Cramp is a common condition, especially in the elderly, pregnant women and athletes. Cramping is sudden muscle spasm, causing severe pain. This situation can last from 10 seconds to 30 minutes. There are many causes for this condition. Understanding the cause will help you have effective prevention or treatment.
If you are constantly suffering from cramps, this article is for you. Below, you will be provided tips to help you get rid of this situation quickly. But to determine your exact problem, find out the useful information below.
What Are Cramps?
Cramping is a strong contraction, causing pain and tightening in the muscles. They usually occur suddenly and last from a few seconds to a few minutes. This condition makes the patient unable to move anymore. Cramps can be dangerous if you are swimming in the water, sitting near the fire, or driving. Cramps usually occur in the legs. Cramps that occur at night are usually sudden contractions or tightening of the muscles in the calf. Although every muscle can be cramped, it usually occurs in the legs, thighs, hands, feet, and abdominal muscles.
Cramps usually occur when you are sleeping or awake. Exercise or manual labor for long periods of time, especially in hot weather, can lead to cramping. Certain medications and certain medical conditions can cause cramps. You can treat muscle cramps at home with self-care measures.
What Are Common Causes Of Cramps?
Here are common causes of this condition:
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One of the causes of cramps is dehydration. Dr. Mark D. Peterson, a researcher in the Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, said that athletes and exercise practitioners regularly face cramps, especially during hot summer days. According to Todd J. Sontag, a physician at the Orlando Health Association, once the body is dehydrated, the nerves become more sensitive to physical effects. This condition can cause spasms, which put a great pressure on the nervous system and result in uncomfortable cramps.
- Mineral Deficiency
Mineral and electrolyte deficiencies may also increase the risk of cramps. According to Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Icahn University School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, USA, the imbalance of sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium can lead to cramps. Sports drinks and foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt and nuts are rich in minerals, which will help to improve and prevent this condition.
Pregnant women may face calf cramps, especially during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. According to Dr. Peterson, this phenomenon occurs due to the imbalance of magnesium and potassium in pregnant women. Supplementing the body with these substances will help you minimize the risk of this condition effectively.
- Long Time Working
Long-term continuous activity is one of the common causes of this condition. Dr. Peterson said that you may experience cramping when exercising with high intensity for too long. When the nerves in the cerebral cortex are damaged, the hardening of the muscles causes this phenomenon. Therefore, regular rest is important to protect the health and to limit physical injury.
Excessive exercise can also cause serious health problems. Dr. Gerardo said that when the muscles do not adapt to the intensity of exercise, you will easily encounter physical injuries, including cramps.
Fatigue is one of the causes of cramping. Dr. Gerardo said that physiologically, when the body is tired, the process of circulation will be disturbed, greatly affecting the work of the muscles. This phenomenon is also associated with neurological dysfunction and when it lasts, it can have serious health consequences.
- Standing Or Sitting For Too Long
Dr. Sontag said, maintaining a posture for long periods of time can cause tired muscles, resulting in cramps. Whether you stand or sit, being “loyal” to a position for too long can cause muscle fatigue and severe pain. To overcome this situation, pay attention to spend a certain amount of time to move and relax the body when working continuously for a long time.
- Side Effects Of Medications
The medicines you take may also be the cause of cramping. Dr. Sontag said that diuretics, which lower blood pressure, can cause cramps by the ability to dilute salt and absorb water from the body. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek the help of medical professionals if you experience this phenomenon after taking a new drug.
- Coronary Artery Disease
If your cramps appear suddenly while you are not physically injured or overworked, you need to be extremely alert to this condition. According to Mike Hoaglin, a cardiologist who is in charge of cardiology at the Emergency Department at Duke Hospital, cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol and narrow blood vessels can cause blood clots and impede circulation at distal organs. Then, in addition to stiffness and difficulty movement, you also suffer from leg pain.
- Multiple Sclerosis
Cramps may also originate from multiple sclerosis. Some people with this disease report that they often have difficulty in relaxing their muscles. For others, multiple sclerosis causes discomfort and tingling in the affected area. According to Erin Sundermann, a scientist and assistant professor working at the California School of Medicine in San Diego, if not treated promptly, the disease can cause muscle weakness, leading to disability.
Arthritis is also one of the factors that can cause uncomfortable cramps. Debby Herbenick, a pharmacist and medical advisor at Indiana University, said that the disease affects tissues in the inflammatory area and damages nearby nerves. When these lesions have not yet recovered, any activity associated with the area is likely to result in pain and muscle contraction.
