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Muscle Cramp

What is a Muscle Cramp?

A Muscle cramp is an involuntary, painful contraction of the muscles which produce a hard, bulging muscle. Muscle twitching, also called fasciculation is the result of spontaneous local muscle contractions that are involuntary. The muscle cramp usually only affects the individual muscle groups connected to a particular motor neuron.

What Causes a Muscle Cramp?

A cramp is caused by a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles. Often there is no obvious cause, but it may occur with over exertion or chilling of the muscles, as for example when swimming. It is uncommon for cramp to be due to a serious underlying disorder. In most cases, the cramp goes away within a few minutes.

Some common causes of muscle cramp are:

  1. Muscle fatigue
  2. Heavy exercise
  3. Dehydration
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Heat Cramps

Some rare causes of muscle cramps are:

  1. Drugs such as lithium
  2. Alcohol
  3. Inflammatory disorders such as polymyositis
  4. Tetanus

What do do if you have a Muscle Cramp

If you have a muscle cramp, try to stretch and then relax the effected muscle. Massage and heat may also help.

Visit Your Doctor

Visit your doctor if home remedies fail to help and if you have frequent or severe episodes of muscle cramping.

How are Muscle Cramps Treated?

Muscle cramps can be treated with pain relievers and muscle relaxers.

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