Treating Muscle Cramps
By High Desert Family Medicine
September 08, 2020
We all get muscle cramps from time to time. Maybe our feet cramp up when placed into tight shoes or high heels, or we experience muscle cramps after an intense workout; however, some people deal with chronic, recurring, and severe muscle cramping that can be painful and affect their daily routine. If recurring muscle cramps are happening to you, an osteopath can help.
Anyone can experience muscle cramps, but they are more commonly seen in seniors, athletes, and those who are overweight or obese. If you notice muscle cramping happening to you regularly, here are a few things that could be going on:
- You are dehydrated (common if you are exercising in the heat)
- There is an electrolyte imbalance in the body (e.g. sodium; potassium)
- You aren’t stretching thoroughly and properly before exercising
- Your muscles are tired (give ‘em a rest!)
How to Treat Muscle Cramps
While cramping can be a nuisance it’s usually not something to worry about and will go away on its own. If you are dealing with prolonged muscle cramping then you may want to massage the area, take ample time to rest, or apply moist heat to the area.
However, it may be time to see an osteopath if you are dealing with severe or frequent muscle cramps or if your cramps aren’t responding to rest and other home care. Sometimes muscle cramps can be a sign of other underlying issues such as hormone imbalances, medication side effects, circulation or nerve issues, or poor nutrition.
Osteopathy will focus on the root cause of your muscle cramps, ruling out potential nutritional deficiencies, health problems, and hormonal imbalances. Cramping caused by muscle tension is improved through regular osteopathic manipulative therapy. An osteopath can also provide you with a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises to perform on your own every day to ease cramping or spasms.
An osteopath also examines the whole picture when it comes to your health. That means providing you with nutritional recommendations, vitamins and supplements, and other natural and alternative methods to help address the causes of muscle cramps without just popping a painkiller when the problem arises.
Don’t let muscle cramps, spasms, and pain keep you from doing what you love. An osteopath can work with you to determine the cause of your symptoms to help you start feeling your best again.