You know what we’re talking about? Of course, cramp! Whoever has never had a cramp in his life, raise his hand! Little chance of even seeing a single hand raised on the horizon …
Muscle cramps are a phenomenon we are all familiar with, and which, let’s be honest, is extremely unpleasant! So what are the different types of cramps? What are the causes ? And how to prevent this phenomenon? We looked into the subject.
Cramps are painful, involuntary, and temporary muscle contractions affecting the entire muscle or certain bundles. It is the lower limbs that are most prone to cramps (thigh, calf, foot ), although this can also happen in the hand, after a prolonged writing effort for example. Most often benign, they are despite everything really not pleasant, and especially disabling throughout the duration of the contraction, because it is impossible to use your muscle during a cramp.
Cramps are vicious, they do not prevent! They can occur at rest, during warming up, exertion or sometimes during the recovery phase … And even during the night! Most of the time, they appear suddenly, as out of nowhere, and can last from a few seconds to a few minutes … It can happen that a background pain persists for a few days after the cramp . Really, there’s no denying it, they are ruthless!
Distinguish between the different types of muscle cramps
- Paraphysiological cramps are the most common! Occasional, they can be triggered in everyone, and in particular in athletes and pregnant women.
- Idiopathic cramps occur at night, and are localized in the calf and foot.
- Symptomatic cramps are caused by certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, myopathy, or diabetes.
- Medicated cramps, as the name suggests, are the result of side effects of taking certain medications.
Knowing how to determine the causes of a cramp
Unfortunately, when a cramp is symptomatic or medicinal in origin, it cannot be controlled very much or not. On the other hand, with regard to paraphysiological and idiopathic cramps, there are a large number of triggering factors, which in general can be under our control. And it can be interesting and useful to know them, in order to be able to avoid them! So take note:
- Dehydration (intense sweating from exertion, heat stroke, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea)
- A deficiency in minerals (general or due to sweating during exercise) and / or vitamins
- An effort that is too intense or violent
- Lack of training or insufficient warm-up
- A lack of stretching after exercise
- Poor recovery
- A bad lifestyle (diet, overconsumption of coffee, alcohol, tobacco …)
- The cold
- Unsuitable material
Treatments and prevention
There really isn’t a cure for a muscle cramp. When it happens, stop the movement or activity, and stretch the affected muscle. If possible, applying heat and massaging the painful area can greatly help and relieve contracture.
But as they say, prevention is better than cure! And here it is quite possible. Now that you are aware of the factors that can cause this pain, there are some habits to adopt that will significantly reduce the risk of muscle cramps, such as:
- Stay hydrated every day, and even more so during sports.
- Consume sports-friendly drinks and dietary supplements, also known as electrolyte supplements, and foods rich in minerals, before and after training.
- Warm up well before a workout, and stretch afterwards.
- Respect the recovery times after a long or intense sporting activity.
- Reduce your consumption of stimulants (tea, coffee, alcohol) and not smoke.
- Dose your training to avoid muscle fatigue.
And in addition to these gestures …
We have developed HYDRATATION ampoules, which contain a remineralizing complex based on minerals, Siberian Ginseng and Vitamins, to drink during and / or after training. These bulbs help in the healthy formation of tissues, limit fatigue and contribute to the tonic and adaptogenic capacities of the body.