Hot Tips Tuesday: Relieving Muscle Cramps

Everyone who does any type of physical activity has experienced leg cramps and side stitches. Today’s tips will help you beat them in no time.

New runners are often plagued by side stitches; those gripping cramps that form at the side of your waist. It happens when the overworked diaphragm begins to spasm.

To ease the pain, slow your pace, and exhale forcefully each time the foot opposite from the painful side strikes the ground. It can also help to massage the area until the pain subsides.

Avoid them by eating lightly at least 1 hour before running. A full stomach can trigger side stitches.

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Leg cramps and toe cramps are other painful side effects of working out, or even walking in high heels all day. They often hit in the middle of the night, and can be absolutely excruciating.

For a “Charley horse,” deeply massage the area until you can get up and walk it off.

For toe cramps, pull the toes towards you until the muscle starts to relax and the worst of the pain subsides.

Muscle cramps can often signal dehydration. Be sure to drink enough water when you work out to help prevent them.

You might also try keeping tonic water on hand. The quinine in the beverage has been known to relieve the spasm.

Doing dynamic stretches to warm up, and stagnant stretches to cool down will help prevent muscle cramps post workout.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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3 Responses to “Hot Tips Tuesday: Relieving Muscle Cramps”

  1. Rory Schultz Says:

    Skeletal muscles can be voluntarily controlled. Skeletal muscles that cramp the most often are the calves , thighs , and arches of the foot . Sometimes known as a Charley horse or corkie, this kind of cramp is associated with strenuous activity and can be intensely painful—though skeletal cramps can occur while relaxing. Around 40% of people who experience skeletal cramps are likely to endure extreme muscle pain, and may be unable to use the affected limb. It may take up to seven days for the muscle to return to a pain-free state. See also Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps .

  2. get smart Says:

    A cramp pain typically lasts a few minutes. In some cases it lasts just seconds, but in some cases it lasts up to 10 minutes. The severity of the pain varies. The muscle may remain tender for up to 24 hours after a leg cramp. Leg cramps usually occur when you are resting – most commonly at night when in bed. (They are often called night cramps.) They may wake you. It can become a distressing condition if your sleep is regularly disturbed.

  3. Get Smart Says:

    Runners most often experience two distinct varieties of stomach pain after running: abdominal muscle cramps or “stitches,” and gastrointestinal pain such as indigestion. Sometimes post-workout pain signifies serious medical issues such as ulcers and other inflammatory disease, so it is important to address stomach pain before it becomes chronic, disabling or fatal.

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