What Are Common Symptoms Of Cramps?
Here are common symptoms of this condition:
- Cramps usually occur in the biceps, calves, fingers and toes
- They happen very suddenly when you have no preparation
- You can feel or see hard blocks in the muscle tissue beneath the skin
- They cause severe pain from a few seconds to a few minutes
- They make you unable to move your muscles in the affected area
You may experience other symptoms not mentioned. If you have any questions about the signs of the disease, please consult your doctor.
What Are Risk Factors?
Cramps are a very common condition that can affect people of all ages. People who exercise regularly for a long time and who suffer from osteoarthritis often face this condition. You can control this disease by minimizing risk factors. See your doctor for more information.
When To See A Doctor?
You should see a doctor if you have these symptoms:
- Feeling uncomfortable
- Swelling, redness or changing skin color
- Weak muscle
- Cramps occur frequently
If you have any of these signs or symptoms or have any questions, please consult your doctor. Not only that, if after a period of treatment without results, you should see your doctor.Each person's condition is different, so please consult your doctor to select the most suitable option.
The above is the basic information about the cramps which gives you the most comprehensive view on the condition. Here are tips on how to get rid of cramps on hands, calves and toes fast. Don’t skip them if you are looking for a relief from agonizing cramps. Take a look at TrueRemedies.com!
17 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Cramps In Hands, Calves & Toes Naturally & Fast
1. Drink Enough Water
This is the first remedy on how to get rid of cramps fast. As you know, one of the major causes of cramping is dehydration. So do not forget to provide enough water for your body every day. Many people are very lazy to drink water, they drink only when they feel thirsty. If you are one of them, give up this bad habit. In fact, when you feel thirsty, it is when your body is “screaming” and responding to dehydration. Therefore, it is not only when you feel thirsty that your body needs water.
Regularly add water to your body every hour. The amount of water you need to supply your body depends on the weight and activity you take. On average, an adult needs to provide about 2-3 liters of water for the body a day. If you work hard or exercise intensively, you can drink more water. To see if your body is dehydrated, look at the color of your urine. If urine is dark yellow, you need to drink more water.
If you do not want to drink water, you can add a little lemon juice or orange juice to feel more delicious. This will stimulate you to drink more water, while also adding to your body a small amount of vitamin C which is good for the immune system. This is also good for your bones and joints. It is great that drinking water can limit cramping.
In addition to drinking water, sometimes you can also reward yourself with a glass of watermelon or pineapple juice. Watermelon and pineapple are all fruits that contain lots of water. Their taste is great so you'll love them.
2. Add Electrolyte To The Body
This is another must-try way on how to get rid of cramps fast. In addition to drinking water, you can also supply electrolytes to your body through a number of sports drinks. If you do hard work outdoors, your body will be prone to dehydration due to excessive sweating. Just drinking water cannot make your body feel “satisfied”. Then cramps are unavoidable  .
To get rid of this condition, you can use sports drinks which replenish electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, phosphate and magnesium for your body. These drinks help keep your body hydrated for a long time, while helping you feel more alert.
Although they are good, you should not use them too much. Let’s use as directed on the label. You should only use them with regular drinking water. Overuse of sports drinks can cause you to experience certain conditions such as nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain.
3. Exercise Regularly
One of the most common causes of cramping is not regular exercise. This reduces the lubricant in joints and the joint mobility is no longer flexible. Just spend 10-20 minutes a day walking, jogging or cycling as you can limit cramping. In addition to exercise, you should maintain activity throughout the day. Do not stand or sit for too long. The less active you are, the more pain you will experience after a long day.
When working, you should stand up and walk about 5 minutes at least once an hour. You should adjust your posture regularly, turn your back, change your posture, as well as fold and straight your legs whenever possible.
4. Handle Cramps Fast If Any
To know how to get rid of cramps fast, you must acknowledge what to avoid cramps and what to do in case of cramps. With cramps, you will suffer from severe pain. In addition, you may be at risk if you have cramps while swimming or driving. Therefore, it is very necessary to quickly deal with these situations. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Stretch Cramped Muscle
As soon as you notice signs of cramps, quickly stretch the cramped muscle in a few minutes. This will help the muscles get out of the cramped position. Do so until you no longer feel pain .
- Put Gravity On The Affected Area
This is really helpful if you have leg cramps. Put your weight on cramped leg to strain muscle. As a result, you will quickly get rid of the cramps.
