Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They often occur after exercise or at night, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. It is a very common muscle problem.
CAUSES OF MUSCLE CRAMPS:
Muscle cramps can be caused by nerves that malfunction. Some times this malfunction is due to a health problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back.
Other causes are:
Straining or overusing a muscle,
A lack of minerals in your diet or the depletion of minerals in your body,
Not enough blood getting to your muscles,
Cramps can be very painful. Stretching or gently massaging the muscle can relieve this pain.
A cramp is an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.Cramps can affect any muscle under your voluntary control (skeletal muscle). Muscles that span two joints are most prone to cramping. Cramps can involve part or all of a muscle, or several muscles in a group.
THE MOST COMMONLY AFFECTED MUSCLE GROUPS:
Back of lower leg/calf (gastrocnemius).
Back of thigh (hamstrings).
Front of thigh (quadriceps).
Cramps in the feet, hands, arms, abdomen and along the rib cage are also very common.
Older people are more susceptible to muscle cramps due to normal muscle loss(atrophy) that begins in the mid-40s and accelerates with inactivity. As you age, your muscles cannot work as hard or as quickly as they used to. The body also loses some of its sense of thirst and its ability to sense and respond to changes in temperature.
Some people are pre-dispossed to muscle cramps and get them regularly with any physical exertion. Those at greatest risk for cramps and other ailments related to excess heat include infants and young children, people over age 65, and those who are ill, overweight, overexert during work or exercise, or take drugs or certain medications. Muscle cramps are very common among endurance athletes(i.e., marathon runners and triathletes) and older people who perform strenuous physical activities.
Cramp is a sudden contraction, or spasm, of them useless. It most often occurs at night after turning or stretching during sleep. Cramp usually occurs in the calf muscles, which become hard and tense. It can affect people of all ages,but is particularly common in older people.
e.g Leg cramps are painful contractions of the muscle that happen involuntarily(i.e. without the athlete intending then to happen). Leg cramps affect most people training hard, particularly running at some point and a common site for leg cramps is the calf muscles.
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