Do you suffer from cramps? Do you know how to get rid of cramps? Cramps, also known as spasms, are muscle ailments or contractions that usually last a few seconds or minutes. They usually appear suddenly, at night, and almost always on the legs. This is a situation that, despite not being serious for health, can affect the quality of life when the necessary attention is not given.
Why do cramps appear?
Some of the most common reasons why cramps appear are:
- Maintain the same position for a long time.
- A bad diet.
- Muscle fatigue due to lack of movement or exercise.
- Some medications.
- Diarrhea, cold, anemia, or stress.
- Lack of Vitamin E.
Why muscle cramps occur and how to get rid of cramps
Muscle cramps (involuntary muscle contraction associated with intense pain) are an important affectation of dialysis patients. Muscle cramps occur mainly in the legs, in the area of the instep of the foot, and the calf area but can also involve the arms and hands.
It is estimated that 33% and 86% of dialysis patients have experienced cramps. Muscle cramps start with muscle spasms and can become very painful. Simplifying to understand it better, cramps or spasms are an expression of the muscle in the face of alterations in the concentration of substances and a decrease in hydration that influences the mechanism of muscle contraction.
In the general population, the appearance of cramps is frequent with intense physical exercise. We see it in different high-level sports events such as soccer or athletics, caused by alterations related to excessive sweating and dehydration and by the concentration of substances such as sodium, potassium, and calcium.
Factors that contribute to the production of cramps
- Decrease in the volume of body fluid: Patients with little fluid intake and diuretic treatment to urinate can develop dehydration and trigger cramps.
- Low blood pressure (hypotension): Low blood pressure due to pre-dialysis treatment or extraction of dialysis fluids.
- Changes in electrolyte balance: low levels of sodium, or calcium, related to treatment for chronic kidney disease or due to excessive dialysis treatment.
- Low blood magnesium: In normally malnourished patients or with treatments that decrease Magnesium.
- Carnitine deficiency (an amino acid): It has been proposed that this deficiency leads to a greater probability of cramps. It is also associated with malnutrition from kidney disease.
- Quinine reduces leg cramps by decreasing the excitability of nerve stimuli, increasing the refractory muscle period, and preventing prolonged muscle contractions. It is given one to two hours before starting hemodialysis. It has been questioned about the possible adverse effects associated with it.
- Vitamin E may be an alternative therapy for the management of leg cramps. Although, in studies carried out, it seems safe for treatment. It has pharmacological interactions that make it difficult to prescribe it to hemodialysis patients.
Now that you know some of the reasons you could be suffering from this discomfort, we will show you some remedies on when and how to get rid of cramps that will help you control them and prevent their recurrence. Let’s see what they are:
How to get rid of cramps at home?
Luckily, we have a solution for you! Yes, avoiding these annoying involuntary contractions is possible if you take certain measures before going to bed, and below, we will show them to you.
A diet rich in essential minerals is a great help in avoiding muscle cramps. A good idea to complement your daily diet is to prepare smoothies with fruits such as beets or apples, especially if you are an athlete or do high-impact physical activity.
Another healthy smoothie option to avoid cramps is the banana and kiwi mix. These fruits help you maintain an adequate level of electrolytes and potassium.
In addition, fruit smoothies are good for avoiding inflammation and fluid retention in the body, other causes of terrible spasms.
Apple cider vinegar
Another reason nocturnal muscle spasms usually occur is the lack of control in the PH of the blood. For this reason, taking a tablespoon of honey with apple cider vinegar regularly helps to balance this process and improve the distribution of minerals and oxygenation of the muscles.
Massages in the legs with horse chestnut are recommended to improve circulation in this area, relax the legs and reduce the chances of suffering from cramps. Give yourself therapeutic massages with horse chestnut and olive oil once a week before bed.
Do warm-ups before exercise.
If you exercise regularly or one day you decide to go for a walk, run, dance, or do some swimming, you must warm up your muscles and prepare them before starting to work with them intensely.
Doing a few small stretches of the legs, arms, and torso, generally, is of great help to avoid sudden movements and cramps. Avoid forcing your body and forcing it to make movements to which it is not used. Go progressively to prepare the muscle and avoid fatigue.
If you suffer from cramps, consider these remedies to reduce their frequency or eliminate them.
It is also recommended that before eating, start taking any medication and read the side effects as some drugs can cause cramps or sudden contractions.
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