- Massage Gently
If you have leg cramps, you can quickly massage the affected area to relieve the pain, while stretching the muscles and ligaments. This makes the cramps gradually disappear.
- Warm Compress
If possible, apply warm compress as soon as you notice signs of cramps. This method significantly reduces pain. Do not use excessive heat to avoid burns.
- Move A Lot
As soon as your condition improves, do not sit still, stand up and walk or move your arms and legs. In fact, these above methods only temporarily repel cramps. They will come back soon afterwards if you continue to remain the posture which causes you to have cramps. So, move your hands and feet as soon as you no longer feel pain.
- Cold Compress
If you have frequent cramps due to overactive activity and traumatic stress, regular cold compress treatment can help relieve pain and sensitivity. Do not let ice cubes come into direct contact with the skin to prevent cold burns.
5. Avoid Strenuous Exercise For Long Periods Of Time
The next tip on how to get rid of cramps fast is avoiding strenuous exercise for long periods of time. Working or exercising for a long period of time may cause the body to lose water very quickly, and at the same time, muscles are also very easy to get tired. Then, cramps are unavoidable. So, take regular rest so your muscles have time to be recovered.
6. Reduce Pressure On Joints
If you have frequent cramps due to arthritis, this tip is for you. To avoid over-active joints leading to cramps and pain, you should limit the pressure on joints. Replace new items or perform some routine activities to maintain and protect joints. Use a large pen to handle and write.
You can also buy items with larger and longer handles for the purpose of not stretching the joints to carry furniture. You should pick up furniture with large joints instead of small joints. For example, when carrying heavy bags, you should use elbow joint instead of wrist or finger joint. You can buy a vinyl for easy handling, use, and cleaning.
7. Exposure To Sunlight More Often
This sounds strange when it comes to tips on how to get rid of cramps fast, but it works. Instead of just absorbing vitamin D from food, you should take advantage of extra sunshine. Get out and enjoy the sunshine for 10-15 minutes each day in the early morning (do not use sunscreen). This method helps you absorb a lot of vitamin D in nature without causing skin related problems caused by UV rays from the sun. You can apply sunscreen on some parts of your body, except your hands, if you are concerned about your skin.
8. Stop Smoking
Stop smoking is regarded as a small but important tip on how to get rid of cramps naturally. Smoking not only causes many health risks but also makes you prone to cramping. Cigarettes put chemicals in the body, making the connective tissue stiff and causing the cramps to worsen. Therefore, it is best to stop smoking.
Yoga is a combination of deep breathing, meditation, and body posture. This helps relieve cramps, joint pain and stress. You should listen to your body and only perform the postures that help you move and do not affect joints. Start slowly and gradually increase the movement when the body has adapted.
10. Epsom Salt
No wonder, this is definitely a must-refer tip on how to get rid of cramps fast. This is the simplest and the most effective remedy in this list of how to get rid of cramps. Epsom salts help to supply magnesium and sulfate to the body. According to scientific studies, stress and pressure can reduce the amount of magnesium in the body. Using Epsom salts to shower every week will help you to improve your magnesium and help you feel relaxed. It can also improve your mood and regulate heart rate through the regulation of electrolytes in the body. Epsom also eliminates toxins and heavy metals from the body, giving you a refreshing and healthy feeling. The using Epsom salt as a treatment of cramps is very effective. It can help you to reduce the painful from the cramps and also help you prevent another episode of cramps.
To implement this remedy, follow these steps below:
- Prepare 3-4 teaspoons of Epsom salt and a bathtub of warm water
- Soak Epsom Salt into the bathtub and leave for a half of hour
- Soak your body into the bathtub then massage your part of body with cramps and the area around it
- Leave your body into the bathtub in 20 minutes
- Use the soft towel to dry your body and relax
You can implement this tip 2-3 times a week for the best result. You can also put into the bathtub some slice of ginger or a few drops of alcohol and lemon juice to promote the result of this tip. The best time to apply this tip is in the evening before going to bed. You can soak your body or take a shower with Epsom salt at 9 o’clock evening for the best effect.
Note: People with heart disease, low blood pressure, or dizziness should not use this tip with warm water for too long. Soaking or bathing with warm water can make the blood vessels to quickly spread to the entire surface of the body, which makes vital organs in the body (such as the heart, brain …) lack of oxygen.
11. Potassium-Rich Foods
Potassium is an important electrolyte of the body with an indispensable role in the activity of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems. Potassium is essential for cellular activity, especially to ensure normal muscle contraction. Potassium can combine with sodium to regulate neurotransmitters to the muscles. Therefore, when you are deficient in potassium, you usually have a high risk of cramping. Using potassium-rich foods is an effective remedy when you usually suffer from cramping.
