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Cramps - muscle
At the first sign of a muscle spasm, stop your activity and try stretching and massaging the affected muscle. Heat will relax the muscle when the spasm begins, but ice may be helpful after the first spasm and when the pain has improved.
If the muscle is still sore, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help with pain. If the muscle cramps are severe, your health care provider can prescribe anti-spasm medications.
The most common cause of muscle cramps during sports activity is dehydration. Often, drinking water will ease the cramping. However, water alone doesn't always help. Salt tablets or sports drinks, which also replenish lost minerals, can be helpful.
Other tips for relieving muscle cramps:
Call your doctor if your muscle cramps:
Your health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your medical history, such as:
Tests that may be done include:
Pain relievers (analgesics) may be prescribed.
Filho JAF, Pestronk A. Muscle pain and cramps. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:chap 28.
Brinker MR, O'Connor DP, Almekinders LC, et al. Basic science and injury of muscle, tendon, and ligament. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 1.
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