The common occurrence of muscle cramps, especially in the calf area, during sleep is a well-known phenomenon. Suddenly cramping can be painful and disturbing. The term “cramp” refers to muscle spasms that occur as a result of muscle contractions that happen involuntarily.
Muscle cramps can last for a few seconds to several minutes, and they can occur not only in the legs but also in other parts of the body. Although they can happen while awake, they usually occur in the calf and foot during sleep.
Muscle cramps are more commonly experienced by people over the age of 50. What causes muscle cramps? How can you cope with them when they happen? We will explore why muscle cramps frequently occur, as well as prevention and treatment, based on information from the American health and medical media outlets, WebMD and Prevention.
◇Common Causes of Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps can be a signal that the body is in a state of dehydration. It is known that dehydration can promote nocturnal muscle cramps. Experts state that “there is a clear seasonal pattern in the frequency of muscle cramps, with higher numbers in summer and lower in winter,” implying that heat potentially affects fluid balance and leads to cramps.
Sudden excessive exercise or exercise with tense muscles can cause cramps. According to a study, skeletal muscle overload and fatigue can cause local muscle cramps in overworked muscle fibers. It is necessary to control speed and intensity during exercise. Prior warm-up exercise and sufficient stretching before and after exercise are important.
Imbalances in calcium, magnesium, and potassium can cause cramps. Each electrolyte helps maintain the fluid balance in the blood and muscles. However, more research is needed to understand how these nutrients directly affect cramps.
△Standing for Long Periods of Time
Studies show that people who stand for long periods of time every day are more likely to experience leg cramps than those who sit. Almost no movement in a standing position can cause blood and fluid to accumulate in the lower body. This can lead to muscle and tendon contractions as well as fluid imbalance, which can cause cramps.
If cramps occur frequently after taking new medication, it is advisable to consult with a doctor. Statins, diuretics, and asthma medications used to regulate cholesterol levels may have a relationship with cramps. These medications affect exercise nerve cells and receptors…