Muscle cramps facts
- A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
- Almost everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some time in their life.
- There are a variety of types and causes of muscle cramps.
- Numerous medicines can cause muscle cramps.
- Most muscle cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched.
- Muscle cramps can often be prevented by measures such as adequate nutrition and hydration, attention to safety when exercising, and attention to ergonomic factors.
What are muscle cramps?
What is the treatment of skeletal muscle cramps?
How can you prevent muscle cramps?
These tips may help prevent muscle cramps:
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
- Limit or avoid drinks with alcohol.
- Make sure you are eating healthy foods (especially if you are pregnant) that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Ride a bike or stationary bike to condition and stretch your muscles.
- Stretch your muscles every day, especially before and after exercise and at bedtime.
- Don't suddenly increase the amount of exercise you get. Increase your exercise a little each week.
- Take a daily multivitamin supplement.
If you are taking medicines that are known to cause leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe different medicines.
What if muscle cramps keep coming back?
Talk with your doctor if you have muscle cramps that keep coming back or are severe. These may be symptoms of another problem, such as restless legs syndrome.
If cramps keep coming back, bother you a lot, or interfere with your sleep, your doctor may prescribe medicine that relaxes your muscles.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
Last Updated: March 12, 2014