Muscle cramps are a relatively common occurrence, and because they can be so painful, knowing how to treat them before they happen can be very helpful. No one is quite sure what specifically causes cramps, but certain factors have been linked to their occurrence. For example, athletes who overexert themselves, particularly in hot weather, are more prone to muscle cramps. Particularly severe cramps are often seen in the beginning of the season, when athletes aren’t yet fully conditioned. The loss of essential salts through sweating can also bring on cramps. Other cramps aren’t even associated with activity and can happen at rest or even while sleeping.

To alleviate the pain from muscle cramps, simple at-home remedies are typically helpful. Some of the more common approaches include:

  • Rehydrating with water and/or sports drinks that replenish lost salts
  • Gently stretching out the affected muscles
  • Applying heat to tightened muscles to encourage them to relax
  • Applying an ice pack to achy or sore muscles to alleviate their soreness

Although most cramps are nothing to worry about, ones that occur without direct cause should be investigated by a medical professional because they may indicate a more severe underlying cause. Unexplained leg cramps, for instance, may be caused by the narrowing of arteries within the leg (atherosclerosis) or the compression of nerves in the lower back.

Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine provides a range of care for sports injuries and other issues that may be underlying causes of muscle cramps. Contact us today to learn more about our diverse diagnostic and treatment capabilities.

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