Muscle Spasms and CrampsWhat Can I Do?

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"Muscle spasms are commonand can be debilitatingat least in the short term. While most muscle cramps pass within a few minutes, some can last quite awhile or happen so often they"re considered chronic. Whether you have an occasional spasm in your back or you suffer from foot cramps most nights, it"s time to better understand what"s going on and what you can do about it. Most of us know what they feel like, but what"s actually happening? Muscle spasms, or cramps, happen when a muscle suddenly, and forcibly, contracts, then fails to relax. Although unpredictable and uncontrollable, there are contributing factors commonly associated with muscle cramps.Muscle fatigue or overusefrom cleaning the house to hitting the gym too hard, overuse can cause your muscles to tire, setting them up for cramping.
Dehydration is another significant factor in the equation.
Low electrolytesa depletion of the salts and minerals in your system, often caused by heat or overexertion.
InjuryA prior strain or injury can result in the body guarding against a similar injury in the future. This constant state of readiness can cause muscles to spasm.
Prolonged sitting and poor posture can also manifest muscle spasms
Stresswe all know when we stress, we"re not at our best. Tight shoulders, holding in breath, and poor sleep can all contribute to muscle responses.
Dietthere may be a dietary connection to your muscle issues.From a health perspective, muscle cramps are rarely a medical emergency. Although a trip to the emergency room is not uncommon when a long-lasting back spasm takes you down, for the sake of finding relief if nothing else. There are times, however, when a call to your doctor is advised. Dial up the phone if you experience substantial or uncontrollable pain, numbness in one or both legs, noticeable swelling in the location of the cramp, skin changes in the area, or the inability to sleep due to cramping."

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