Muscle Cramps

Muscle Cramps

Description Of The Injury: Muscle cramps are usually involuntary muscle contractions and spasms that can be immediately painful. The most common areas for a muscle cramp to occur is in the calf, hamstring, quadriceps and abdominal areas. The exact reason behind muscle cramps is unknown but dehydration, depleted electrolyte, poor conditioning and fatigue all play a role.

Injury Symptoms: Muscle cramps of the leg are very identifiable by the sudden and sharp pain that occurs, which is accompanied by muscle spasm or contraction. Usually the pain is strong enough that it will prevent the continuation of immediate physical activity.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Must muscle cramps will subside on their own if given time to rest. Additionally, the muscle cramp may need to be administered with ice on the injured area 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day. Compressing the area with elastic bandage may also help if there is visible swelling. A common anti-inflammatory or painkiller medication is usually used to help relieve symptoms.

Professional Medical Treatments:

Consistent and painful cramps may require the advise of a professional. Blood tests, an electromyography or a myelography may be done to identify the underlying problem. Lidocaine may be administered to relax the affected muscles or a cortisone injection may be given if inflammation is a problem.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Recovery of a muscle cramp may not need proper physical therapy. However, complete recovery will involve stretches and exercises that are also used to prevent this injury from occurring. They include standing quad stretch, calf raises, reverse calf raises, standing cross legged stretch, and hip bridges.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Prevention of muscle cramps involves gradually increasing the workload of any exercise workout or sport activity and performing proper warm up and cool down stretches before and after an exercise session. Doing the stretches noted in the physical therapy subsection will maintain proper flexibility and strength of the muscles.

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