How to Avoid Getting Muscle Cramps

DPotucekHow to Avoid Muscle Cramps  with Dave Potucek, MSPT CFMT

What is a muscle cramp?

A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. There are many different types and causes for muscle cramps. The most common cause is overactive nerves caused by a variety of factors.

  • Injuries cause protective spasm to minimize the movement and stabilize the area of injury
  • Vigorous activity can use all the energy (ATP) and oxygen in muscles causing them to cramp
  • Resting cramps can occur at night for no reason (pointing toe in bed and getting cramp)
  • Dehydration can cause cramps due to unusual distribution of body fluids
  • Low calcium and magnesium causes the nerves to be overactive causing cramps
  • Low potassium can cause cramps but is usually associated with muscle weakness
  • Many medications such as diuretics can cause cramping
  • Deficiency in some B Vitamins can cause cramps

What can I do for muscle cramps?

  • Typically stretching the muscle is the most common solution to a muscle cramp
  • Massage or soft tissue manual therapy techniques can reduce spasm (come see us at EHS)
  • Rehydration with water and electrolytes can stop cramping if this is the cause (think Gatorade)
  • MDs may prescribe muscle relaxers or use Botox injections for severe cases
  • Heat can be applied to tense/tight muscles
  • Cold can be applied to achy/sore muscles

Call your doctor if your muscle cramps:

  • Are severe
  • Do not go away with any of the above methods
  • Keep coming back
  • Last a long time
Elite Health Services, located in Old Greenwich, CT is a world-class provider of certified functional manual physical therapy, personal fitness, golf & triathlon performance training, massage therapy and wellness related services.  Our team of highly skilled and dedicated professionals take a no-excuses approach to providing exceptional care, and delivering exceptional results. To learn more visit

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