Cramps are involuntary spasms in muscles, and they can become light, painful, and, even serious. They are very common in athletes during or after muscular stress activities.
They usually occur in specific muscles and intensify depending on our age, and that being frequent can represent a symptom of hypothyroidism, diabetes, or something else.
When looking at the affected area, we will notice a bulge indicating the stiffness in the muscle or multiple muscles accompanied by pain, which can be delayed for only a few seconds, minutes, or an unforeseen number of hours.
This situation can occur due to nutritional deficiencies. Many times we focus more on our activity, and we leave our diet a little neglected and. The main reason in these cases is the low consumption of foods rich in magnesium that we must consume daily. Below we explain the subject in more depth.
These usually last between medium and long after the exercises that indicate poor hydration or loss of essential minerals.
As we have already said, they are muscle contractions; these specifically could affect almost any muscle group, with pain proportionally based on the affected place.
How do spasms occur?
Among the most general symptoms is dehydration, which produces electrolyte disturbances and excess or inadequate muscle workload. Such a combination is conducive to the appearance of spasm, which tends to be punctual, having pain, but short duration. To relieve and soothe the pain, it may be enough to apply a massage to the area.
How to treat spasms?
Traditionally with muscle relaxants or exercise therapy. The former sedates the muscle against pain, while the latter is responsible for stretching the muscles to make them less prone to spasms, tears, or tension.
Nighttime muscle spasms or cramps
The nocturnal spasms or cramps that usually occur in the legs are sudden contractions generated when sleeping and frequently occur in the calves. However, the thigh or even the foot can also be affected. They usually happen just when one falls asleep or wakes up.
Causes of muscle cramps
Although we first commented that diseases could cause them, the vast majority are only related to exercise. As additional information:
Skeletal muscle cramps can appear during a competition, immediately after the competition, or at night, in the middle of rest.
Cramps represent a scientific challenge because a way to prevent or treat them that offers an immediate solution has not yet been found.
In the most basic investigations, it was decided that muscle cramps were caused by disturbances in fluid and electrolyte balance, associated with high sweating rates. This may be the case with some cramps generated by exercise. More recent studies propose that they result from the activity of alpha motor neurons caused by an aberrant control at the spinal level.
How to avoid cramps?
For years there has been a proposal followed by people who instruct in sports and any physical activity. They suggest taking a time of 30 to 60 minutes of calisthenics, in which only body weight is used and works over all the body’s various muscles.
These exercises will help your body maintain less tension when forcing it into activity. It is also essential to be aware of our limits. It is excellent to believe that our limits are in our imagination. But consider exceeding a limit. You must prepare for it and know how to identify when you are ready to do it. We must be smart to know when to compare ourselves and when not with whom we train.
Always drink a glass of water and any other type of natural and fresh food, such as fruits and vegetables, that can help you conserve more water in your body.
Warming up and stretching before exercising
Even if you decide that calisthenics is not for you for whatever reason, it is appropriate that you start your exercises with something that does not pose a total challenge for you or with which you can feel completely comfortable until you feel that your body can give 110%
Tips to avoid muscle cramps
Perform different stretches for a short period.
Don’t force your body into pain at first.
Keep the exercise to what you think you can offer.
Do not restrict yourself altogether. Progress progressively until you reach what you consider ideal.
Do not overdo it—schedule time to spend on your activities. Any excess could increase the possibility of cramps and spasms.
See a doctor if you notice that these occur very often.
Avoid trying too hard in the hottest times of the year, or try to do it on peaks when the day is not excessively hot.