Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 2:54PM
Dr. Martin Dziak in cramps

A cramp is a spontaneous or involuntary electrical activity of a large number of muscle fibres that quickly develops into a painful, sustained contraction (muscle spasm).

 Cramps can be divided into two categories:

1.         Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC)

2.         Nocturnal or nighttime Cramps

1-What Causes Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC)?



2- What Causes Nocturnal Cramps?



Other Causes of Cramps

Leg cramps that occur during daily activities and also during the nighttime should be investigated in a bit more detail to rule out the following medical conditions:



Medications that Cause Cramps

Finally, some medications can induce cramping such as, but not limited to: diuretics, calcium channel blockers - such as nifedipine, long-acting ß2-agonists, steroids, lithium, statins, cimetidine.

NOTE: if you are concerned that your medication may be causing cramps please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

What to do When You Cramp

If you experience a cramp, the quickest way to relieve it is to stretch it out - i.e. if you get a cramp in your calf, stretch your calf by pulling your toes towards your knee. There is some evidence showing that drinking a highly salty drink (e.g. pickle juice) can relieve a cramp. Finally, it sounds simple but moves out of the position that caused you to cramp.

If cramps are a regular occurrence for you, see one of our physiotherapists for a stretching routine that will ease the cramp when it comes on but also prevent it from occurring.

How to Prevent a Cramp



Treatment for Cramps

The first and foremost priority of treatment for cramps is identifying the root cause of your cramps. Whether this be tight muscles, over-exercising or a cause that requires further investigation. Our physiotherapists are experienced in finding out what it is that is causing your cramps and will point you in the right direction.


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