Dealing with Muscle Cramps

December 8, 2017 in STSMPT

Cramps happen when the muscles contract involuntarily. This causes a sudden and sharp pain accompanied by a hard lump of muscle tissue. Usually, most cramps disappear on their own and are not a reason for concern. However, there are some cases where this is not true. Below, are some guidelines about when to seek attention for muscle cramps and how to treat them in general.

One should seek attention for cramps when they cause severe pain, are associated with swelling or other skin changes, are associated with muscle weakness, or happen frequently. These can be signs of something more serious.

Causes of muscle cramps include:

  • Dehydration
  • Muscle strain
  • Inadequate blood supply
  • Nerve compression
  • Certain mineral deficiencies (potassium, magnesium, etc.)

Oftentimes, the cause is unknown, though that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to deal with cramps. Proper hydration and nutrition can cut down on cramps. Stretching routines can reduce the chances of getting cramps. If you, or someone you know, is having problematic cramps, contact a physical therapist to help get to the root of the problem.

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