What are Muscle Cramps?
These are spasms or tight muscles. Usually in the legs.
What are the Symptoms of Muscle Cramps?
- A sharp, sudden, painful spasm (or tightening) of a muscle, especially in the legs.
- Muscle hardness.
- Twitching of the muscle.
- Persistent cramping pains in lower abdominal muscles.
Sometimes occurring when a muscle contracts with great intensity and stays contracted, refusing to stretch out again (as is usually the case).
What are the Causes of Muscle Cramps?
Muscles contract or lengthen in response to our wanting to move. Imbalances in certain minerals as well as in certain hormones, body fluids, and chemicals which allow this lengthening and contracting to occur can prompt spasms and cramps. As well as this, malfunctions in the nervous system itself can also cause problems. Excessive physical activity and hormonal imbalances depletes fluids (through sweat) and minerals.
Traditional Medical Treatments for Muscle Cramps
If you suffer from frequent or severe cramps, see your doctor. And severe cramps in your chest, shoulders, or arms can be symptoms of a heart attack; call immediately for medical help. No medicinal treatment of common muscle cramps is required. Massaging a cramping. For frequent or severe cramps, your doctor will diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Muscle Cramps
Herbal Therapies – An infusion of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) may help improve circulation and relieve leg spasms. An herbalist might prescribe Japanese quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) for cramps in the calves. Aromatherapy – Try using the following essential oils in a carrier oil for massage purposes. Use them separately or in a blend (do not blend more than 3 together). Peppermint, marjoram, lemongrass, lavender, clary sage, basil and ginger. (For more information see our aromatherapy section).