It is relatively common to experience muscle cramps from time to time but if they are becoming more frequent, or occur with intensity it is a good idea to consult your physiotherapist over preventative measures that you can take. Let’s take a look at some of the most common muscle spasm causes, and how you might avoid the inconvenience.
What Are Muscle Spasms?
Also known as muscle cramps, muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of a muscle. Caused most frequently by dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, overuse or retaining a position for too long, a muscle cramp can be avoided if you consult with a physiotherapist to assist you with exercise and nutrition advice.
Muscle Spasms Causes
On occasion muscle cramps can be an indication of a more serious condition such as
Insufficient Minerals In Your Body
Not having enough magnesium, calcium or potassium can cause your muscles to cramp and spasm involuntarily.
While maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can help to address this, certain kinds of medication such as diuretics, can make it worse.
If any of the nerves in your spine are compressed they can cause spasms in your legs. You may notice that the pain becomes more intense the longer you walk for.
Insufficient Blood Supply
Experienced most frequently during exercise, these spasms occur in the legs and feet as a result of narrowed arteries that are not able to supply enough blood to your lower extremities.
Risk Factors For Muscle Spasms
Some people are at greater risk of developing cramps and spasms in their muscles. Pregnant women, older people, athletes, and people who have diabetes, thyroid disorders and liver and nerve conditions are more likely to experience them.
How To Prevent Muscle Cramps?
Maintain Good Hydration
Keeping your body well hydrated is essential because under and over-hydrated it can cause your muscles to cramp and spasm. Fluids play a role in helping your muscles to expand and contract comfortably, so it’s really important to take in the correct volume of hydration before, during and after exercise. Physiotherapy can assist you in maintaining the right balance for your body type, weight, age and activity level.
Stretch Your Muscles
Stretching is a great habit to get into, particularly before exercise as it eases your body into more vigorous activity and warms your muscles up. If muscle cramps interrupt you from sleep in the middle of the night, try some light stretching before you go to bed.
Managing Muscle Spasms
Massage It Away
Gently relaxing the muscle and massaging any hard areas can help if the area is easy to access.
Physiotherapy and massage can bring relief to cramped, sore muscles. Physiotherapy is an important tactic if your muscles cramp regularly and you struggle to massage the knots out yourself. Your physiotherapist can also help you to establish the muscle spasm causes that could be affecting your body.
If you need help determining your muscle spasm causes, or assistance in managing them please contact us: (07) 5613 1531