Muscle cramps are commonly known as charley horses. They occur when a muscle
suddenly and involuntarily contracts. Charley horses often occur during
sleep and can wake up an individual by causing excruciating, yet temporary
pain. Anyone can develop muscle cramps, although athletes and people with
certain medical conditions may be more likely to suffer from them. If
you’ve been experiencing muscle cramps, you might consider seeing
a sports medicine specialist to determine the underlying cause. You could also have
massage therapy to ease the tension in your muscles.
Overuse of Muscles
Amateur and professional athletes may be apt to develop muscle cramps because
of overtraining. The overuse of one or more muscles can lead to charley
horses by itself. However, overtraining may also increase the likelihood
of muscle injuries, which further increases the risk of muscle cramps.
Loss of Body Water
Many health problems occur because of dehydration, ranging from temporarily
debilitating muscle cramps to life-threatening heatstroke. A sports medicine
doctor may advise you to increase your water intake, particularly if you’re
exercising rigorously in hot weather.
Low Levels of Minerals
Mineral depletion is another possible cause of painful muscle cramps. Your
sports medicine doctor may recommend a blood test to determine whether
you’re deficient in certain minerals such as potassium, magnesium,
or calcium. If so, consider working with a nutritionist to improve your
diet. Bananas and oranges are both excellent sources of minerals.
Compression of Spinal Nerves
For some patients, muscle cramps occur because of lower spinal stenosis,
which is narrowing of the spinal canal. When the spinal canal is narrower
than usual, the nerves can become compressed. This can lead to chronic
lower back pain, along with cramping in the legs. If nerve compression
is causing muscle cramps, the cramps usually become worse with increased activity.
The team at
Manhattan Total Health provides solutions for all of your aches and pains. Our sports medicine
specialists treat patients with muscle cramps, ankle injuries, hamstring
injuries, and chronic lower back pain near New York, NY, to name just
a few. Give us a call at (888) 614-9257 to set up an appointment at one
of our NYC locations.