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Health Tips for April 8

Posted Apr 08 2011 12:00am
Health Tip: These Factors May Trigger Muscle Cramps

It's common to have muscles that tighten and cramp, especially if you're an avid exerciser. One of the primary triggers for muscle cramps is overuse, the ADAM Encyclopedia says.

ADAM mentions these additional causes of muscle cramps
  • A muscle injury.
  • Dehydration or nutritional deficiency, including a lack of calcium or potassium.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Taking certain medications.
  • Kidney failure, or an underactive thyroid.
  • Metabolic problems.
  • Pregnancy.

Health Tip: Cramp Got Your Leg?

A muscle cramp occurs when a muscle involuntarily contracts. It often occurs during a sport or other exercise, but a muscle can spasm even during sleep.

The ADAM Encyclopedia offers these suggestions for alleviating or preventing a muscle cramp
  • Stop your activity right away, and perform some gentle stretching or massage.
  • Heat the muscle while it's cramping. Apply ice for pain later.
  • Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help manage pain.
  • Drink plenty of water, a sports drink or take a salt tablet.
  • Don't push yourself beyond your limit while working out.
  • Be sure to include enough potassium in your diet.
  • Stretch your muscles regularly.
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