A muscle cramp is well-known as the unwanted side effect of exercising. But in reality, there are several causes of muscle cramp. And each symptom requires different treatment.
Knowing the cause
The less known fact about muscle cramp is that it may happen anytime. Recognizing the time of the cramp is essential. If the cause is apparent (happening during intense and overlong exercise, for example), then conventional treatment like stretching or gentle massage on the painful area is enough. But for other cases like cramp during rest or doing a repetitive activity, they need special care.
Senior citizens are the ones who usually suffer from cramp during rest. At night, the muscle pain often comes as a jolting sensation on toes or other areas around feet. Diaphragm muscle cramp may also occur during sleep. In this case, aging and the inefficiency of body metabolism is the culprit of the muscle spasm. This type of muscle cramp is also known as the nocturnal leg cramps.
People who do repetitive action with specific limb may suffer from muscle cramp also. The medical term for this condition is dystonic cramp. Musicians and writers are the most susceptible to suffer from dystonic cramp. They allocate their focus and energy on specific muscle while playing their instrument or during writing, and that may cause nerve fatigue that will lead to muscle spasm.
Work out cramps
Heavy weight-lifting or intense exercise without proper warming up can lead to mild cramp. Besides the solutions as mentioned earlier, applying pain relief patch or massage oil, adjusting posture and putting ice on the painful area can also help as external treatments. If the pain persists, then you have to suspect if the cramp is a symptom of muscle injury, and you may also need medical attention from doctors.
Nocturnal leg cramps
In addition to aging, nocturnal leg cramps can be a sign of low potassium level in blood. Consuming banana, sweet potato, fat-free yogurt, or white peanut may reduce the occurrence of nocturnal leg cramps. Assistance from an expert who has herbal medicine diploma can also be a help to know which nutrition you may be lacking and to plan a healthy diet.
To treat dystonic cramp, you need assistance from the expert; especially if the pain is already severe. Dystonia is a rare condition and no single treatment or medication that can spontaneously eliminate the symptoms. Dystonia may also be a sign of a more serious nerve disorder, and the best expert in this field to consult with is a movement disorder neurologist. A holistic combination of medication, nutritious diet, and muscle therapy is the common treatment for dystonia.