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There are two basic causes of cramping. One is inadequate oxygenation of muscle, where excess lactic acid, produced by anaerobic respiration, builds up and puts stress on the muscle.The other is lack of water or salt. Cramps from poor oxygenation can be improved by rapid deep breathing, as well as stretching the muscle. Cramps from lack of salt and water can be treated by stretching the muscle, and of course drinking water and increasing salt intake. Pounding on the muscle can increase soreness.

Muscle cramps in particular can be treated by applying a soft massage on the cramped muscle, stretching the muscle and applying heat or cold. Heat improves superficial blood circulation and makes muscles more flexible, so some people find that heat is more soothing for muscle cramps than applying ice.

Electrolyte disturbance may cause cramping and tetany of muscles, particularly hypokalemia (a low level of potassium) and hypocalcemia (a low level of calcium). This problem can be solved by drinking electrolyte enhanced fluids, after strenuous muscle activity, and supplementing one's daily diet with a multi-vitamin, which contains potassium and calcium.

Muscle cramps may be a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Eating foods high in potassium, such as bananas, potatoes, and prunes, can help prevent muscle cramps.

Cramp
Muscle cramps are a common and painful condition;this article outlines some possible underlying causes and suggestions to help.

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