How to treat a muscle cramp

Cramps can be a real nightmare, especially when they wake you at night. Muscle cramps happen when a muscle involuntarily contracts on it's own. Usually, you feel a hard lump at the point of pain, that's the contracted muscle. Cramps usually occur for a reason, if you haven't strained a muscle, you're probably cramping because your muscle is fatigued or over-used. Treating a muscle cramp goes thus:

1. Stretching.

Relax the cramping muscle. Stop any activity that may have induced the cramp and lightly stretch the muscle, gently holding the stretch. You may even massage the muscle while or after you stretch. 

2. Magnesium.

If you regularly have leg cramps that are not related to a more serious condition, you might try adding more magnesium to your diet. Nuts ands seeds are excellent sources of magnesium. 

3. Hot soak.

Physical therapists also recommend magnesium on the outside of your body in the form of Epsom salts. This old-school remedy can be applied to a wet cloth and pressed onto a cramped muscle or you can add some to a hot bath for a hot soak. 

4. Hydration. 

Another possible way to stop leg cramps is to hydrate. It might take a little longer to address your pain, but once you have had water, you could prevent another cramp. 

5. Get moving. 

If you are experiencing leg cramps, the best thing that you can do is walk around. This will send the signal that your muscle needs to contract and then relax.

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