What Causes Muscle Cramps?
- Mineral depletion - cramps may be a sign that your body has a deficit of one or more important minerals. Common culprits include potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The best solution for this is natural food such as a banana for potassium, salmon with a salad for calcium, and pumpkin seeds for magnesium. An amazing site for finding out your recommended daily intake as well as suggestions for foods can be found by clicking here.
- Inadequate blood supply - if your muscles are not receiving enough oxygen during exercise, they will produce lactic acid in order to provide energy for activity. As this lactic acid builds up, it can cause cramping sensations in the muscle tissues, but these cramps usually go away shortly after you stop exercising. Inadequate blood supply can continue even once exercise stops. There are several reasons for this including excessive training or ramping up training too quickly after being inactive or less active. The physiotherapists at Granville Physio can suggest appropriate training regimens to eliminate this problem and provide treatment to remove the ache and cramp sensation. Additionally, if muscles are left too tight the pressure they place on the muscle may be greater than your blood pressure which means the blood flow to the muscle will be less than required to remove waste products and provide Nutrition.
- Central nervous system fatigue - the central nervous system (CNS) regulates the interactions between our nerves and muscular system, which in turn allows our muscles to activate and function as they do. However, if the feedback communication with the muscles is overused, the CNS can become fatigued. When this happens, there is dysfunction in what is called the nerve-muscle reflex arc; muscle spindles become hyperactive, as the nerves that normally signal them to relax are inhibited. It is believed that prolonged sitting, poor posture, or even imbalances in regular movement and alignment can result in malfunctioning reflex arcs. Assessing biomechanical problems, IMS therapy, or even incorporating the use of orthotics or Sole insoles are all potential treatment options.
- Nerve compression - if nerves along the spine are being compressed, the tissues that they innervate can experience cramp-like pain. For example, if compression occurs in the L2/L3 region of your spine (which innervate the thighs), you may experience cramping pain in your thigh muscles as a result. Additionally, peripheral nerves may be compressed and cause localized issues which is the case in conditions such as compartment syndrome. Treatment options such as IMS therapy can be extremely effective in relieving both of these conditions.