Almost all of us have experienced muscle cramps and spasms, neck and back pain caused by spasms can not only be annoying but also prevent us from doing our daily activities and work tasks.
You may experience muscle cramps while exercising, lifting heavy weights, and even sleeping. Although muscle spasms are safe, their recurrence and excruciating pain require each of us to know home ways to relieve muscle spasms.
Let’s first get acquainted with the causes of muscle spasms
Why do our muscles get cramped?
- Deficiency or disorder in the blood level of some minerals:
- Level changes in:
- Blood magnesium
- Blood calcium
- Blood sodium
- Blood potassium
These changes can be in the form of decreasing or increasing the amount of minerals
- Impaired blood flow or reduced blood supply to a group of muscles:
In people with hard arterial walls, the diameter of the internal duct of the vessel is reduced and therefore not enough blood can pass through the narrowed duct to meet the needs of moving muscles and activity.
- Dehydration and muscle spasm:
When a muscle does its work and activity, it will produce a toxic substance called lactic acid, which accumulates in muscle cells causes fatigue and pain. This substance must be cleared from the muscle by the bloodstream, dehydration of your body interferes with this cleansing.
- Pressure on the nerve:
Sometimes spinal canal stenosis causes pain and muscle cramps in your leg. This pain gets worse with long walks.
Also, sitting incorrectly behind a desk, standing for long periods of time, lifting heavy objects off the ground incorrectly, and all of them can cause pain and spasm in your muscles by putting pressure on your nerves.
What is muscle spasm?
Muscle cramp is an involuntary contraction of a muscle that will go away but causes a lot of pain during the contraction period. Muscle spasm is different from muscle twitch.
Symptoms of muscle spasm
Sudden and acute pain when moving.
Sometimes a muscle spasms and you feel it as a bulge under your skin.
Doctors say muscle jumps can be associated with the following:
- Stress and anxiety
- Consumption of oral caffeine
- The drugs you have such as Pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, Albuterol, Adderall
Of course, muscle jumps can also be present in a group of muscle disorders called muscular dystrophies. In this group of diseases, in addition to muscle jumps, a person will suffer from muscle weakness and a decrease in muscle volume.
People prone to muscle spasms
The following people are more likely to have muscle spasms:
especially when the activity and competition is done in hot weather
Employees and workers who work outdoors, especially in hot weather
Usually, large muscles of the body spasm due to work and activity in hot weather, which is called heat cramps.
If you are constantly tending to garden plants on a daily basis, or your head and neck are constantly bent over a book or phone, you will experience spasms of the muscles of the neck, shoulders.
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid problems
And … also increases the chances of muscle spasm
Home remedies to relieve muscle spasms
- Most cases of dehydration occur during muscle spasms, so try not to put your body in a state of dehydration, so drink water.
- Sometimes there is an imbalance of minerals in the blood, such as an imbalance of potassium and calcium ions, sodium and magnesium, which causes you to have cramps and painful muscle contractions. Be sure to consult your doctor. In addition, instead of drinking water, you may need to use special sports drinks that contain the necessary ions as standard.
The two items above are important especially for people who do physical work and exercise in hot weather.
- Perform appropriate stretching movements:
If you do the right stretching exercise for the contracted and painful area, you will also help reduce the pain and the recovery period also prevent excessive recurrence of spasms in the future.
- Get help from massage:
One of the best ways to treat muscle cramps and reduce pain is to massage the area properly. You should gently rub the spasmodic muscle so that you are not in pain. Sometimes to properly massage the affected area, you need someone else to massage the contracted area.
- Use hot or cold compresses:
It is possible to treat spasms and pain caused by muscle cramps with heat and cold
Some people feel good with hot compresses and some with cold compresses
Put a cold pack on the spasmodic areas for twenty minutes, the ice should not be in direct contact with your skin, be sure to pour the ice into a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a thin towel.
For hot compresses, make sure that the heat pack does not burn your skin, use the heat pack on the position for 20 minutes a day.
Heat can relieve pain, but on the other hand, it may increase swelling and inflammation, so it is better to use cold compress after hot compress.
- Do not forget the hot shower and hot tub:
Heat increases blood flow to the involved muscle and clears the contracted muscle of toxins.
If you have a heart disease, ask your doctor for permission before a hot tub, hot shower or sauna.
- Do the following light exercises so that you are not in pain and comfortable:
- Use a stationary bike for a few minutes
- Using a trampoline
- Seated cable rows
Try to do the above movements for a short time before going to bed. Doing heavy exercise before going to bed is not recommended.
- Use OTC medications:
NSAIDs reduce your inflammation, swelling, and pain
Topical antispasmodic gels
Herbal gels including mint (mentonica gel)
Gels containing lidocaine and menthol
- Breathe fast:
Hyperventilation, twenty to thirty breaths per minute, can help relieve spasms, but it is best not to do this in people with anxiety and panic attacks.
- Drink apple cider vinegar:
Drinking some apple cider vinegar can relieve muscle spasms within half a minute, although more detailed studies are needed to prove this old belief.
- Use a natural muscle relaxant:
Consume chamomile extract or chamomile tea
Consume chili peppers or capsaicin extract to food
Note that the topical gel containing this pepper extract is available in pharmacies, which has both antispasmodic and analgesic properties.