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5 Ways to Relieve Muscle Spasms

Muscle SpasmsHave you ever been for a run, or even drifting off to sleep when it happens? The muscles of your calf, foot or back suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. It’s a muscle spasm–an involuntary contraction of the affected muscle…and absolutely no fun. Try these 5 tips for treating (and preventing) muscle spasms.

1. Diet

Spasms are often caused by a mineral imbalance, in particular a lack of potassium, calcium and magnesium. Take your vitamins. Eat lots of fruit and veggies. Even simply eating a banana (a great source of potassium) is actually a pretty effective treatment for some muscle spasms. Other good sources of potassium are: white beans, spinach, dried apricots and squash. For calcium, try: cheese, sesame seeds, tofu and almonds. Magnesium rich foods include: bran, cocoa powder, molasses and soy beans.

2. Compresses

Compresses can help to relieve muscle spasms of longer duration, especially back spasms. A cold compress will help with pain and reduce inflammation caused by the tensing muscle. Warm compresses can increase circulation and loosen the muscle up, potentially allowing it to relax. Don’t overdo it: leaving cold or hot compresses on for more than 20 minutes can hurt!

3. Wet Heat

Steam rooms and hot tubs are great means of relaxation, but there also a great way to relieve muscle spasms. Many gyms and health clubs offer these services, and some even have free trial opportunities with which you can use their facilities for one-time economical relief from your pain.

4. Massage and Stretching

If you’re lucky, that muscle spasm might actually be a cramp. You can quickly relieve cramps through gentle massaging and stretching. Don’t force the muscle into a stretch. Do use long, flowing massage strokes with your fingers around the cramped muscle. Once the muscle is loosened up, gently pull it into a stretch. You can also try this technique as a preventive measure for spasms.

5. Muscle Relaxants

In extreme cases, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants for muscle spasms. Muscle relaxants are not really a class of drugs, but more of a loosely-defined group of drugs that have an overall sedative effect on the body. The drugs act centrally (in the brain) rather than locally (directly on the muscles) and are more of a total body relaxant.

These tips should help the occasional bouts of pain. But, if you do have frequent and painful muscle spasms, be sure to see a doctor. The spasms could be the result of something more serious.

3 Comments to “5 Ways to Relieve Muscle Spasms”

  1. This actually answered my problem, thanks!

  2. This actually answered my problem, thanks!

  3. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. …

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Advanced Physical Medicine is a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic that offers pain management and rehabilitation to patients in Chicagoland and beyond. When it comes to healthcare, APM utilizes a variety of different specialists including medical doctors, podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors and neurosurgeons to make joint decisions regarding the best treatment for you. Each treatment plan is tailored specifically according to your needs. You see, at APM, we treat you as a person, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today and experience the difference with APM. We look forward to talking to you.