Orthopedics and Traumatology

Why am I having Muscle Cramps?

Muscle Cramps happen when your muscles involuntary contracts and cannot relax, usually, you can treat them yourself

Why am I having Muscle Cramps?
A muscle cramp always feels like an unpleasant surprise. The contraction of one or more muscles involuntarily strikes without warning. And whether it manifests itself as a cramp in the middle of the night or a spasm in the back when reaching for an everyday object, it can be painful. A muscle cramp can be a common symptom of many things, such as exercise stress or a medical condition. 
Although usually harmless, muscle cramps can temporarily make it impossible to use the affected muscle. Muscle cramps usually go away without treatment.

Sudden, sharp pain, feeling of a small, hard lump in the muscle tissue.
Most muscle cramps occur in the leg (calf) muscles.

Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle tension, or just holding one position for too long can cause a muscle cramp. 
While most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to undiagnosed conditions, such as:
  • Inadequate blood supply
  • Compressed nerves in the spine: may produce pain similar to leg cramps. The pain is usually worse when you walk
  • Reduced minerals: Insufficient calcium, potassium, or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Diuretics are one cause of mineral depletion
  • Hypothyroidism: A less active than normal thyroid gland can cause muscle cramps
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women commonly experience leg cramps caused by low electrolyte levels, circulation pressure, and pressure on nerves by the growing baby
  • Aging: As we age, loss of muscle mass can put increased pressure on muscles

  • Drink plenty of fluids daily, avoid dehydration: Fluids help muscles contract and relax, and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. Take extra care when you are physically active or in hot weather.
  • Stretch your muscles: Before and after physical activity stretch your muscles. Light exercise, such as walking for a few minutes before going to bed, can help prevent cramps while you sleep.

When to see your doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor, If your cramps cause some of following symptoms:
  • Severe, immobilizing pain
  • Swelling, redness, or skin changes on the legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • If the cramps are frequent
  • If the cramps don’t get better with self-care
  • If the cramps are not related to an apparent cause, like exhausting exercise
It is essential to consult an Orthopedic or Traumatology specialist to diagnose any problems related to Muscle Cramps and muscle aches and start treatment to control your symptoms.
When consulting your Orthopedist or Traumatologist, try to keep a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.

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