Muscle Cramping – Causes and Symptoms

muscles cramping

Muscle cramps are common and can be very painful. The reasons for this phenomenon vary and depend on the pathological state of the patient. Dystonic cramps occur when muscles are contracted that are not required for the movement. Other reasons for cramps include dehydration, age, and deficiency of certain minerals in the body.

Dystonic cramps affect muscles that are not needed for the intended movement

Dystonic cramps are characterized by the contraction of muscles that are not needed for the intended movement. They can happen during repetitive activities such as playing an instrument or doing a repetitive exercise. The cause of dystonic cramps is unknown, but they are thought to be caused by the overactivity of nerve cells in the body. The symptoms of dystonic cramps vary depending on the area affected.

Minerals in the body can cause cramps

Muscle cramping is often caused by an imbalance of minerals in the body. The body uses electrolytes to regulate fluid levels inside and outside of muscle cells. When these minerals are deficient, electrical impulses become interrupted, which can lead to muscle cramps. Low levels of electrolytes also prevent the muscles from relaxing.

Age

Age-related muscle cramping is a common condition, particularly for older people. Muscles in the body gradually lose their strength and function as people age, and aging also affects the body’s temperature and sense of thirst. Symptoms can range from a mild tic to agonizing pain. Cramping muscles may be hard to the touch, appear distorted, or twitch under the skin. The cramps may last seconds or minutes, and are usually self-limiting.

Dehydration

If you’ve ever wondered why you get cramps, you may be dehydrated. Dehydration is a condition in which the body loses more fluids than it takes in, leaving your body deficient in electrolytes. Your body uses electrolytes to help it perform different tasks, but when you’re dehydrated, it doesn’t get these minerals. This deficiency causes your muscles to contract involuntarily, resulting in cramping.

Medications

There are several medications available for the treatment of muscle cramps. Some of these medications are in the quinine drug family. These medications help reduce muscle cramps by increasing the excretion of electrolytes through urine. Low electrolyte levels in the body can cause extreme muscle weakness and fatigue. They can also cause achy bones and joints.

Stretching before and after exercise

When you stretch before and after exercise for muscles cramping, you can experience some pain or soreness afterward, but you might not feel the pain right away. In fact, you might be sore for several days, depending on how much you stretched. Nevertheless, the pain and soreness will subside as you become accustomed to stretching.

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