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You find yourself sleeping peacefully, in the middle of a swimming class or excited about your exercise session, and you regret a pain ache appropriates one of your muscles. Do not panic, it is simply a cramp, that is a contraction or muscle spasm. It is usually harmless and doesn´t need a specific medical treatment, as it disappears as soon as the muscle relaxes. But how to combat this annoying feeling?
Although some cramps, especially stomach cramps, can be caused by poisoning or serious illness, most cramps we feel in our legs or arms are caused by a mere harmless contraction. The reason is still under discussion, as there are several theories about the causes of cramps.
On the one hand, it hasn´t yet been possible to prove for sure that these, as is often believed, are actually the product of the release of lactic acid in the muscles or the loss of minerals.
On the other hand, everything seems to point to the point that excess exercise in a given limb can produce an overexcitation of motor neurons, thus leading to inhibition of the nervous system that these neurons command, causing muscle spasm , although this is still under study.
But as Science draws a conclusion, cramps remain in our lives, causing us to wake up startled or abruptly interrupt our sports routines. For this reason we want to provide you with some of the most common methods, used by most athletes and people, to reduce muscle pain and contraction. Here are the most effective methods for combating cramps:
1) If the cramp arises in a leg, either in the calf or thigh, it is recommended that the person stand up and place his foot without footwear on the flat floor. Normally this action relaxes the leg. If you are in the pool it is recommended that if you are in the lower part look to place your foot at the bottom of the pool, standing at it. If you’re in the deep end, you’d better ask your instructor or lifeguard for help, so that it helps you out of the water, once you’re out, try to stand up, so that your cramp backs up.
2) If the pain is very severe (there are more severe cramps than others) test by applying cold to the affected area. You can help yourself with an ice pack, which you’ll put on the cramped muscle, so that the cold can help the muscle relax.
3) Some people recommend relaxing muscle through stretches. However, sometimes the remedy can be worse than the disease, and stretching can lead to cramping repeating or intensifying, placing the muscle at risk of injury. The recommendation is to do this type of stretching before starting your exercise routine or some activity that involves physical exertion, in order to prevent cramps. If it happens, you’d better apply the first two techniques, and resort to stretching only when the cramp is gone.
4) If the cramp ever appears your calf doesn´t seek to put your foot on tip, that is, avoid stretching your leg. Conversely, if you can’t get up to place your foot on the flat floor, then on the floor or bed, look for grabbing the tip of your toes and attracting your foot to you, in order to relax the muscle.
5) In the event that the cramp appears on the thigh, at the back of the thigh, it is advisable that you hold the leg between the two hands and move the leg meat as if you were beating it, that is, from one side to the other. You can also move your hands in the form of circles, so that the muscle relaxes.
6) Prescribed creams for trauma or pain may be useful in the treatment of cramps. If the pain is very acute, apply the cream to the affected area and apply it in circular motions that may help the muscle to come out of the cramp. However you should keep in mind that the incidence of this type of creams is not proven on cramps, it may influence the movement more during its application than actually the substance.
7) It is also recommended that after a cramp the person take a hot water bath, as this will help the muscles to relax and look for their natural position and tension. If this bath could be soaked in a bathtub it would be much better. After bathing it is recommended to use some type of balm for muscle aches, which will be much more effective after bathing.
8) Another recommended treatment to decrease muscle tension present in the cramp is based on applying isopropyl alcohol to the area to relax. It should be applied directly to the skin (provided you are sure that you do not have any unfavorable reaction to this substance) and rub in a circular form. The heat alcohol can bring plus hand movement can help reduce discomfort.
9) Cramps are thought to be caused by lack of fluids. Although this has not yet been proven, it is never more to properly hydrate before, during and after exercise, as well as at any time of the day, as dehydration can lead to severe damage to our organs and health.
As mentioned at the beginning, cramps are almost always harmless. If you are constant, extremely painful or if on the contrary don´t decrease easily, you need to consult with your doctor, as some cramps are related to circulatory problems. It should also be noted that the treatments described here are merely suggestions compiled from popular practices, and that in no case can replace the diagnosis or opinion given by a medical professional.
Image source: diarioextra.com
August 25, 2019