Why do we get muscle cramps?


Muscle cramps are when a muscle gets tight (contracts) without you trying to do so. The muscle gets tight and does not relax. Cramps may involve all or part of one or more muscles. The most commonly involved muscle groups are: back of the lower leg/calf, back of the thigh (hamstrings), front of the thigh (quadriceps).

Cramps in the feet, hands, arms, abdomen, and along the rib cage are also very common. Muscle cramps are common and may be stopped by stretching the muscle. The cramping muscle may feel hard or bulging. Leg cramps can occur for no apparent reason, known as idiopathic leg cramps, or as a symptom or complication of a health condition, known as secondary leg cramps.

Causes of secondary leg cramps can include: pregnancy, exercise, certain types of medication, such as statins, liver disease.

During a cramp, your muscles suddenly contract (shorten), causing pain in your leg. This is known as a spasm, and you cannot control the affected muscle. The cramp can last from a few seconds to 10 minutes. When the spasm passes, you will be able to control the affected muscle again....

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