Muscle Cramps Guide | Causes, Prevention, Remedies

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or muscle group, often causing pain and discomfort. Dehydration, overuse, or mineral deficiencies can trigger cramps.
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Sports Medicine | Hydration Techniques | Muscle Health | Cramping Muscles | Muscle Spasm Relief
Prepared by Lee Cheng, reviewed by Jane Cox

Muscle Cramps FAQ


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What is a muscle cramp?

A muscle cramp is a painful tightness in a muscle due to a sudden, involuntary contraction. Various factors may contribute to muscle cramping, but the underlying cause is often unclear. Muscle cramps may occur almost anywhere in the body, but some common areas include the legs and feet.

What are the symptoms of a muscle cramp?

A sudden, sharp pain, lasting from a few seconds to 15 minutes, is the most common symptom of a muscle cramp. In some cases, a bulging lump of muscle tissue beneath the skin can accompany a cramp as well. Muscle cramps have several causes. Some cramps result from overuse of your muscles. This typically occurs while you’re exercising.

What causes leg cramps?

Leg cramps are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that can last seconds or minutes. They affect your sleep, exercise routine and general quality of life. Some conditions and drugs can cause them, and there are risk factors you’ll want to avoid. When a cramp happens, try flexing the muscle, applying heat or ice and massaging the area.

Where do muscle cramps come from?

Muscle cramps may occur almost anywhere in the body, but some common areas include the legs and feet. People with digestive issues or menstrual cramps may experience muscle cramps in the abdomen. Muscle cramps are mostly temporary and go away on their own. Some home remedies may help longer lasting cramps pass or ease the symptoms.

What are muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions that occur in various muscles. These contractions are often painful and can affect different muscle groups. Muscles affected by cramps are often those in the back of your lower leg, the back of your thigh, and the front of your thigh.

What is a leg cramp?

A leg cramp is a pain that comes from a leg muscle. It is a muscle spasm, which occurs when a muscle contracts too hard. This is an involuntary contraction, meaning that the affected person has no control over how and when it occurs. It usually occurs in a calf muscle, below and behind a knee.

What muscles are affected by muscle cramps?

Muscles affected by cramps are often those in the back of your lower leg, the back of your thigh, and the front of your thigh. The intense pain of a cramp can awaken you at night or make it difficult to walk. A sudden, sharp pain, lasting from a few seconds to 15 minutes, is the most common symptom of a muscle cramp.

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