Drink water One way to ease muscle cramps before they even start is to drink enough water. Dehydration often plays a role in muscle cramps, so drinking enough water throughout the day can help keep them at bay. Drinking fluids while you have a cramp helps your muscles contract and relax. Try to stretch the affected muscle hard (for example, stretch the calf muscle by flexing your foot up).
Move your leg, massage, or force you to walk. It may also be helpful to apply ice or heat; use a heating pad or take a warm bath. Read the “Management and Treatment” section for more tips. Interrupt any activity that may have caused the cramp and stretch the muscle slightly, gently maintaining the stretch.
You can even massage the muscle as it stretches or after you finish. If your calf muscle cramps in the middle of the night, stand up and slowly put weight on the affected leg to push the heel down and stretch the muscle. In many cases, the muscle contracts to such an extent that the entire limb or body moves physically, especially if they are larger thigh or calf muscles. By doing so, the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous system are activated to trigger muscle contractions necessary for normal muscle movement.
If all else fails and you continue to have regular muscle cramps, consider getting regular massages to help your muscles relax. If you're experiencing muscle spasms as a symptom of fibromyalgia, natural muscle relaxants, such as magnesium and cayenne pepper, may help. This is different from muscle contractions, a very mild, repetitive contraction of a muscle that can be seen or felt or not. But if you have frequent muscle cramps, and especially if you have other symptoms of muscle weakness or loss, it's time to see your doctor.
Although generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle. Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain, or simply maintaining a position for a long period of time can cause a muscle cramp. If you ever wake up at night or are suddenly stopped by a Charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain. From why they happen to whether pickle juice can actually stop them, here's everything you need to know about muscle cramps.
For example, older adults are more likely to experience muscle cramps due to the normal muscle loss that occurs with aging.