DMR Therapy® specializes in releasing tight muscles that are prone to cramping in order to keep this problem from recurring.
A muscle spasm is a strong, painful involuntary contraction or tightening of a muscle. It can vary in duration from a few minutes, normally resolving on its own, to days or weeks, sometimes with possible underlying causes.
A muscle cramp comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. It most often occurs in the calf, sometimes called a charley horse. In addition to the calf, other muscles prone to spasms include the thigh, hamstrings, the hands and arms.
CAUSES OF CRAMPS
Are said to include:
- Poor blood circulation in the legs
- Overexertion, or muscle fatigue from overuse
- Insufficient stretching before exercise
- Magnesium, potassium or calcium deficiency
- Side effects of certain medicines
Home treatment can include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Stretching or massaging the muscle
- Warm bath or shower or heating pad to relax the muscle
- Ice applications
- Over the counter, such as aspirin, Tylenol, or Aleve
- Prescribed muscle relaxants
DMR Therapy® perspective:
Muscle cramps: Muscles work by contracting, relaxing and contracting again. That is their function. In the case of muscle cramps, the contraction is extreme. The muscle, rarely, if ever, goes from a relaxed state to an extreme contraction. In other words, cramps occur when the muscle is already tense. The causes listed above are normally just the triggers, the last straw in an already tense muscle. I’ve never had a case of a patient prone to repeated cramping whose muscles were not already extremely tight. DMR Therapy® specializes in releasing tight muscles that are prone to cramping in order to keep this problem from recurring.
Of course, that doesn’t mean one should ignore the triggers for muscle cramps.
Consider the possible triggers. Is it dehydration? Low calcium, potassium, sulfur or magnesium levels? Perhaps it is a side effect of a drug you are taking. All these factors are important.
If you get a Charlie Horse:
Stretching is recommended and may help, but much more helpful is forced relaxation of the calf muscle while stretching it. To explain: when a muscle contracts, the antagonist muscle (the one that moves your joint in the opposite direction) relaxes. It is an automatic response to keep the opposite muscles from fighting each other.
In the case of a Charley horse, you might be told to straighten your leg and pull your toes toward you in order to stretch the calf muscles. Instead of doing that, bring your toes up in that same manner, but by pulling them against resistance. Someone might hold your foot to resist as you try to bend your foot upward. In this way you are engaging the muscles of the shin area. Since the calf muscles are their antagonists, they will automatically relax and release.
Another thing that is also very helpful: Dissolve a pound of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) in a tub of hot water and soak the affected area. Both the magnesium and the sulfur relax muscles and can be absorbed directly through the skin.
Muscle spasms. Of course, working with the muscles is the specialty of DMR Therapy®; engaging the muscle in a way that allows it to relax. There might be some underlying issue that needs to be dealt with, but mostly these spasms result from overexertion, stress or an awkward exertion. Often the surrounding muscles must also be dealt with since these spasms seldom occur in isolation.