Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Muscle cramp is a condition when a muscle contracts involuntarily and forcibly and do not relax, this happens due to too little oxygen to muscle. Normally a muscle contract and relax alternately when we move limbs. Muscles contracts in a synchronized way to maintain posture. Muscle cramp lasts from few seconds to occasionally an hour or even longer. Muscle cramps most commonly affect arms, legs and back.

Causes of cramps:
• Lying in uncomfortable position.
• Long period of physical activity in hot weather causes dehydration and in turn cramps.
• Certain medical conditions or medicine also leads to muscle cramps.
• Age is another factor that causes cramps most often at night.
• Lack of flexibility in muscle.
• Pregnancy.

Following are a few self care measures that one can apply at home:
• Warm bath: warm water helps in relaxing cramped muscle. Keep the cramped area for long in warm water.
• Massage: rub the cramped muscle slowly and gently in natural direction of muscle. Massage will improve the blood circulation of affected area and hence relieve cramped muscle.
• Cold or heat treatment: alternatively apply ice pack or heat pad to cramped muscle. Keep the ice pack until the area turns red, it indicates that blood cells are heating the muscles.
• Stretching: stretching the cramped part gives relief. Following regular stretching regimen will prevent future cramps.
• Healthy diet: lack of certain minerals like calcium or potassium results in frequent cramps. Follow a balanced diet plan including high calcium foods like skim milk and yoghurt and potassium rich food like potatoes and banana.
• Drink water: stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day as dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps.
• Chamomile tea: it contains an amino acid called glycine that helps in relaxing the muscle.
• Honey: if two teaspoon of honey is taken with meals regularly it prevents recurring leg and foot cramps.