At one point in time or another, we have all experienced a muscle spasm or cramp – that sudden feeling of a muscle grabbing onto itself and not letting go can be enough to stop you dead in your tracks.
Spasms can happen for a number of reasons, some of which are benign (things like poor hydration and mineral/electrolyte imbalances) and others that can be a little more serious (pinched nerves or medication related). I will outline a couple of tips for spasm/cramp prevention for you and when you should seek treatment for them.
Things are starting to warm up outside (hopefully we just got our last snow of the spring and not the first of summer), which means that you may be starting to get more active outdoors. With warmer temperatures and increased activity, your attention to how well you are hydrated becomes crucial.
Our bodies need water to function properly, and as we get warm or move around more we tend to lose more water through sweat. We also use up minerals and electrolytes that our muscles need to contract and relax when we tell them to. If your body has too little of any of the things I mentioned then it is more likely that your muscles will cramp up on you.
While keeping properly hydrated should be job #1 there are a couple of other things you can do to reduce your risk for cramps and spasms. Getting adequate amounts of magnesium and potassium from either food sources or supplementation is a good idea. If you would like dosages for either of them in supplement form please contact me directly.
Make sure to also stretch out any areas on your body that tend to be prone to cramps prior to activity.
If you take these preventative measures and continue to suffer from cramping, that is a good sign there may be something else going on that is worth getting looked at. Be sure to discuss any medications you may be taking with your medical doctor and make an appointment with me to see if there is a problem with your muscles and joints that could be causing your symptoms.