If you've ever experienced muscle cramps, you should know how extremely painful they can be. The last few Sundays I have being playing football I have noticed more and more people are suffering with muscle cramps both on and off the field so I created this blog to hopefully help en lighten everybody what cramps are! Sometimes the muscle may cramp. Sometimes a muscle may spasm so cogently that it can result in a contusion on your skin. In most of the cases, muscle cramps results from the forceful involuntary contraction of a muscle. Most often a severe muscle cramps cannot release itself on its own, this requires manual aid to stretch, relax and lengthen the contracted muscle.
Do You Get Muscle Cramps Playing Sport?
Though the exact causes that results in muscle cramps cannot be known yet, some hypothesis suggest that dehydration, altered neuromuscular control, electrolyte depletion, muscle fatigue and poor conditioning can contribute to some prime extent to set out a muscle cramp. Another important factor that is evidently linked with muscle cramps is exercising in extreme heat. Sports is associated with all these factors and it is obvious that when you play sports outdoor in extreme heat, sweat comes out a lot. This sweat contains fluids and electrolyte minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium and other salts. As the body fails to maintain a certain level of these nutrients, the sportsmen are likely to experience muscle cramps at the end of an intense practice session or prolonged exercise.
What Are They?
A muscle cramp can be termed as the involuntary and forcible contraction of muscles that in most of cases cannot relax on their own. A muscle or maybe a few filaments of a muscle which reluctantly becomes contracted is said to be a spasm. When this spasm becomes sustained and forceful, it results in cramp. These cramps sometimes cause an intense and visible stiffening of the involved muscle. Muscle cramps can endure at any muscle bundle from a couple of seconds to a half of an hour or in some cases it may last longer. A cramp may recur several times until it ultimately resolves.
How to fix them?
Drinking plenty of fluids obviously help you a lot to rehydrate and restore the electrolyte balance. Make sure to stay off the sports drinks containing high sugar content that may stimulate cramping. In most cases, stretching the contracted muscle with mild and static stretch can be helpful to a great extent. Use of ice to numb the pain in a cramp is likely to reduce inflammation and it allows your infected muscle to relax and release.
Approximation is another effective technique that can be used to relieve the cramps by pressing the muscle fibers together in the contracted direction for a certain amount of time. In this technique compressing the contracted muscle to relax can help you to relieve the cramps eventually.
Stretching yourself before and after sports or exercise are highly recommended by the specialists. A sufficient period of time must be allowed to warm-up and cool-down as well. This measures help you to get rid of the cramps that may result from the vigorous and dynamic physical activities. Good hydration throughout the workout session must be ensured and you need to make sure the level of electrolytes remains steady at the required level. Exercising in extremely fatigue weather should be sidestepped.
Here are some of the most recommended tips from the experts and professional athletes that might help in the prevention of muscle cramps.
© Try to avoid muscle fatigue and improve your fitness
© Stretching the calf muscle: In a standing lunge with both feet pointed forward, straighten the rear leg
© Stretching the hamstring muscle: Sit with one leg folded in and the other straight out, foot upright and toes and ankle relaxed. Lean forward slightly, touch foot of straightened leg. Repeat with the opposite leg.
© Stretching the quadriceps muscle: While standing, hold top of foot with opposite hand and gently pull heel toward buttocks. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Frankly speaking, most of the muscle cramps are not that severe as we anticipate. However, if you experience serious, frequent and consistent muscle cramps, then you’re definitely recommended to see your doctor.
Melissa O' Shaugnessy founder and owner of Fit Healthy You Fitness. I want to help people understand fitness and nutrition by keeping it simple stop all the confusion.