Ever get those excruciating involuntary muscle cramps in the middle of the night in your calf or foot that just makes you feel helpless? Do you ever wonder why do we get those?
According to research, 1 in 3 adults have experienced night-time cramping. Exercising without properly warming up the muscles can lead to cramps. Some people are deficient in magnesium or potassium which causes the muscles to not relax properly. Also, muscles can become irritated by a buildup of lactic acid (which can happen if you do not properly rest your muscles). Dehydration can make it worse. Reduced blood flow to the muscles can also cause cramps. As you can see, there are numerous reasons.
Here are some tips to help relieve the pain:
- Stretch or gently massaging the muscle.
- Apply heat when the muscle is tight and ice when the muscle is sore.
- Get more fluids if you are dehydrated.
Remember to always stretch your muscles, especially after exercising. If you often get leg cramps at night, stretch your leg muscles before bed, and drink plenty of liquids. If you do intense exercise or exercise in the heat, sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes.