muscle cramps remedies

Finally starting off with the gym life can get too overwhelming until you hit those muscle cramps along with the weights. Muscle cramps can easily make the newbies blindsided with a pinching tight pain. Dean Somerset, an exercise physiologist commented that "the main culprit is running out of the fuel that helps muscles contract and relaxes, and they wind up stuck in an 'on' position." Hence, it is hard to touch cramped muscles as they are in the full-on flex mode. Even with the advancement of science, muscle spasms are still a mystery. However, you do not have to worry as we provide you with ten simple yet effective techniques that you can follow to stop those muscle cramps after your heavy workout.

1. Heat or Ice:

Treating pain or cramps with cold or hot therapy can be highly effective. If you have a persistent spasm, applying a pack of ice on the affected area for about fifteen to twenty minutes would do the work. If you do not have a ready-made ice pack, ensure that you wrap the ice cubes in a thin cloth or towel so that your skin does not come in direct contact with the ice. 

In case you do not like ice, you can also use a heating pad. Apply the hot pack on the affected area for about twenty minutes but follow it up with the ice pack therapy. This is because the heat eases up the pain but might increase the inflammation. Hence, the ice would keep a check on the inflammation. 

2. Hydration:

Keeping yourself hydrated during and after a workout is essential. Staying hydrated would prevent you from getting muscle cramps after your workout. Women should drink at least three liters of water a day and men should drink at least four liters of water a day. Being sufficiently hydrated would ensure that the muscles are supple. It would also help in flushing out the excess buildup of lactic acid that leads to cramps and soreness.

3. Nonprescription remedies:

It has been reported that drinking pickle juice in small quantities helps in relieving muscle cramps within thirty-five seconds. Pickle juice helps in restoring electrolyte balance. 

In addition to that, you can also drink some chamomile tea or add capsaicin to your food. These are natural muscle relaxants. Even supplements like magnesium, vitamin B-12, and salt tablets can be consumed to prevent muscle cramps. 

4. Topical creams:

Using over-the-counter pain relief creams might help. These creams include products that have menthol, camphor, or lidocaine. Emollient gel consisting of celery seed and Curcuma longa (turmeric) helps in easing the inflammation as well as the pain of muscle cramps.

5. Hyperventilation:

A review article of 2016 dealing with muscle cramps had revealed an observational study including three participants. Hyperventilation is when a person breathes faster and harder than normal. The participants used hyperventilation at twenty to thirty breaths every minute for resolving muscle spasms that were exercise-related. 

6. Deep tissue massage:

Deep tissue massage involves a massage therapist to use a specific amount of pressure for relieving the trapped muscle knots and tension throughout the body. It is not at all a painful therapy. The pressure is applied in the deepest form for removing the deep-seated muscle tension and aches. It also helps in promoting flexibility and movement. 

7. Consume bananas:

Nutrients like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are the key ingredients that are required for stopping muscle cramps. Bananas are the perfect source of potassium. In addition to that, they also provide calcium and magnesium. Hence, three out of the four essential nutrients are already present under the yellow peel. In case you do not like bananas, you can also try various other foods such as sweet potatoes, avocado, lentils and beans, melons, milk, salmon, and more.

8. Drink cherry juice:

Some studies show that consuming cherry supplements or tart cherry juice might significantly help in reducing muscle strains, soreness, and pain that is caused by the intense physical workout. Cherry or tart cherry juice has high quantities of antioxidants along with anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries can significantly help in minimizing muscle soreness, pain, damage, and post-lift strength loss after rigorous workouts.  The anti-inflammatory compounds also help in aiding the body in eliminating waste as well as facilitate muscle function and recovery. 

9. Use arnica supplements:

Arnica is a herb that is helpful in reducing bruising, promoting healing, and alleviating pain, especially in terms of soft tissues like ligaments, muscles, and tendons. You can intake it orally or apply the arnica gel to the affected areas. It would help in keeping your body supple and flexible. Hence, it would also lower the chances of acquiring muscle cramps. 

10. Do not push yourself:

Contrary to popular belief, do not push yourself when you get warning signals in the form of muscle cramps and spasms. Limit your high-intensity exercise and workouts if you sense that your muscles are burning and stiffening. You should lower and slow down from time to time to adjust your body. 

Following these ten effective techniques would help you to cope with your muscle cramps after an intense workout. These techniques are very easy to follow and would provide you with immediate relief. 


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