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Muscle Spasms and Cramps

We’ve all experienced muscle cramps, even the unfortunate charlie horse that wakes us up in the middle of the night. Or perhaps a twitching muscle; better known as a muscle spasm?

What causes muscles to cramp and spasm in the first place?

Although most of the time the exact cause of a muscle to cramp is unknown here are some reasons as to why it can occur:

  • Dehydration

  • Overuse of the muscle

  • Holding a certain position for lengthy period of time

While the causes of muscle cramps are usually  not life threatening there are some cases where the cramping can be symptoms of inherent medical conditions. The best way to help a muscle to stop cramping for example in the lower leg (calf muscle) is to compress down on the area that is cramping while alternating between dorsi flexion and plantar flexion (flexing your foot upward and downward)

Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and overuse of a muscle can also cause spasming. Some light stretching can help the spasming to stop and of course muscle spasms can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing regular muscle cramps or spasms and have tried increasing water intake and stretching and are still experiencing the cramps and spasms I highly recommend getting in to see your doctor to see if there isn’t anything more sinister going on that your body may be trying to alert you to.

Receiving massage regularly will also help stretch and relax the muscles that are being affected. I highly recommend massage at least once a month for everyone; every two weeks to help the effects last longer. Consistency is key! There is the tried and true method of potassium to help prevent muscle cramps and magnesium supplements can help the body absorb more of the potassium. For more information on more holistic means of treatment set up a consultation visit with either Dr. Sullivan or Dr. Thomas in our office. You can call us at 253-927-0660