Causes of Muscle Cramps - Are You Aware?


exercise. It can also happen while you are sitting, walking or even while you are asleep. Sometimes it has been observed that even the slightest movement that shortens a muscle can trigger a cramp. Although the exact cause of muscle cramps has not been determined, some researchers believe inadequate stretching and muscle fatigue lead to some abnormalities in mechanisms that control muscle contraction. Some factors that may have a role to play include exercising or working in intense heat, dehydration and depletion of salt and minerals (electrolytes).
An Overview of Muscle Cramps Causes -
Poorly conditioned body, over-exertion:
When a body is poorly conditioned, it is more likely to experience muscle fatigue, which can alter spinal neural reflex activity. Overexertion depletes the oxygen supply of a muscle, leading to build up of waste product and spasm. When a cramp begins, the spinal cord stimulates the muscle to continue contracting.
Heat, dehydration and electrolyte depletion:
The likelihood of getting a muscle cramp is more while exercising in hot weather as sweat drains your body's fluids, salt and minerals (i.e., potassium, magnesium and calcium). Loss of these nutrients could also cause a muscle to spasm.
Some people are more susceptible to cramps -
Some people are pre-disposed to muscle cramps and tend to get them regularly with any physical exertion. Those at greatest risk for cramps and other ailments related to excess heat are infants and young children, people over age 65, and those who are ill, overweight, overexert during work or exercise, or those on drugs or certain medications
It has been found that older people are more susceptible to muscle cramps due to normal muscle loss (atrophy) which begins in the mid-40s and is accelerated by inactivity. With the old age, muscles cannot work as hard or as quickly as they used to. The body also loses some of its sense of thirst and ability to sense and respond to changes in the temperature.
Even athletes are more likely to get cramps in the pre-season when the body is not conditioned and therefore more subject to fatigue. Often they develop cramps near the end of intense or prolonged exercise, or the night after.

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Muscle Cramps
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