Calf Cramps

What is Calf Cramps?

Calf Cramps are doing your running exercise during your early routine then suddenly the muscles of your calf become rigid, tight, and an onset of excruciating pain. Well, most probably you are having a muscle cramps or “calf cramps.”

Calf Cramps picture 1

The Calf cramps is commonly known as “muscle cramps” a condition caused by muscle spasms. The condition occurs mainly in the muscles of their feet and thigh muscles.

Technically, muscle pain or calf pain happens when a particular individual muscle’s become tightens and shortens causing unexpected intense pain. This intense painful contraction of muscle may come all of sudden and may last from a few seconds to several minutes.

How Prevalent the Leg Cramps is?

As we get older the occurrence to experience leg cramps is high. In fact, about one out of three people over the age of 60 years and half over 80 years old gets regular leg cramps. In many cases, women who are pregnant tend to often experience a night leg cramps. Roughly, 40% of societies who suffer from leg cramps occur at least 3 times a week; and most of the cases it occurs daily.

Causes

The Calf pain is somehow a mysterious event or medically termed as Idiopathic that their causes never been found yet they are considered medically harmless. However, some health experts linked this case to some underlying factors such as the following;

  • Occurrence of calf pain is due to overuse of muscles such as intense physical activities
  • Pregnancy – most of the cases women are prone to have muscle cramps because of the decreased amounts of minerals mainly the calcium and magnesium especially in the later months of pregnancy.
  • Dehydration – when the body does not distributed the fluid in the body system causing an electrolyte imbalance which results the muscle to cramp up.
  • Exposing the body to cold temperatures such as cold water
  • Medical Complications such as Peripheral Arterial Disease, Kidney Ailment, Thyroid Problem and Multiple Sclerosis relating to blood flow difficulties. Furthermore, less prevalent medical condition such as Diabetis, Parkinson’s disease, Hypoglycemia, Anemia, Diarrhea, Dermatomyositis (Inflammation of the skin and muscle marked by mascular weakness and skin rash), some Viral and Bacterial Infections.
  • Position of the leg muscle; Up-right position for a long period especially standing on hard surfaces, sitting position and elevating legs while sleeping.
  • Minerals Imbalances such as Calcium, Potassium that need in the blood.
  • Medications; such as antipsychotics drugs, contraceptive pills, diuretic, statins and steroids
  • Insufficient amount of stretching before performing tedious activities
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Blood circulation problem in the leg or thigh area.
  • Malfunctioning nerves such as injury or spinal cord injury
  • Structural condition (Flat footed)
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Lead Poisoning

Some other factor and anomalies may arise to trigger to have calf pain or muscle cramps. However, it is crucial to exactly determine its plausible cause. This is because everyone is unique and each individual’s body responds in different ways in terms of internal and external bodily influences.

Self-Management

If you experiencing calf cramps some of the items below can remedy your problem; Calf Cramps picture 2

  • Stretching your legs every day or before performing some physical exercises can prevent the occurrence of calf cramps. Since it conditions the muscle to become ready and allow the blood flow to regularize.
  • If the calf cramps occurs, just simply pass your weight on the cramped led and bend the knee slightly or sit on the floor with your cramped leg and stably relax your leg muscles. Furthermore, you can also pull your foot toward to your body‘s direction while it is remains in straight position.
  • Hot or cold Fomentation, applying some hot or cold compressed over the affected cramped leg can aid the pain. Just simply apply warm cloth or heating pad on the tight muscle as the heat helps to relax the muscles.
  • Take warm shower to relax the muscle.
  • Always get the body hydrated (water, sports drink) to prevent leg cramps.
  • Massaging muscle can prevent muscle pain as it helps to relax the muscle tissue
  • Jiggle the feet or thigh or just simple walk around and note do not remain expose in sitting or standing position over long period of time.
  • Taking acetaminophen, ibupofren or paracetamol can alleviate the excruciating pain.

Nutrients & Minerals to Prevent

Deficiency in some minerals can trigger to have muscle pain. The following food items are primarily the source of specific minerals to prevent calf pain.

  • Banana– primary source of Potassium (K+); some great fruit as a source of potassium are coconut, sweet potato and kale
  • Milk– it is obvious that milk is 100% made of calcium thus it prevent the calcium deficiency; other sources are, Almonds, apricots and oranges, yogurt etc.
  • Seafood– such as salmon, fish, mussels, can prevent muscle pain as it contains high Magnesium Chloride; other sources; mixed nuts, soy, whole wheat products.
  • Himalayan Salt– one teaspoon of Himalayan salt contained healthy sodium thus solves most of the mineral deficiencies. Other sources; seaweed, pickles, pretzels.
  • Water- keeping the body hydrated all the time helps the muscles contract and relax as well as keeping the muscle cells hydrated less irritable. Health Experts suggest and highly recommended to take 8 glasses or more of water every day.

These 4 nutrients are the primary minerals needed to assist the body in terms of cellular formation. Meaning, a phenomenon that stabilize the homeostasis of the body metabolism despite of internal and external bodily factors. On the contrary, lacking one of these vital minerals will cause to start problems in terms of body operation.

Prevention

Some preventive measures can remedy calf cramps;

  1. Drink more water every day to replenish the fluids that releases during your daily activities
  2. Abstain or lessen alcohol intake
  3. Eat healthy foods that rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium
  4. Stretch first before and after exercising
  5. Take multivitamins supplement
  6. Massage the leg muscle
  7. Maintain healthy lifestyle
  8. Wear proper footwear

References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/nighttime-leg-cramps-topic-overview#2
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/manage/ptc-20186098
  3. https://www.slydehandboards.com/pages/dealing-with-calf-cramps
  4. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180160.php?page=2

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