Muscle cramps, commonly known as Charley horses, can be uncomfortable, but they can also be signs of deficiencies in the body.
Dehydration can cause the muscle cramps. Insufficient hydration can mean that the muscles are not getting enough oxygen and that there is a lack or imbalance of electrolytes or nutrients, especially sodium, calcium, potassium, or magnesium. This could be a side effect of diuretic medication, which aims to reduce excess fluid in the body.
Muscle cramps can also result from overexertion, or not stretch enough before exercise. Finally, the type of shoes might contribute. For example, changing from flat shoes to high heels. When these cramps occur while walking, it could indicate a circulatory problem.
- Stop doing whatever activity triggered the cramp.
- Gently stretch and massage the cramping muscle, holding it in stretched position until the cramp stops.
- Apply heat to tense/tight muscles or cold to sore/tender muscles.