Massage Therapy for Leg Cramps
What Are Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps, also know as a charlie horse, can be painful contractions of a muscle that happens without your control.
If you train hard, particularly running, at some point you may experience one.
The common site for a muscle cramp is in your calf muscles. The calf muscle group includes the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
What Causes Muscle Cramps?
The exact cause of a muscle cramp is hard to pinpoint, some of the factors leading to the same are as follows -
- Muscle fatigue
- Rigorius exercise
- Low potassium or sodium
- Very tight muscles
Severe muscle cramps can cause your muscle to tear, just as if it were a muscle strain injury
Trigger Points and Muscle Cramps
Trigger points towards the middle of you calf muscle are more likely to bring on night cramps.
Cramping can occur while walking or running due to poor circulation caused by muscle tightness.
Common Causes of Trigger Points
Climbing, walking up hill, and bike riding, can all overwork you calf muscle, causing myofascial trigger points to form.
Other causes include:
Swimming with toes pointed in a flutter kick
Long drives without using cruise control
Wearing high heeled shoes
Sitting in chairs that limit circulation, by putting pressure on the back of your thighs
Sleeping with your toes pointed, keeps you calf muscle in a shortened state. You may be able to prevent this by not tucking in the covers in at the end of the bed.
Trigger Point Massage for Leg Cramps
Trigger point massage can be used to help you rid yourself of leg muscle cramps. You can use the Knobble, a thera cane or supported fingers when treating the trigger points in your calves
Just remember to make it easy on yourself, and put your foot on the bed or a chair, saves your back
Deep stroking massage with your opposite knee works really well, either sitting or lying down.
Simply move your cramping leg down over your knee
Start at the back of your ankle and end at the back of your knee
You'll know when you find a tender spot, it'll hurt like heck.
Just go over that spot a few times, 6 to 12 short strokes ought to do the trick. Follow this up with some icing for about 15 minutes. Massage the whole area to get some blood flowing.
After a good massage, be sure to stretch.
Warning: Stretching can be harmful when active trigger points continue to make a muscle tight.
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