- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
MUSCLE SPASMS SEEK RELIEF
Causes of Muscle Spasms
Most people at sometime in their life will experience muscle spasms (cramps). For those that do, I can tell you the pain is unbearable. It will stop you instantly from anything you are doing at the time. I have been bothered by them throughout my life.
Most doctors will agree that deficiency in calcium, potassium, sodium or magnesium can cause muscle cramps. But these factors do not stand alone. Things like over working or over exercise can leave muscles aching and bound to cramp. If you stand long periods of time on your feet like I have over the years, leg and feet cramps will most likely bother you sometime. It is important to wear properly fitting shoes and if you are flat footed like I am, a good inter-sole for support can be very important.
Medications like anti-psychotic drugs, steroids, statin drugs, diuretics, birth control pills, calcium channel blockers and asthma medicine can add to the increase of muscle spasms. Each one could be responsible for taking out much needed water, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
As the only prescription drug I take is Simvastatin to help with my cholesterol problems. I believe this one is causing me to have muscle cramps along with standing all day for hours at a time over the years. If I am persistent in taking a calcium supplement I have fewer occurrences. But, too much calcium can cause other discomforts like constipation. I believe it can increase the problem with inherited thick toenails that I was so lucky to receive from my grandmother. And I even wonder if it didn’t contribute to the huge gall stone I had requiring me to have my gall bladder removed after an attack which lasted for many hours. I backed off taking the calcium for awhile. But the cramps are back in full force and I decided I must add more calcium to my diet again. I also try to eat a banana everyday to give me more potassium. Potatoes are another good source of potassium, but they are loaded with starch. The banana would be less fattening.
Other things which lead to muscle cramps are dehydration, an imbalance of electrolytes in the body, obesity and lack of sleep. People who have Addison’s disease, diabetes, alcoholism, chronic kidney failure or get themselves into a poor sleeping position are at risk for cramping as well.
Remedies Known to Help
I’ve been told many remedies to fight against muscle spasms over the years and with my recent encounter with them again I decided to research the topic some on the internet. Some of these remedies I am about to tell you are ones I learned from my parents, grandparents, and other family and friends while others are new to me.
My mom always recommended hot baths and showers along with rubbing alcohol with wintergreen in it to be either rubbed on or added to the bath water. My husband unwisely added a whole bottle of this to his bath once and claimed he cured his lameness for weeks later from trying it just once. My mom told him later that she never would have used that much.
My grandmother recommended a heating pad or hot water bottle to relieve the soreness of bulging muscles which stay for days after a severe muscle cramp. She sometimes would use muscle rubs like Ben-gay. I never much cared for the smell of it, but I have often applied the blue therapeutic ice gel products to a cramping muscle for quick relief even if it was only a temporary solution.
I visited some web sites recently to find out other home remedies and to see what people were recommending. These sites were: Nativeremedies.com, medicinenet.com, voices.yahoo.com, and buzzle.com.
Here are some recommended remedies their readers told them about: For fast relief of muscle cramps they claim to have drank, dill pickle juice or consumed one teaspoon of mustard or one teaspoon of molasses. Others have drank tonic water to treat both muscle spasms and arthritis. Drinking a mixture of diluted vinegar with honey or adding vinegar to a hot bath on a regular basis has helped give comfort to some folks with cramping muscles. Things like drinking V-8 juice and chamomile tea has been known to bring relief. There are also herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Fighting muscle cramps remains a problem for many of us. If we can keep ourselves hydrated with drinking plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet to get all the vitamins and minerals our body demands perhaps it will help. As we are all individuals with different things causing our discomfort, we each must seek out our own remedies. There are many new ideas on the subject. Even the people that make sport drinks are addressing these issues for their athletes. Gatorade has a new one called G Series Pro which is formulated to deal with muscle cramps. There are even gadgets made to reduce tension which work somewhat like acupuncture. I have one of these gadgets, it is a trigger like device called a Magic Trigger and amazingly it does help. What will they think up next?
I hope I have helped with easing the pains of the dreaded Charlie Horse (muscle cramp).These remedies are only suggestions and although many have been recommended by professionals others may not be. If a chronic problem of any kind keeps you in pain medical help should be your top priority. Visit your doctor.