The muscle cramps resulting from a workout can be excruciating and cause them to not train for a month. Such cramps can occur in all kinds of sports or exercises, and they are mostly related to dehydration and muscle fatigue with a related decrease in electrolytes. It is not very common to watch an athlete or a workout freak drop to the ground due to the pain caused by these cramps. The muscle cramps are usually found in the soleus/gastrocnemius, i.e., the lower leg and hamstring muscles. Even when the muscle stretches immediately after the cramps occur, the cramps might occur again soon after you return to the activity. Many times, the cramps arise as soon as the person stands on their feet. Due to the complexity of the cramps, this condition might frequently end the day of the person.
- 1 Causes Of Muscle Cramps
- 2 What Are The Factors Which Might Affect Muscle Cramps?
- 3 How To Get Comfortable While Having Muscle Cramps?
- 4 The Treatment Of The Cramps Is Directly Related To The Cause. Like,
- 5 Other Options For Treating Muscle Cramps
- 6 Measures To Observe As A Trainer/Coach For Avoiding Dehydration In The Students/Athletes
- 7 Conclusion
Causes Of Muscle Cramps
The neuromuscular systems are present in muscles for the safe controlling of muscle contractions. According to many doctors, the portion of the neuromuscular system that starts contractions is enhanced due to the nervous excitement of the muscle spindles. On the other hand, the portion of the neuromuscular system that has contractions decreases. When the Golgi tendon is inhibited, the muscles get active with the message to contract via the muscle spindle. The only thing which is different about these muscle cramps is that it would only affect the particular muscles which are tired and would not look at the normalized system muscle cramps, just like in the case of dehydration. So, when muscles are overloaded, overused, or tired, they might be at a higher risk of muscle cramps because of the effect of the tiredness on the neuromuscular system. The second reason is very apparent and mentioned a lot of times whenever muscle cramps come up. Loss of electrolytes is one of the main reasons for muscle cramps. Muscle cramps caused by the deficiency of electrolytes are often the first level of the three favorable conditions related to heat illness. Our body has a complicated process of limbering itself down because the main temperature of our body starts to enhance. At the same time, you work out, and also the environment’s temperature plays a significant role in controlling your body temperature. You must be wondering about the connection between muscle cramps and electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals and salts, like chloride, potassium, chloride, and sodium. Electrolytes directly affect muscle cramps as they control the liquid balance, conduction in the nerves, and contraction of the muscles. A famous myth about treating cramps is that having bananas increases the cramps. But it is a generally practiced remedy, but there is not even a single proof that proves that bananas cure muscle cramps.
What Are The Factors Which Might Affect Muscle Cramps?
Following are the factors which have been related to increasing the threat of muscle cramps:
- Old age
- Not stretching perfectly
- Conditioning is not sufficient
- History of cramps
- Poor metabolism
- Sodium deficiency
How To Get Comfortable While Having Muscle Cramps?
The areas where the muscle cramps occur are:
- Calves or lower legs
The Treatment Of The Cramps Is Directly Related To The Cause. Like,
- If you have cramps due to overwork or overuse, the most effective relief methods would be applying ice packs on the affected area, stretching, or contracting the muscles in the opposite direction. The opposite contraction is an effective method of the physiological principle called reciprocal inhibition. Whenever muscles contract, the opposite side relaxes by itself.
- People suffering from fatigue-related cramps would not be able to work out for some time because such people will require some time for their muscles to recover and heal before trying to engage in any activity again.
- For people experiencing cramps due to excessive sweating and lack of sodium, the same treatments mentioned before, such as applying ice packs on the affected area and stretching and consuming liquids, would help get their energy back.
According to a few experts, 5 liters of carbohydrate and electrolyte drink and 3 grams of salt, which should be adequately mixed, must be consumed at one time or 5 to 10 minutes after getting cramps. This method has been considered the most effective for people who get cramps due to a lack of electrolytes. After having the drink, you will observe a visible relief, and they will be able to go back to the activity like usual.
Other Options For Treating Muscle Cramps
Other than the methods as mentioned earlier, here are some of the different techniques which might provide you relief in such painful times:
- Apply an ice pack
- Take painkillers
- Massage the affected area with the help of a massage roller (or you can also massage it with your hand)
- Be in motion
- Stretch the area
- Drink plenty of water
- Drink some pickle juice
- Drink chamomile tea
These are ways from which you can get quick relief. But in extreme cases, it is advised to see a doctor, as they can provide you with the perfect solution for muscle cramps.
Measures To Observe As A Trainer/Coach For Avoiding Dehydration In The Students/Athletes
Avoiding dehydration and muscle cramps in students/coaches begins with telling them and their parents the benefits of hydration after, before, and during the activity. Besides water, beverages must also be kept in mind back, after, and during the activity. Water can be enough in many situations, but when the person sweats, they start to lose a lot of minerals like sodium. So, it is essential to have a rehydration drink before engaging in any activity.
These were a few ways in which you can treat muscle cramps. But even after considering and performing such treatments, you are not getting relief. Therefore, it is recommended to visit a doctor as soon as possible because it’ll be better to get professional help because you might not know if something severe happens.