Soothing Ways to Relieve Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can happen during any time of day or night, and the tight contraction can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. For many, muscle cramps are a common experience, and knowing how to soothe the muscle spasm can make daily life and each night better. There are several things that can be done to relax the muscles, making cramps less painful and less frequent. Following are five effective ways to relieve muscle cramps.

Stretch Daily

When muscles are tense, sore, and tired, cramping may be more likely to occur. To prevent cramps and soothe the muscles after a spasm, stretch the area thoroughly. Sit in a comfortable position on a mat, carpet, or other soft surface and hold each position for 30 seconds, taking even, deep breaths throughout the stretch. Even if you only tend to experience cramps in one leg or other body part, be sure to stretch all parts evenly to better prevent cramps and ensure even flexibility.

Make stretching part of your daily routine, even if just for several minutes. This can be done at any time, whether it is when you wake up in the morning, after a workout, during a lunch break, or before bed. Over time, the muscles will be more relaxed and strong, and you will notice improvement in your flexibility.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most overlooked factors contributing to muscle cramps is dehydration. Dehydration and electrolyte deficiencies affect the cells in your body, which can cause muscles to cramp up. Carry a water bottle with you and make an effort to hydrate throughout the day, especially around exercise and if you have been sweating. Consume hydrating foods, such as watermelon, oranges, celery, and even soup.

Close-up pouring water into glass on a blue background

The amount of water you should drink varies depending on your gender, activity level, weight, and other factors that should be taken into consideration. Generally, the daily intake should range from 11 to 15 cups of water. Signs that you are dehydrated and need water include feelings of thirst, dry mouth, bad breath, dark urine, fatigue, headache, and others.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt products are great muscle cramp relievers because the magnesium compound eases soreness, tension, and detoxifies the muscles. Adding about two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath can relieve muscle cramps and achy limbs, and apply Epsom salt to area in pain while soaking to help draw out toxins that result in tense and sore muscles. Using Epsom salt about three times a week can do wonders for your body.

Using a Heat or Cold Compress

Holding a heat or cold compress is another way to relieve muscle cramps. The heat increases blood flow to the muscle and helps the muscles to loosen and relax, and the cold relieves injured, strained, or painful muscles and decreases swelling in the area. Using an ice pack for cooling and a heating pad, hot cloth, or microwavable pack, apply the heat or cold compress to the tense area for 20 minutes. This can be done several times a day if you feel the need.

Massage the Muscles

Massaging the muscles that are prone to cramping can relieve pain in the area and prevent future cramps by loosening the muscle and knots that may pinch nerves. If possible, massage the muscles daily for 30 minutes, especially in the hours after exercise. This will also decrease overall soreness. During a cramp, rubbing the area gently can encourage the muscle contraction to release.

Muscle cramps are incredibly unpleasant, and they never come at a good time. Taking these measures can soothe the pain experienced during a muscle cramp and make the cramping less frequent, improving the overall quality of daily life.