Surely it has happened to you more than once to be doing an exciting activity, and see it interrupted by an annoying cramp. Whether you’re playing sports, having sex, or drifting off to sleep, cramps can set in to ruin the moment.
It is normal, and the good news is that there are several ways to prevent them, and also to stop them once they appear.
why do we cramp
Before starting, you need to know what a cramp is: it is an involuntary spasm or contraction of the muscles, usually very painful, that can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
It can occur for many reasons, including:
- due to muscle fatigue
- due to poor nutrition
- Due to cold, anemia or stress
- By maintaining the same position for a long time and with tension
- Due to dehydration or imbalance of mineral salts
To prevent a painful cramp from interrupting our activities, the following methods can be used:
Increase the intensity little by little
If you are going to perform a physical activity, it is important that you warm up, so as not to subject the muscles to an excessive effort suddenly. It is important that the intensity also gradually rises.
This may seem obvious, but it is not, especially if we take into account that it is also important to do it before performing daily activities that require muscle wasting.
Before having sex, for example, it’s not a bad idea to warm up your muscles, which after all will be very active. The same can happen with other activities, such as long brisk walks (even if it’s just to go to work) or cycling many kilometers.
In summary, whenever you are going to perform an activity that requires physical effort of your muscles, do not forget to do a brief warm-up beforehand.
To avoid cramps, especially at night, a good idea is to do a massage session before going to bed.
After a hot bath, massage your legs (or the part of the body that is most prone to cramps in your case) with eucalyptus and rosemary oil.
The massage itself already relaxes the muscle and will help keep it from contracting at night. But in addition, these natural oils are ideal for promoting circulation, toning and relieving the pain of tired legs.
stay well hydrated
Drinking enough water is key to a healthy life, you know. Cramps are no exception: dehydration can cause them.
But good nutrition is also important, so that your muscles receive the essential nutrients they need to function properly.
Especially take care to get enough iron to guard against anemia, and fiber to support muscle. It is also important to maintain adequate doses of magnesium. Some foods you can try are: dates, legumes, spinach, cereals with fiber, among others.
How to stop a cramp the course
When the cramp is already occurring, we are faced with a very painful situation that we want to solve as quickly as possible and that is why we sometimes act in desperation.
Getting nervous is the worst thing we can do, because we contribute to the muscle tensing even more, instead of relaxing. Take a deep breath first, and then apply pressure in one of these ways so that the pain immediately stops.
Apply a massage in the opposite direction to the course of the pain, which will gradually stretch the muscle until it relaxes. Wrap the area that suffers from the cramp with an elastic bandage to reduce pain, without tightening too much so as not to cause swelling. It is recommended for cramps during exercise. As soon as the leg cramp begins; press the upper lip (yes, the mouth) with the index finger and thumb for about thirty seconds. The interconnected nerve endings will work wonders.