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What to do When Leg Cramps Hit

By Stephen R. Farris

Are muscle cramps getting you down? If so, you know how excruciating the pain can be. You're walking or running right along, then all of a sudden your calf muscle tightens up. The pain can be enough to literally put you on the ground.

According to research, muscle cramps can happen for no apparent reason. But the most likely cause is from exercise, being out in the heat for long periods of time to the point muscles become dehydrated.

Your age is another factor. Studies show that muscle cramps can occur more often in people middle-aged and above. The older we get the more quickly our muscles tire out. Another cause of cramps among the older generation could be the medications taken for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other meds. 

The best advice is to make sure you're drinking enough water each day and that your diet has vegetables that contain magnesium and potassium.

Symptoms of Muscle Cramps

Usually you'll feel your muscle start to tighten up. Cramping usually takes place in the calf muscle, but not always. They can pop up in other muscles in the body as well.

Treating Muscle Cramps

When you're hit with a cramp, try gently massaging the muscle. Another trick to treating muscle cramps is to apply heat to the area. This could be heat from a heating pad or you can place a washcloth under warm to hot water and apply to the muscle. 

Muscle Cramp Prevention

Water or at least fluids containing electrolytes and potassium. Before starting your exercise routine make sure you drink plenty of fluids. You'll also want to drink fluids during your workout. Another way to help prevent cramps is by warming up before exercising. Do some stretches for your leg muscles to make sure they're loose and ready to go. Don't forget to do some post-workout stretching as well. If you cramp more at night while asleep, then do some stretching before you get in bed.

Don't forget to mention trouble with cramping up the next time you visit your local chiropractor. He/she may help some helpful advice on prevention and treating cramps. Your local chiropractor can also help give you relief if you're feeling pain in your back, neck and joints. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dallas, Tex.

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