Most people have experienced the pain that is an involuntary muscle contraction, better known as a cramp.
Occurring after vigorous exercise and at night, cramps are more common when taking certain medications, hot weather and increase in frequency as we get older.
While it has been suggested that dehydration plays a role in causing cramps, recent studies suggest that a disruption in spinal cord signals (a pinched nerve) which tell the muscles to relax, lead to the pesky pain. When a muscle is used, it is contracted or tensed, so the brain sends a reflexive signal via the spinal cord to tell the muscle to relax afterwards. This is a handy ‘automated mechanism’ to prevent injury. However when your muscles are tired, these signals misfire, and there is no ”protective relaxing” so the muscle keeps on contracting causing pain.
Our top tips for treating and preventing cramps!
stretching the muscle is the most effective way to manually provide this reflexive action, disrupted due to muscle fatigue. You can see our stretching tips here https://fitin20.com.au/why-and-how-to-stretch-after-your-ems-workout/
Staying hydrated is important, since fatigue plays a part in cramping likeliness, due to loss of essential minerals. Electrolytes help the muscle cells function better before, during and after your workout, preventing cramps.
A magnesium deficiency can lead to involuntary muscle cramps, as it is an essential element that assists with muscle relaxation. The body absorbs magnesium the best through the skin, so a good magnesium spray or bath will support the normal functioning of muscles and nerve tissues locally and relief the pain almost instantly.
And last but not least, regular EMS sessions
Believe it or not, using sore muscles is the best way to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) and prevent cramping. Lactic acid is made during a period of intense exercise due to the drop in oxygen in the blood stream, as your heart pumps faster. It is this lactic acid which is causing the cramping pain. Ironically exercise is also essential in helping release lactic acid from the body, by increasing blood flow to those fatigued muscles, thereby reducing the risk of developing muscle cramps. EMS is extremely effective in this as the deep contractions allow the muscle to relax afterwards releasing the lactic acid. Don’t cancel your session if you have a pinched nerve, pulled muscle, minor DOMS or acute injury. We can help you find immediate relief with a remedial session!
Muscle cramp triggers:
- Poor blood circulation
- Working calf muscles too hard and too fast
- Not stretching enough
- Being active in hot temperatures
- Muscle fatigue
- Magnesium deficiency
- Electrolyte shortage
- Pinched nerve in your back or your neck