There are more than a few remedies to consider for treating severe muscle cramps, with massage therapy being one of the most powerful options available. In addition to receiving relief, massage therapy offers a host of additional healthy benefits.
Besides increasing blood flow to the muscles, massage therapy can also remove waste products and deliver oxygen and nutrients. As a result, cramps can be reduced in pain and inflammation by relaxing the muscles. This is especially good news for those who feel it the most in their quads. Cramp in quad muscle issues are huge red flags for many patients.
Moving down the leg, calf cramps are usually caused by sudden and sharp contractions of the muscle in the calf, lasting for a few seconds or minutes at a time. Muscle cramps can be eased by stretching gently in the painful moment. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can help prevent leg cramps, too. In fact, looking just above the calf, hamstring muscle cramps can be caused by a variety of similar reasons.
Massage therapy can ease tension and relieve cramps by relaxing the muscles. As a second benefit, this treatment increases blood flow to the muscles, which can help deliver oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products. Lastly, massages release endorphins, which are the body’s natural hormones that alleviate pain.
All in all, muscle tension is reduced through massage therapy, which may prevent cramps from developing in the first place.
Spasms and Attacks: Treating Severe Muscle Cramps
It’s fairly common for muscles to spasm or cramp, particularly in the legs — which means treating severe muscle cramps should be a victim’s first priority. Spasms can occur in any muscle, including your back, hands, feet, or toes. The duration of these attacks can vary from a few seconds to 10 or 15 minutes. Seeing a doctor may be a good idea if you have chronic muscle cramping.
Various muscles contract suddenly and involuntarily during a muscle cramp. Different muscle groups may be affected by these contractions. Affected muscles include those on the back of your lower leg, the back of your thigh, and the front of your thigh, such as your quad. Cramp in quad muscle problems are a big deal for many patients.
It’s also possible to experience cramps in the arms, hands, and feet, as well as in the abdominal wall. You may also experience aching calf muscles at night before or during sleep, or you might find it difficult to walk when you awaken due to the pain. Muscle cramps are characterized by a sudden sharp pain, sometimes lasting several minutes. Cramping can also be accompanied by a bulging lump of muscle tissue under the skin.
Overuse is an Important Factor
Overusing your muscles can lead to cramps. Ironically, exercise can be a cause of this, although that’s not a good reason to quite exercising. It’s how you exercise that’s important. Also, dehydration and muscle injuries can cause cramps. When the body loses excessive amounts of fluid, it is considered dehydrated.
When you exercise, walk, or engage in physical activities, you might encounter leg and foot cramping caused by reduced blood supply to those regions. Additionally, inadequate levels of essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium can also impact proper muscle function.
Muscle cramps can be caused by certain medical conditions as well. Alcoholism, pregnancy, kidney failure, and hypothyroidism are conditions that can cause cramps in your legs when walking or standing.
What’s interesting and sometimes frustrating: sometimes muscle cramps have no known cause. This makes treating severe muscle cramps the number-one focus for many young, middle-age and older adults.
Science Behind the Pain: Treating Cramps
Rather than being caused by muscles themselves, muscle cramps are thought to be caused by hyperactivity of the peripheral or central nervous system, which makes treating severe muscle cramps that much more of a science for pain management specialists and doctors. Muscle fibers may be damaged due to inadequate blood supply or even a physiological response your body produces when it senses low energy and metabolite accumulation in muscle cells.
According to studies, electrode motor units that deliver electrical impulses throughout your body fire at about 300 per second during involuntary muscle cramping. This rate is significantly faster than during voluntary contractions. Muscle tightness and pain are caused by this rapid firing rate. A cramp occurs when a muscle contracts even further while already in its most shortened natural position. In patients with well-developed muscles, or those in pregnancy and those suffering severe cramps, all groups of individuals are more likely to experience cramps in the absence of fluid or when suffering from electrolyte imbalances.
