A muscle spasm can be extremely painful and cause a lot of discomfort for quite some time. If you have experienced these muscle spasms then you probably understand what I am talking about. This article will help you understand various ways of muscle spasm prevention and treatment.
While peacefully sleeping in the night, have you suddenly experienced a sudden ‘pop’ in the muscle which was so painful that you woke up with a painful scream. Or while exercising in the gym, did you ever have to stop because of a sudden muscle contraction in your legs? A muscle spasm is nothing but the sudden contraction of one or more than one of your muscles.
Though these sudden contractions are absolutely harmless, in the fatal sense, but they can lead to extreme pain which can actually make you stop your movement for quite some time, varying from a few minutes to an hour. What causes muscle spasms? Well, usually the main cause of muscle contractions is considered to be excessive physical movements, or movements that the body isn’t used to. Muscle spasms are known to appear more during hot weather. Which is why you must take effective measures for prevention of these spasms, in order to get rid of the unexpected and obviously, an unwanted discomfort.
How to Prevent Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasms are easily preventable by some simple and effective self-care measures. Before we discuss on the prevention, let us briefly discuss the more about the causes of muscle spasms as knowing these would help you understand how to prevent the condition. Apart from the physical exertion, other causes of muscle contraction could be inadequate blood supply; may be due to narrowed arteries, compression of the nerves, or certain nutritional deficiencies in the body. It is also important for you to keep your body well hydrated as dehydration can also cause muscle spasms. Mentioned below are some effective tips to prevent muscle spasms.
Keep Yourself Well Hydrated
As mentioned earlier, dehydration can cause muscle cramps. Therefore it is very important for you to keep your body well hydrated and maintain a healthy balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Well hydrated muscles contract easily and also stay relaxed. Therefore make sure that you keep on sipping on water and healthy fluids regularly to prevent muscle spasms.
Warm Up Before Exercising
For any physical activity and movement, it is very important for you to prepare your body beforehand. Therefore, it is very important for you to perform some warm up exercises like jogging, stretching, jumping, crunches, sit ups, etc. If you have been experiencing leg cramps at night, then it would be advisable to do some stretching exercises before going to bed.
Have a Healthy and Balanced Diet
It is more or less the key to all your health related solutions. As muscle spasms can occur because of nutritional deficiency, it is important to eat a diet that gives you all the essential nutrients. Food items like beet greens, potassium rich foods like bananas, dried peaches, potatoes, calcium rich foods like yogurt, skim milk, etc., can actually help prevent muscle spasms. On the contrary, it would be advisable to stop consuming acidic foods like tomatoes, vinegar, etc., as they lead to calcium deficiency.
Use Hot Packs
Experts also say that applying hot packs on the affected area also helps in preventing muscle spasms. You can also take a hot bath right before going to bed if you get muscle contractions in the middle of the night. It is known to improve blood circulation which in turn helps in preventing muscle spasms.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Studies reveal that an uncomfortable footwear can cause a lot of problems in the body, one of which is muscle contraction. Which is why women who wear heels all the time usually get a muscle spasm after removing their heels. Even while exercising, it is very important for you to wear a footwear that relaxes your foot and not add strain to it.
Live an Active Lifestyle
Though muscle spasms may be associated with physical activity, but even inactivity can lead to muscle contractions. Which is why you should live a healthy and active lifestyle and maintain a balance between too much or too little activity.
Another way to prevent muscle spasms while asleep is to sleep sideways with your toes pointed. Make sure that you don’t tuck yourself too tightly as the pressure may lead to muscle spasms. Sleeping after a brief stretching would also help.
If self-care isn’t helping and you have been getting muscle spasms more often, with unexplained reasons, then this can mean that there is probably an underlying health condition behind it. Conditions like diabetes, anemia, thyroid problems, hormonal changes can also cause muscle spasms. Therefore you must get in touch with your doctor as soon as you find that the self-care measures and home remedies for muscle spasm are of no help at all.