The exact cause of muscle cramping is still unknown, however, there are some factors that are associated with muscle cramps, including:
* EXERCISE - Muscle cramps sometime occur during or after vigorous or prolonged exercise. Excessive sweating can also lead to a loss of sodium, which can cause cramping.
* UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDTIONS - In rare cases, muscle cramps can occur as a result of an underlying condition, such as atherosclerosis and sciatica.
* MEDICATION - Some types of medication can cause muscle cramps. Regular use of fluid pills (diuretics) can interfere with the body's mineral balance and contribute to cramping.
WHAT TO DO
If you experience a muscle cramp, below are some tips to help you relieve the pain:
* Gently stretch the cramped muscle until it has stopped cramping.
* Apply an ice pack for a few minutes to numb the area and help the muscle to relax.
* Gently massage the muscle.
To prevent muscle cramps from occuring you could try stretching you muscles before and after exercise. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day and increase your inntake of fluid if you are exercising.
You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing muscle cramps on a regular basis, or if cramps are severe and last for longer than a few minutes
SOURCE: November 2010 issue 23 of In Good Health by LGIS