How to Prevent Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramp is an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. This is a common injury among those who participate in sports especially in high speed sports, such as track and field, running, football, basketball and swimming. Muscle spasms happen due to lack of minerals (sodium), oxygen deficiency (ischemia), and lack of water in the body (dehydration).
Any of the muscle that is under our voluntary control can cramp, and cramps of the extremities, especially the legs and feet.
Almost everyone has experienced cramps in their life. This happens from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour or occasionally longer. The entire muscle or several muscles that usually act together, such as those that flex adjacent fingers and some cramps involve the simultaneous contraction of muscles that ordinarily move body part in opposite directions.
Usually muscle cramps disappear on their own and rarely serious enough to require medical care. However, preventive measures and treatment should be taken. Among these are to rest well during activities, sufficient intake of fluid such as isotonic water, food with high calcium such as milk, yogurt and soybeans. Other good treatment and preventive measures are taking a good rest before and after sports.
If muscle cramp happens during sports, use cold packs and compression of ice for 20 minutes to the skin or body. Many doctors will be recommend non-steroidal (anti- inflammatory) medication such as fish oil, lemon grass and whole grains diet. This is because lemon grass and whole grains have more fiber, which have shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood1 and reduce the related pain 2
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