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Published by alexisblaken
For more information on Muscle Cramp please check this out; http://tiensshop.co.uk/Muscle-Cramp-c2_15.html
For more information on Muscle Cramp please check this out; http://tiensshop.co.uk/Muscle-Cramp-c2_15.html

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Published by: alexisblaken on Apr 26, 2012
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 ==== ====For more information on Muscle Cramp please check this out;http://tiensshop.co.uk/Muscle-Cramp-c2_15.html ==== ====Introduction Muscle cramping is probably an inevitable experience for most runners and other enduranceathletes and has to be one of the more common questions asked by patients in our sportsmedicine clinic. I'll cover the basics about the causes of the typical type of muscle cramps, as wellreview some of the medical literature regarding current concepts in treatment and prevention andtry to explain some of the myths and misinformation about cramps. What is a muscle cramp? Muscle cramps or cramping is a condition that most runners have experienced. It is usuallydefined as a spontaneous and painful contraction or spasm of a muscle or a muscle group such asthe calf muscles or hamstrings. Are there different types of muscle cramps? Yes, and also a number of different causes of muscle cramps. Muscle cramps occur in the well-trained athlete, the elderly and is also more common in women during pregnancy. Severeelectrolyte or chemical deficiencies or imbalances may also cause muscle cramping, in addition tounderlying neuromuscular disorders. The wide variety of people whom experience muscle crampssuggest that there are multiple or different factors or triggers for cramps. The most common type of muscle cramp seen in athletes is exercise-associated muscle cramps(EAMC). Surveys of marathon runners and Ironman triathletes have reported a prevalence ofmuscle cramps of 30-50% and 67% respectively (Schewellnus). What are the causes of muscle cramps? Schwellnus and others have suggested that EAMC is actually a result of muscle fatigue and notdue to other causes such as dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. Their current concept for thesource or etiology of EAMC is that an altered or abnormal spinal reflex activity produces musclecramping. As the muscle fatigues, the amount of relaxation time in between muscle contractionslengthens. If the relaxation time is too long, or a high rate of muscle contraction is required, suchas during running, then muscle cramping may result. Cramping may also be a protectivemechanism to prevent further injury to fatiguing or damaged muscle tissue. What about sodium and other electrolytes? Sodium and other electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium have been mentioned in the
past as possibly causing exercise-induced muscle cramps, although there is little evidence tosupport electrolyte imbalance as a cause. The original work looked at miners and other workersexposed to high-heat environment. Two more recent studies by Nicol and Maughan have lookedspecifically at endurance athletes and were not able to identify an association between musclecramps and changes in the blood levels of specific electrolytes. However, in some cases, runnersand other athletes that have an excessively high sodium sweat rate combined with a low-sodiumintake may suffer from cramps due to low sodium levels. Who is more likely to cramp? Which athletes are more at risk for EAMC? Manjra studied over 1300 marathon runners and foundthe following risk factors for EAMC among the runners: Older age of the athlete Longer running history Higher Body-Mass Index (BMI) Less time spent stretching, or irregular stretching habits Family history of muscle cramps Manjra also found that the marathon runners were able to identify certain conditions that eitherappeared to aggravate or precipitate EAMC. These conditions included: Duration (or distance) of running Increased intensity of running Running hills Subjective feelings of muscle fatigue or poor race performance. What are effective treatments for muscle cramps? Treatment for exercise-induced muscle cramps primarily focuses upon passive stretching of theaffected muscle groups, as well as correcting any identifiable muscle imbalances andweaknesses. Proper nutrition and hydration during competition and training are also important bypreventing early fatigue and susceptibility to muscle cramping. ReferencesBentley S, Exercise-induced muscle cramp. Proposed mechanisms and management. Sports Med1996 Jun;21(6):409-20Manjra SI, Muscle cramps in athletes, Sports Medicine thesis, University of Cape Town

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