If your calves cramp every night, you might blame the pain on a muscle tear or another exercise-related injury. Although you can strain or tear your calf muscles during intense exercise or running sessions, cramping can occur when you don't drink enough liquids or when you don't obtain enough potassium and magnesium in your diet.
The cramping can also keep you up at night or make it difficult to move or function during the day. If the cramping becomes too severe, it may eventually affect your feet, hips and ankles.
Here are additional things to know about the cramps in your calves and what you can do to overcome and prevent them.
WHY DO YOUR CALF MUSCLES CRAMP?
Like many other muscles in your body, your calf muscles need water, potassium and magnesium to perform properly. If you lack any or all of the above nutrients, you can experience cramps (involuntary spasms) in your calf muscles.
In order for your muscles to contract (tighten), they need potassium. Magnesium relaxes your muscles after each contraction. If you don't have enough magnesium in your body, your muscles contract and stay contracted. The contractions can lead to painful spasms or cramps.
You can also experience cramps in your calves if you don't consume enough water during your waking hours. Your digestive system needs sufficient water to break down and distribute potassium and magnesium into your blood. If you become dehydrated, your digestive system can't process the minerals properly.
Muscle cramps can occur during the day, night or both. However, spasms that occur during the night can greatly affect how your calves feel in the morning and throughout the day. The proper amount of sleep allows your body to repair the muscles, cells and blood vessels in your calves. Without sleep, your calves become cramped and sore. One of the best ways to stop the cramping in your calves is to change your lifestyle.
HOW DO YOU STOP THE CRAMPING IN YOUR CALVES?
You can do a variety of things to ease the cramping in your calves and improve your health overall. Start by drinking plenty of clean water and other refreshing liquids, including unsweetened white and green tea. The liquids remove toxins from your digestive system and blood, which allows your muscles to use its minerals properly. If you're a male, drink 13 cups of fluids a day. A woman needs 9 cups a day to maintain good muscle health.
onsuming watery fruit, such as kiwi, strawberries, and watermelon, can help hydrate your muscles and other body tissues. Overall, you need between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of fluids a day for maximum health.
Also, practice caution when you exercise or run. If you sweat a lot during each session, your muscles can lose minerals and water. Try to drink water throughout your sessions or immediately afterward.
The next thing you might do to ease your cramps is visit a chiropractor. Muscle cramps can eventually affect other tissues in your body. For example, if you limp or hobble to avoid the spasm in your calves, you may place stress on your thighs, feet or ankles. If you overwork these body locations, they can experience pain.
A chiropractor can possibly alleviate the spasms in your calves with massage, muscle manipulation and spinal adjustments. These types of treatments not only relieve the muscle pain in your calves, but they also improve your health overall. A chiropractor will help you select a treatment plan that works in your best interest.
You can treat, manage, or stop the cramps in your calves by contacting Brentwood Chiropractic for a private consultation today.