Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Hands On! Today I have decided to write about a common problem we all have. This wicked device causes many a pain in many a neck. It has brought even the strongest of men and women to their knees. I speaking of none other than (you guessed it) muscle cramps.
In order to understand how to battle this most devious of all body aliments we need to first take a small look at what a cramp is and what causes it. So, what is a cramp, besides something that makes us wish we weren’t born that is? A cramp is a sudden involuntary spasm or contraction of a muscle . This spasm can happen in any kind of muscle as far as I know. Usually in skeletal muscle, but it can also be found in smooth muscle (the muscle that makes non cardiac organs contract, such as the stomach or intestine).
Now, we must ask what causes this to occur? There are several reasons. The first is over exertion. This is when the demands of a muscle exceed its blood oxygen supply. We all have done this, pushed our selves beyond what our bodies are meant to handle, huffing and puffing until wam-o, a leg muscle just locks down. Another cause of a muscle cramp is an imbalance of proper mineral nutrition. These minerals are usually Magnesium, Potassium, salt (electrolytes), and occasionally calcium. If we are not making sure that we are not giving our body the trace minerals and nutrients it needs to function it will start trying to clue us in on our errors. Along with not putting enough good things into our bodies, cramps can be caused by putting things into our bodies that just do not agree with it. There is a very long list of medications that cause muscle cramps. Another cause of muscle cramps is a neural reaction due to a vertebral subluxation. Its like being in the army when command sends an order and the soldier executes the order. Then communication is blocked off, and the soldier just keeps executing the last order. Lastly there is the primary cause of muscle cramps, dehydration. I know this seems to be a soap box of mine, but most people do not get enough hydration. It is just a fact I cannot repeat enough and will not stop the hydration dance (not to be confused with the potty dance, that comes later).
So, now that we understand cramps and their cause, how do we help alleviate them? Well the best thing to do is to make sure we are doing what we need to to avoid them all together. Things like getting regular massage, chiropractic, and taking the proper nutrition. That being said, when you get a cramp there are a few techniques you can use to help relieve the cramp. First thing is compression, this is taking both hands and and holding the cramp firmly and steadily until the cramp lets go. If compression doesn’t help, you can use what is called reciprocal inhibition. this is where you are stretching away from the cramp while having someone resist against the stretch. The best example would be if you are having a cramp in your calf. You would lift your foot up tipping your toes towards your nose while someone holds the top of your foot resisting your flexion. Of course, heat is a good cramp relief tool, but you need to be careful with heat as not to cause damage.
Well, that’s all I know about cramps and how to relieve them. Did I stretch your knowledge or was it cramping your style? Let me know in the comments section down below. As always, if you have a question or an idea for a future post please leave it in the comments as well. If you believe in this blog and feel it is worth while, please like it on wordpress and share it with your friends so I can continue to spread the word and get more followers.
Until next time remember when things get tight just try to lean back and stretch it out. Peace!