A muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle — often in the legs — that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes.
In a message sent Monday to UWindsor faculty and staff, Human Resources shared some remedies to stop muscle cramps:
- Massage the muscle that is in spasm.
- Take a warm shower or bath to relax the muscle, or place a heating pad on it.
- Use an ice or cold pack, being sure to keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Sports drinks can help to alleviate leg cramps.
When you experience a cramp in a calf muscle, try these stretches:
- While sitting, straighten your leg and flex your foot up toward your knee. It may help to place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and, while holding the towel at both ends, gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight.
- While standing, face a wall and put your hands on it as if you were trying to push it away. Keep the knee of the affected leg straight, the heel on the ground and bend the knee of the other leg. Lean forward.
Consult your doctor if muscle cramps keep coming back, interfere with your sleep, or are severe.