Since the general definition of a cramp is an involuntary contraction of a group of muscle fibers, you may develop them in any muscle. However, they typically occur in the calves at night. Muscle contractions may precipitate cramping. In fact, cramp in quad muscle complications may transpire after contractions in this area of your leg.
According to recent surveys, more than one-third of respondents nationwide say they experience aching calf muscles at night before or during sleep. As people age, they are also more likely to experience these cramping problems.
PAD and Treating Severe Muscle Cramps
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is frequently a cause of leg and foot pain at night. This leads many PAD patients to look into treating severe muscle cramps. The most common areas of pain in your legs due to peripheral artery disease are your calf, thigh, and buttocks muscles. You may only be able to walk for a short distance if you’re in severe pain.
The symptoms of peripheral artery disease are progressive. Pain may only occur during the day for some people. For others, they experience pain when asleep or at rest.
Blood vessel claudication is characterized by leg pain or muscle cramps caused by peripheral arterial disease. Claudication symptoms can be triggered by activities such as walking and climbing stairs; however, pain usually subsides after resting for a few minutes.
Peripheral artery disease reduces blood flow to the lower extremities — usually the legs and feet — due to blocked arteries. Quite a few people suffer from it. Approximately 15 percent of people over age 70 in the United States have been diagnosed with it, and several million younger Americans have the disease. Atherosclerosis is to blame in many cases, where coronary artery disease and heart attacks can both be caused by hardening of the arteries.
If you’re experiencing quad muscle cramping problems, it’s crucial not to delay getting tested and discussing treatment options with your pain management specialist or doctor. This is especially important if you suspect peripheral artery disease. It’s important to get diagnosed as soon as possible so your specialist can determine if minimally invasive treatments can slow down or stop the disease’s progression.
Treating Cramps: Massage Therapy & More
Even though muscle spasms are usually short-lived and not serious, they can be painful and warrant researching why so many other patients are increasingly treating severe muscle cramps. An especially effective way to relieve muscle spasms is to stretch. Staying hydrated and using home treatments such as massage, ice, and heat may also be helpful.
Physical pain from muscle cramps — especially hamstring muscle cramps — can also be relieved with massage therapy. The muscle that spasms should be gently rubbed. Or if you have a persistent lower-back or buttock spasm, try pinching the area around it hard for several minutes. If you cannot reach the area, someone else may need to pinch it.
Getting the Most out of Massage Therapy
In order to get the most out of massage therapy for different types of severe muscle cramps, follow these tips:
- Get a massage from a qualified therapist. People with cramp in quad muscle problems and other types of cramping should find a massage therapist who is qualified and experienced.
- Describe your pain in detail.Tell your massage therapist where and how severe your pain is when scheduling your appointment.
- The therapist should hear you loud and clear.Tell your therapist how you feel during the massage, explaining in detail. Don’t hold back. Let your therapist know if you’re experiencing any pain.
There are other treatments for general leg cramps and hamstring muscle cramps besides stretching and massage therapy. They include using hot or cold therapy, hydrating with water, light exercises before bed, anti-inflammatory topical creams, at-home hyperventilation therapy, prescription medication, and non-prescription remedies such as anti-inflammation drugs, pickle juice, supplements, and natural muscle relaxants.
Overall, you’ll need to find out the exact potential cause in order to find a long-term solution to your cramps. You should rule out potential underlying issues such as peripheral arterial disease or thyroid problems first. If you experience cramps that make it impossible to exercise, or if they seem to occur spontaneously without any cause, see a health care provider. Any underlying medical condition should be ruled out by a pain management specialist or doctor.
Wellness and Pain Can Help
A range of options for treating severe muscle cramps are available at Wellness and Pain. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. To ensure your well-being, we offer lifestyle education and home care guidance to prevent and effectively manage complications. Our aim is to promptly alleviate inhibiting conditions when you experience quad muscle cramping.
At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.