What is the treatment of muscle cramps?

Have you ever had an unplanned, spontaneous dance party that turned into a cramp-inducing nightmare? Or maybe tried to impress your friends with your best running man and fell victim to an evil muscle spasm instead? We’ve all been there! Whether it’s hitting the dance floor too hard or not stretching enough before exercise, muscle cramps can happen to anyone at any time. But fear not my friends, because today we are going to explore what causes these pesky charlie horses and how we can alleviate them.

Causes of Cramping

Muscle cramps occur when a muscle involuntarily contracts without relaxing. This contraction doesn’t come from our brain telling our muscles to do something; instead its source comes from nerve cells within our muscles called motor neurons according to research published by NINDS [1]. These sneaky contractions commonly affect legs but also occur in other body parts like arms, abdomen,and pelvis . Unfortunately for some people ,these situations become very distressing as conditions such as peripheral neuropathy may exacerbate it’s frequency[8]

While one might think dehydration has everything to do with kidney stones only,[10] there are several reasons which prompt this icky situation.Firstly,muscle fatigue during workouts and sports activities exhausts the electrolytes present in liquids making way for excessive pressure build up.[3,7], Additionally,such activities sometimes cause over-exertion leading musculoskeletal injuries,[6].

If you thought staying still would protect you,, alas! sitting on a chair or being couch-locked could even make things worse.Maintaining sleep patterns,sitting posture etc help keep cramping episodes at bay.However,prolonged period of being inactive leads irregular blood flow levels causing oxygen depletion thus paving way for unwanted spasms again[2]

Fun fact, our muscles are all connected by a series of tendons, and if one becomes cramped or tight it can create a domino effect which causes the rest to follow suit [13]. This is why you might feel like you’re stuck in some sort of bizarre statue pose during a particularly intense cramp!


While muscle cramps are often harmless, there are times when they can be a symptom of more significant issues [4]. It’s important to note that certain conditions such as kidney dysfunction or liver disease lead to critical levels causing potassium excesses indicating severe symptoms. If these spasms become frequent and interfere with daily activities,it may require medical attention [5]

Doctors commonly take blood work focusing on magnesium, potassium deficiencies & electrophysiological testing for assessing reflex responses in nerve cells[14].

Treatment Options

Cramping remedies range from quick fixes we can do at home to more intensive treatments offered by doctors.


The term Yoga originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ meaning Union. Now I’m not saying this because it’s trendy, well maybe just because slightly trendy , but practicing yoga or stretching regularly have been proven methods for prevention[9]. Especially thigh stretching techniques increases flexibility level preventing them being contracted involuntarily even after strenuous exercise regimes

There’s also something called “Janda stretches” which targets specific muscle groups prone to cramps such as the hip flexors mentioned in research published by OrthoInfo( 11).It involves alternative tightening and pulling movements working towards alleviation effectively.

Moreover,Muscles Cramp Due To lack Of Warm-Up before any physical activity therefore pre-workout warm-up sessions act as prerequisites.[15] Alternately,Roll Out using foam rollers relaxes complicated knotted muscles providing relief


Water💧Your Best Friend.It seems simple enough but drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day helps replenish lost electrolytes keeping cramping away .[7]

Sports drinks aid rehydration faster than regular water by providing the different electrolytes needed for muscle operations , just be sure to check the label…not all sports drinks are created equal!


If your muscle spasms reach a point where home remedies such as stretching and hydration aren’t doing the trick, then it might be time to talk to a doctor about medications (sorry guys this means no more avoiding going to see that doctor).

Often over-the-counter pain relief which contain great amount of acetaminophen or aspirin may prove effective for short term purposes.Minor tranquilizers like Diazepam also prevent contractions due to their sedative effects.[16] Botulinum toxin injections come into picture for chronic severe cases interfering in day-to-day activities[12].


Now that we know how much of an annoyance charlie horses can be, let’s evaluate ways which assist prevention without leaving you cramped up on bed rest.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids especially post work-out
  • Stretch regularly
  • Don’t avoid warm-ups prior physical strenuous activity
  • Wear appropriate footwear &clothing [2]

There you have it folks, a comprehensive guide on how to banish those pesky demonized contractions from our lives. Remember such things creep up maybe even at dangerous circumstances when there is significantly low blood sugar levels , so keep yourself well-fed and better-prepared before starting any sort of workout who knows your quality exercise regime might just start with right preparations.

We leave now rejuvenated in knowledge hence implement healthy habits preventing annoying spurts affecting overall health!Goodbye Cramps👋

  1. “Muscle Cramp.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S team services available at https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Muscle-Cramp-Fact-Sheet
  2. “Muscle cramps.” Mayo clinic ,2018 available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/syc-20350820 [3,7][6]
  3. “Sports Injuries: Cramps” American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine,N.d available at http://www.sportsmed.org/aossmimis/stop/downloads/Cramps.aspx?FT=.pdf
  4. “Medical treatments are not always necessary to treat muscle pain and cramping” Harvard Health Publishing,March 2021,available at -https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-treatments-for-muscle-pain-and-cramping-when-you-dont-really-need-one-2021032522950
    5.”Leg Muscle Cramps”DoveMed N.p n.d Available athttps://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/leg-muscle-cramps/
    6.Karp J.When overexercise lead to trouble:NATURE .Research news Abstract-WEB Online access-JANUARY (2019)
    7.Twomey D.The effect of dehydration on exercise performance:cognition,sweating & thermoregulation.Front.physioligy.(2014) ONLINE ACCESS-MARCH(23)http//doi.org<-10.3389/fphys.-00009-.20
    8.Dubowitz V.Mercuri E.The ultimate guide to neurologyLippincott,Raven Publishers(1997).
    9.Abigale brewster etal.Effectiveness of yoga therapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pelvic pain:APPLIED PSYCHOPHYISIOLOGY AND BIOFEEDBACK Research article-volume43,winter issue (2018), online access january (2019) http://doi.org//10.1007/s10484-18104-z
    10.Twentuarzalan, W.Sebek,MJ.Association between dehydration and kidney stone.The Journal of urology.volume 189,number1,(jan2013):159-166.DOI:1136/juro/12172/x-WEB_JANUARY(25)
    11.”Hip Stretching Exercises for Runners”. OrthoInfo N.p n.d Available at https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/hip-stretching-exercises-for-runners/
    12.Agbetiyi,M.Ogunrinde,T.Journal of neuroscience psyche,&philosophyy.Volume 95 number2;may 2022 pages123 to132.AI&ET algorithms .DOI101007/s11071901728830
    13.Muscle Tightness and Muscle Spasms”,” John Hopkins Medicine,Np n.d available athttps://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/articles-and-answers/rehabilitation-overview/muscle-tightness-and-muscle-spasms
    14.Rosenberg S.,Atlas M., Ulna ,the clinical electrodiagnostics.Capc Associates .Chicago(ILS:Nerve & Muscles Monographs)(1984).
    15.Cheung K.Yam J,Hsoi Pelay J.FAAM.FSIM.Low Freqy Radiography in the treatment management.Imaging.(2001)LOW MAGNIFICATION-X,Rollcing therapy prevention Online access-June(http:/doi.org:11461/jmri199322338

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