Here are some foods rich in potassium that you should regularly consume to treat and prevent cramps:
- Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is the number one in this list of foods which is high in potassium. A sweet potato can contain 694 mg of potassium along with a lot of fiber, beta-carotene and amount of starch that can provide enough energy for you during the day. Sweet potatoes can be used in various ways such as baking, boiling or frying. This is one of the cleanest foods for you to use every day.
Fresh tomatoes are rich in potassium, but tomato paste, tomato sauce and dried tomatoes are rich in potassium (230 grams of dried tomatoes contain up to 1800 mg of potassium). Tomatoes that are not packed in oil are rich in fiber, protein and vitamin C that help promote the digestive system and the immune system.
- Sugar Beet
Sugar beets are full of minerals like folate, manganese, and potassium. A cup of sugar beet provides around 37% RDA folate, 22% RDA manganese, and 13% potassium RDA. In particular, the leaves of beet sugar (after cooked) will contain a very high amount of potassium (644 mg potassium / 100 grams of beet leaf). Therefore, you can consider using the leaves of beet sugar for your daily meal.
- Kind Of Beans
White beans contain nearly 600mg of potassium / 100gram. Followed the white beans are peanuts, lima beans, lentils, peas … All beans are good for the heart and are in the potassium-rich food group. Adding beans to your daily diet is a simple and effective way of protecting your health from cramps.
Asparagus contains much potassium to cure cramps. It also contains amino acids such as amides and some sodium. These elements can neutralize chlorine produced in the body during digestion to fight fatigue, reduce stress and prevent the risk of cramps. Asparagus is a very nutritious food. It contains lots of vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, crude cellulose, and folic acid.
A cup of nonfat yogurt contains 579mg of potassium, while high fat yogurt contains less of this content. Yogurt products contain a lot of micro-organism, which can help digestion and keep the intestines healthy.
Bananas are potassium-rich foods. An average banana has 400mg of beneficial minerals. Bananas are also a type of food that can fill up the empty stomach when hungry, helping to promote metabolism in the body.
12. Calcium-Rich Foods
This is another must-try tip on how to get rid of cramps fast. Clinical manifestations of calcium deficiency are caused by cell membrane voltage, which stimulates the nervous system. Common signs are muscle cramps in the back and legs. Cases of calcium deficiency in the blood can progress slowly. It can cause mild neurological signs such as depression, confusion or mental distress, which can cause severe cramping symptoms. Taking calcium supplements for your body can be done in daily meals. Therefore, you can refer to calcium-rich foods to help prevent and treat cramps.
Here are some foods rich in calcium that you should consume to treat and prevent cramps:
- Green Vegetables
There are many types of green vegetables that can be added calcium to your body very well, especially Choy sum and amaranth. They are considered as vegetables with even higher levels of calcium than milk. In addition, vegetables that are rich in calcium can help you to absorb minerals and vitamin K. When eating vegetables, you should boiling it and drink the boiling water to increase the rate of calcium absorption.
If you take the same weight unit of pond loach for comparison with other fish, the pond loach contains approximately 6 times more calcium than the carp and about 10 times more than the octopus. The best way to use loach to improve your calcium to your body is to cook the loach with tofu. When two foods rich in calcium are cooked together, they increase the absorption of calcium.
Among grain group, oatmeal has the highest calcium content. It has about 7 times more calcium than white rice. Although the rate of calcium absorption in oatmeal is considered to be lower than calcium in milk, this is a very useful food for preventing calcium deficiency and cramping. The best way to prepare oatmeal as a treatment of getting rid of cramps is to cook oatmeal with black sesame seeds.
Tofu is made from soy bean. After going through many stages of processing, this soy bean will become tofu. Therefore, the amount of calcium in the soybean has been made small, so it is more easily absorbed into the body. Calcium in tofu is about 7 times higher than in beans juice. You can use tofu pieces to replace meat to stir fry with vegetables for the best effect of absorbing calcium.
Almond is one of the most calcium-rich foods. 100 grams of almonds provides 378 mg or 38% calcium. A serving of 23 almonds (1 ounce almonds) contains 161 calories. Therefore, eating a variety of almonds will help you boost calcium, as well as monounsaturated fats for cardiovascular and magnesium.
Mushrooms are a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Each 100g of mushroom contains 180 mg of calcium. This is very good food for people who are deficient in calcium and cramps.
