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Start with moderate activity to prevent overdoing it, and stretch before and afterward; this increases blood flow and extends muscle fibers to make them less most likely to tighten involuntarily.
✔ Get your minerals.
Load up on vegetables and fruits abundant in electrolyte minerals such as magnesium, salt, and potassium, which assist spark electrical signals that regulate muscle function. “Most people can get all the electrolytes they require in a healthy diet plan,” Dr. Matava says, so theres no need to drink sweet sports drinks. Top food picks: leafy greens, bananas, and black beans.
✔ Drink up.
Fluid assists muscles unwind and agreement, so down lots of water throughout the day, particularly in heat when sweat depletes the bodys fluid and electrolyte stores. Be sure to drink an hour before, during, and after exercising to rehydrate.
How to get muscle cramp relief
✔ Work those muscles.
Carefully massage and stretch a cramped muscle to assist it unwind. “Try contracting the muscle group opposite the one that is cramping; this uses the bodys normal reflex that switches off a muscle that has the opposite function,” states Dr. Matava. For example, contracting the quad muscle at the front of the thigh can assist ease cramping of hamstring muscles in the back.
✔ Apply heat or ice.
A warm towel or a heating pad can help soothe the ouch by enhancing blood circulation. Ice can help tame inflammation and ease discomfort if pain lingers post-cramps.
✔ Manage your meds.
Muscle cramps can be an adverse effects of some medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and asthma. Ask your physician about a lower dosage or a different drug that doesnt cause muscle convulsions.
This post initially appeared in the September 2020 concern of Prevention.
Weve probably all experienced it: an unexpected acute pain in the calf or hamstring that makes us gasp for breath. Referred to as a charley horse, it happens when a muscle, typically in the leg, suddenly agreements and tightens up rock-hard. This often takes place after a long or extreme exercise, particularly in hot weather condition, however cramps can likewise hit out of nowhere.
They might be brought on by dehydration, tiredness, electrolyte, or overexertion deficiency, which cause nerves to misfire; they generally vanish within 15 minutes, tend to become more widespread with age, and are more typical in females than in guys. If a cramp lasts longer than 30 minutes, call your medical professional, because it could be a sign of a more major problem such as a narrowed artery or a neurological condition, says Bryant Walrod, M.D., a sports medicine physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical.
To assist keep muscles calm and the discomfort at bay, try these steps.
How to prevent muscle cramps
✔ Boost your physical fitness.
We lose muscle mass and strength as early as our 30s, which adds to fatigue and overexertion– key cramp sets off. “Regularly active muscles get utilized to contraction and are less predisposed to spasm,” states Matthew Matava, M.D., chief of sports medicine at Washington University Orthopedics in St. Louis.
Understood as a charley horse, it happens when a muscle, commonly in the leg, unexpectedly agreements and tightens up rock-hard. Load up on veggies and fruits abundant in electrolyte minerals such as magnesium, salt, and potassium, which help trigger electrical signals that regulate muscle function. Gently massage and extend a cramped muscle to help it relax. “Try contracting the muscle group opposite the one that is constraining; this uses the bodys typical reflex that turns off a muscle that has the opposite function,” says Dr. Matava. Contracting the quad muscle at the front of the thigh can help relieve cramping of hamstring muscles in the back.
Richard Laliberte is an award-winning veteran health reporter and former senior author at Mens Health who writes for a few of the countrys best-known magazines, blogs for WeightWatchers.com, and has actually authored numerous books.
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