Have you experienced a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle suddenly during a run or workout? That is what you call muscle cramp, also known as Charley Horses. The causes of muscle spasm may be brought on by several conditions or activities such as:
- Overuse of muscle or vigorous exercise
- Exposure to cold temperatures
- Medical conditions like blood flow problems, kidney and thyroid disease etc.
- Lack of calcium, potassium, and sodium in the blood
We asked Dr.Sami Jaber, an aesthetic specialist, CEO of Medway LLC and LPG ME spokesperson, on how you can manage charley horses when it happens:
1. Give your muscle a good stretch – Just before you carry on with your exercise routine, it is important to warm-up your body. Preparation is the key. This helps to gradually increase your heart rate and circulation. Thus, allowing the blood flow to your muscles and loosen the joints. Do some stretches too after workout.
2. Take one step at a time - If you have not done any exercises at all, better start with simple routine first until become comfortable with it. You do not want to strain yourself, do you? Once your body is used to the activity, then you can add up a notch in your workout.
3. Hydrate, hydrate – Ideally 8 glasses of water are enough but because you exercising and sweat, you should drink up to one liter or so to keep your body hydrated all the time. Drinking beverages with electrolytes is good too in order to replenish the loss minerals in your body.
4. Use ice or cold packs – When you it strikes straighten the affected leg and place and ice pack. Make sure to keep a cloth in between the skin and the cold pack. This will help numb the pain.
5. Take a warm shower or hot pack – this helps the muscle to relax. A heating pad will do as well.
6. Drink your multivitamins – Being deficient in important vitamins and minerals such as B1, B5 and b6, potassium, sodium and magnesium can most likely cause you charley horses. Make it a habit to keep your health in check.
7. Massage and put some pressure – For immediate relief, massage your leg that is in pain and apply a little pressure.
8. Take some over-the-counter medicine – pain relievers can help but make sure to read and follow the instructions on the labels.
9. Try physical therapy – There are available treatments to help relieve muscle tension and spasm. Check out LPG Endermologie treatment that is 100% natural, non-invasive and non-aggressive, solution, which has an aesthetic and medical health purposes. The new technology, LPG Cellu M6 Alliance, can be used by men and women to improve the body’s circulation using manual massage strokes through its optimized system of suction, rolls and/or flaps. It treats directly the muscles and surrounding tissue. Thereby, preventing tears of muscle fibers and swelling, increases overall functional mobility and at the same time helps in your recovery. Seek for a professional advice to cater to your needs.
10. See a doctor if problem persists – If your ‘charley horses’ is recurring often, visit your physician to see if it is related to any medical condition.
We hope that in the future these reminders can stave you off that agonizing muscle spasm. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.