Getting Rid of Painful Calf Cramps
It’s the middle of the night. You’re fast asleep. All of a sudden, your calf seizes up. The pain hits. You struggle to straighten your leg. The whole thing lasts maybe 30 seconds. But it’s enough to jolt you out of a deep sleep and enough to keep you awake for a little while longer afterward.
What is going on? And why?
Calf cramps are one of the most common muscle cramps. It’s a sudden involuntary contraction of the calf. And while they likely won’t cause any long-term harm, they can definitely become an irritating and persistent problem.
Why Do Calf Cramps Happen?
Calf cramps happen due to a variety of reasons. You may simply not have drunk enough water throughout your day and are dehydrated. You might be short on electrolytes. It may indicate an injury. Certain medications can even have muscle cramping side effects.
But calf cramps are rarely serious. Yet, we recommend consulting with your doctor if there is severe pain, swelling, discoloration, muscle weakness, or the cause isn’t obvious. A more serious problem could be at play, such as inadequate blood supply, nerve compression, or mineral deficiencies.
At-Home Care of Your Calf Cramps
Once a calf cramp has happened, it may take some movement and time for the muscle to calm down. This leaves prevention as being the top priority when it comes to treating and caring for calf cramps.
What are the best ways to prevent calf cramps?
→ Drink up! Dehydration is a major cause of calf cramps. If you perform a strenuous workout, ensure you replenish those fluids. The body is 60% water. It needs it!
→ Stretch your muscles. The calf is a particularly finicky muscle. If you’re prone to calf cramps or perform regular leg workouts, consider stretching out the calf daily. It may further help to stretch out troublesome muscles before bed to ensure you get a good night’s rest.
→ Get a massage. Massage therapists are trained to deal with these type of conditions. They may further provide education on preventative methods suited to your specific situation. You may also choose to self-massage the area, such as with the use of a foam roller.
→ Apply heat or ice. Find what works. Hot or cold applications may help reduce muscle tension, decreasing the risk of a cramp from happening.
Rid yourself of calf cramps once and for all. At the 1621 Club, our massage therapists are ready to help you get to the bottom of your calf cramp problems. Book your next appointment today!