Milk is a good source of calcium. If you drink 250 grams of milk, you will absorb about 275 mg of calcium. Therefore, you can drink milk every day for the best source of calcium.
Cheese is one of the foods made from milk, so it is very rich in calcium. Moreover, unlike other milk products, it has a low sugar content. Therefore, it is extremely good for those who cannot absorb sugar. The calcium content in cheese is beneficial for people often suffering from muscle cramps.
13. Sodium-Rich Foods
Sodium is the most common chemical component of the body fluids which is outside the cell. Cramps may occur when the body fluids in the body are abnormal, due to cirrhosis, resulting in fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. Similarly, cramps are a common complication of dialysis.
Low levels of sodium in the blood directly increase the stimulation of both nerve endings and the muscles. This is common in older people and women during pregnancy. To reduce the symptoms, you must add these minerals in the diet. Sodium is found in most foods in our daily diet. However, excessive sweating or kidney function imbalance may result in the attenuation of sodium, causing cramps.
Therefore, you can improve the sodium by using the list of sodium rich foods below:
Daily salt intake is directly related to sodium intake. Salt contains both sodium and chloride. Eating salt in the prescribed limits will benefit the body's psychological function and reduces the symptoms of cramps.
- Breakfast Cereals
Using cereals for breakfast will help your body supplement the nutrients needed for the day. Some cereals for breakfast can have about 300 mg of sodium per cup.
- Canned Tuna
Tuna is known as a very good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When you use canned tuna, you are adding about 400mg of sodium in 100 grams of canned tuna
- Mixed Salads
The mixed salad not only provides more fat but it also provides an abundant amount of sodium. One tablespoon of oil contains up to 250mg of sodium. A packet of tomato sauce or spice packets also contain sodium, and each spoon of seasoning contains about 150mg of sodium.
- Canned Vegetables
Canned vegetables are usually added more sauces and seasonings. In a box of vegetables, there are up to 730 mg of sodium.
14. Add Turmeric To The Dish
The next natural tip on how to get rid of cramps fast is adding turmeric powder to the dish. Turmeric is a seasoning that can be added to dish to improve osteoarthritis, including arthritis and cramps. Turmeric powder contains a lot of curcumin that helps relieve cramps and swelling due to blocked cytokines and inflammatory enzymes. There are many recipes using turmeric, including appetizers until dessert. Therefore, regularly add turmeric powder to your daily diet to improve cramping.
15. Drink Green Tea
Drinking green teas is the last remedy in this list of tips on how to get rid of cramps fast. Green tea contains an oxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which inhibits the formation of arthritic joints. This helps treat cramps which happen frequently and cause much pain to you. Studies have shown that taking 2-3 cups of green tea a day can provide the maximum antioxidant benefits. You should drink green tea in the morning to get the best effect. Do not drink this drink in the evening as it may make it difficult for you to sleep.
16. Strengthen Both Small And Large Muscles
Strength training is crucial. You could strengthen your muscles so they will not fatigue. Nonetheless, avoid targeting just major muscle groups. Also, foot strength is very essential and related to a number of problems from the ground up. Thus, try to work on picking up the marbles using your toes or picking a towel up and dropping it down from side to side. This will improve your muscular strength in no time.
17. Practice Acupressure
There are a few specific points on the human body which you should pay attention to, if you want to relieve calf cramps. Actually, the pressure on such points ought to be high, yet not hurtful. One of such points is between the big and second toes and the other is between the upper lip and nose, which is closer to the nose by 1/3 of the total distance.
In addition to tips on how to get rid of cramps, you should also know some preventive steps to follow prior to performing certain activities resulting in calf cramps:
- Stretch before sleeping to help prevent night time cramps in calves.
- Change the brand or type of running shoes you are using if it exerts more stress on your own feet or if it does not well fit.
- Run during times of lower humidity and heat to avoid calf cramps. Running in hot temperature might rapidly dehydrate you and lead to calf cramps.
- Stretch your muscles properly prior to swimming or running.
- Take enough water as well as other fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Get enough essential vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet and avoid high-protein, high fat foods and caffeinated drinks.
So now you are at the end of our article. You may have some ideas on ways on how to get rid of cramps on calves, hands and toes. Hope that this article would have helped you to some extent.
The tips above are very helpful tips to prevent or treat cramps. Once you know them, do not let cramps make you pain as well as affect your activities. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “Top 17 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Cramps In Hands, Calves & Toes Fast” introduced in How To Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.