5 Muscle Cramp Fixes

5 Muscle Cramp Fixes

Many people have experienced muscle cramps and spasms but none can predict their occurrence. That punching, grabbing pain of a deep contraction can takeover at any time in any place on the body.

The common areas cramps target are the calves, upper legs, back and smooth muscle in the digestive tract. Sudden, involuntary tightening of the muscle can be so painful it stops you in your tracks and takes your breath away. These 5 muscle cramp fixes may help if one creeps up on you or seems to be a common occurrence.

Trick Your Brain

Sometimes when a cramp occurs all it takes is contracting the opposite muscle group to trick the brain into releasing the signal that is causing the original cramp.

For example, if you get a cramp in your calf, point your “toes to your nose” which will tighten your tibialis anterior or shin muscle. It is best to think of the opposite muscle your are trying to contract not as a stretch but as an activation so any activity that uses this opposite muscle is also recommended.

Here are 3 more possible cramp killers from Vitals LifeHacker:

  • If the cramp is in your hamstring, activate your quadriceps by straightening your leg.
  • If the cramp is in your quad, activate your hamstrings (bend your knee).
  • If the bottom of your foot is cramping, lift your foot and spread out your toes.

Note: When a muscle cramp occurs do not stretch the cramping muscle. This can do damage or cause more cramping pain.

Magnesium

Magnesium supplements may help muscle cramping. It has been estimated that due to a high processed food diet there is a magnesium deficiency in more of the population than originally thought.

A magnesium deficiency could cause a whole host of systemic dysfunctions including heart palpitations, migraines, muscle cramps and twitches. Talk to your doctor about the proper dosage of magnesium. Too many milligrams could act as a laxative.

One small Swedish study showed significant improvements for pregnancy related leg cramps concluding that,

“The results of this trial indicate that oral magnesium supplementation may be a valuable treatment option in the management of pregnancy-induced leg cramps.”

Pickle Juice

That’s right, pickle juice may help prevent muscle cramping.

According to a study conclusion by researchers at the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND,

“Pickle juice, and not deionized water, inhibits electrically induced muscle cramps in hypo-hydrated humans. This effect could not be explained by rapid restoration of body fluids or electrolytes. We suspect that the rapid inhibition of the electrically induced cramps reflects a neurally mediated reflex that originates in the oropharyngeal region and acts to inhibit the firing of alpha motor neurons of the cramping muscle.”

Temperature Therapy

Sometimes icing or heating a muscle during a cramp or directly after vigorous exercise can stop or prevent muscle cramping. Icing will often work best as it slows down muscle processes in the hopes to relieve a firing cramp.

If ice is ineffective, using a heating pad or wet wrung out wash cloth heated in a microwave for one minute may be a second alternative. Be careful to open the washcloth and let it cool slightly so as not to burn your skin.

Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)

Researchers at L’Aquila University in Italy and at the University of Würzburg in Germany found that pine bark aka pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) “…can play an important role in sports by improving blood flow to the muscles and hastening post-exercise recovery.” said Dr. Peter Rohdewald, a lead researcher of the study. He explains further,

“Pycnogenol improves the blood supply to muscle tissue creating a relief effect on muscle cramping and pain. Poor circulation in the muscle is known to cause cramps and Pycnogenol improved the cramping in patients due to a stimulation of blood flow to their muscle tissue. Nitric oxide (NO) a blood gas, is well known to enhance blood flow and Pycnogenol may be influencing the activity of NO,”

Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the Maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits. (UPI)

This supplement can be taken in capsule form found at your local health food store. Talk to your doctor before taking.

If your muscles start screaming try these 5 muscle cramp fixes for a natural, relieving approach.



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