Treating calf cramps

November 12, 2012

Treating calf cramps

Anyone who suffers with calf cramps will know just how painful they are. The pain is also visible in the case of athletes who are sometimes seen falling to the ground, holding their calves in pain. The recommended immediate treatment of calf cramps is to stretch out the muscle in the opposite direction to the cramping. However, after recent discoveries there are people who dispute this method of treating calf cramps, claiming that is goes against common sense.

More effective methods

Anyone who has experienced calf cramps and attempted to treat it using this method of stretching may have found that it was not particularly effective. It can often lead to more pain in the area that can sometimes last hours and days after the cramping has subsided. As an alternative method, rubbing the calf muscles with deep strong motions has had good results. Fast and heavy massaging of the muscle stimulates and encourages blood flow in the muscle, making it relax. This method has been found to be more effective, work faster, and not cause the same prolonger pain and soreness that has been known to occur in the following days.

Prevent calf cramps

Calf cramps can also be prevented if you can figure out what it is that triggers them. While athletes suffering from cramps, other than properly stretching before physical activity, can’t do much else to prevent them, some people suffer from cramps unexpectedly such as whilst lying or sitting down. In these people there may be an exterior factor that is triggering the cramps. One such example is medication. Some medications are now known to cause calf cramps as a side effect such as ulcer medications.

Painful problem with an effect on daily life

Although stretching the calf muscle still seems to be the advice medical professionals provide, it does seem to go against common sense. Surely stretching a muscle, which is violently contracting, in the opposite direction is likely to cause damage and even tear the fibres within the muscle. The next time you are stricken with calf cramps, try massaging and rubbing the muscle to warm it up. Additionally if you are taking any medication check to see whether cramping is a potential side effect and if it is consider asking your doctor if there is an alternative that you could switch to. Individuals who are lucky enough to have never experienced calf cramps may not realise just how painful they can be. If you are suffering from them regularly, it can start to have an effect on daily life and you may want to consider reporting it to your doctor to look for underlying causes.

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