magnesium. Most of the fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, oranges and rock melons contain potassium, and the good source for calcium in our body is nothing but dairy products. Regular intake of these minerals in our food intake will ensure that not only your muscles and nerves get strength; you can be free from the trouble of muscle cramps.