What is it?
A muscle cramp is an uncontrollable and painful spasm of a muscle. 1 in 3 adults will experience muscle cramps with some forced to restrict their normal activities. A muscle cramp feels like a significant tightness in the muscle belly of the effected muscle.
What causes it?
The exact cause is unknown although there are several risk factors including:
-Poor physical condition- overexertion of the effected muscle due to poor strength and biomechanics.
-Dehydration- Decreased electrolytes in the body to help revitalise the muscles.
-Muscular fatigue- excessive use, or inappropriate biomechanics.
-Restricted blood flow- Common in those who are at risk of clots/deep vein thrombosis such as those who have recently undergone surgery or in later stage diabetes or are have a larger BMI.
-Nerve condition- Pressure from nerves in the spine or hip, or a neurological condition may cause activation of the muscle inappropriately.
- Hormone or chemical imbalances- Such as during pregnancy/menstruation or in those with thyroid concerns. It could also be due to your current prescribed medications.
How is it treated?
- Targeted strengthening and/or stretching programs to enable efficient biomechanical loading throughout gait can be undertaken by Bounce Podiatry.
- Laser therapy to allow further stretching of tight musculature can be undertaken by Bounce Podiatry. This will help to increase the efficiency of the muscle.
- Dry needling can be utilised to help free pressure points, or knots, in the muscle.
- Footwear specific to your foot type and footwear education.
- Graduated return to activity exercise program designed by your Bounce Podiatry podiatrist.
Other treatment options?
- Assessment for electrolyte imbalances by your GP for may indicate that you require mineral or vitamin supplements or a prescription medication.
- Increase your water intake
- Warm up and cool down when undertaking exercise.
- Review of your current medications by your GP or pharmacist.