Treatment and Prevention of Muscle Cramps during Exercise

6253806401_9a9cd9a555Muscle cramps that are caused by exercise can be very painful and can cause athletes to drop out of competitions.  Muscle cramps can happen in any types of sports and are usually a result of muscle fatigue, a loss of electrolytes or dehydration.

Cramps are not limited to sports, they can happen even to people who are not involved in any type of sports.  Repetitive cramps can be healed by a chiropractor by aligning the vertebrae correctly in the spine using various techniques.

Causes of Cramps

The American College of Sports Medicine published a review on the causes of muscle cramps during exercise – two possible causes were identified that lead to muscle cramps.

The first was credited to muscle fatigue.  Neuromuscular systems are embedded into muscles to allow control of contraction of the muscles. When this system malfunctions, contraction of muscle takes place and then causes the cramps.

Muscles that are regularly used, such as those of an athlete or a person with a very active lifestyle, are at a higher risk of experiencing cramps or spasms.

The second major cause is a result of an excessive fluid loss from the body (sweat), which decreases the body’s electrolytes level.  This depletes the body of sodium.

Body’s Natural Cooling System

The body is designed to cool itself by sweating when body temperature starts to rise beyond normal levels.   The loss of electrolytes due to sweating can cause depletion of body’s electrolytes and if it is not replenished properly, it will cause cramps.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals including sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. They are dissolved in the body and directly control the required muscle contractions and nerve conductions.

Consuming bananas to treat muscle cramps has no solid ground and there is no evidence to support such a remedy.

Treating Muscle Cramps

– Fatigued Muscles

Treatment of muscle cramps depends upon the initial cause.  For those people who experience a muscle cramp due to a strenuous workload such as exercise or sports, chiropractors recommend treatments such as a massage, application of cold packs to the affected muscles and passive stretching.

Proper rest must be given to those muscles which have experienced an overload due to stress.

– Cramps due to Loss of Electrolytes

For those people who suffer from cramps as a result of excessive sweating and a deficit of sodium, the same methods of treatment can be used besides replenishing the lost fluid levels.

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