I have leg cramps, not only in my calves, but on front of my legs. What is this?

Long periods of strenuous activity sometimes lead to what is commonly called a muscle cramp. This occurs mainly in what is called our skeletal muscles. Our skeletal muscles are the muscles in our body that we can control voluntarily. These include the thigh muscles, the calve muscles and the muscles of the feet, all of which are most often the one's that cramp.

Simply defined, a muscle cramp is when a muscle contracts suddenly and forcefully. This causes excruciating amounts of pain to the person. Commonly the muscles that cramp are the ones that cross two joints. The muscles that fit this criteria are the calf (crosses the knee and ankle), the hamstring (crosses the hip and knee) and the quadriceps which also cross our knee and hip. These cramps don't usually last too long, maybe a minute or two, but the muscles sometimes take several minutes to come back to its original state. If the cramp is extremely severe it has been noted that it can cause pain even when a person is asleep.

It is beneficial for one to know the causes of what one is trying to treat. Hence, here are some of the causes of leg cramps. Like mentioned earlier the primary cause is thought to be muscle fatigue. Even a bit too much at the gym can send your leg muscles into pangs of pain. According to some research dehydration is also found to be the cause sometimes. Besides these common ones, carrying excessive weight, electrolyte imbalances, and certain kinds of medication may also cause muscle cramps in the legs. Interestingly, it has been observed that leg cramps are seen more in adolescent and people over the age of sixty five.

So here is what you can do to prevent these cramps from impairing your activities. If you are someone who exercises a lot or if you use your leg muscles frequently then drinking a lot of water or consuming a good amount of fluid is what will keep cramps at bay. It is, however, not clearly know how the two are related. But it is advisable to drink at the minimum three big glasses of water every day.

It is commonly known fact that stretching one's muscles can cause the muscle fibers to relax. This in turn prevents cramps. If you are following an exercise program that is causing this then make sure that you formulate a routine that gradually increases the amount of time you spend exercising. Trying to do too much in too short a period of time is harmful.

The most effective way to soothe a cramp is to gently massage it. This is often also the most effective way. You can also have a warm shower or bath as the heat of the water soothes the muscles.

answered by G R

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