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Cramps are the uncontrolled contractions or spasms in the muscles that are experienced mainly in the limbs, but they can also affect certain internal organs of the body. This kind of involuntary contraction of muscle is very painful and it generally occurs after exercise or at night. Such cramp may last for a few seconds to several minutes and is a common phenomenon. If this type of contraction happens, stretching or massaging the affected area can help relax the muscle and the pain is relieved.
In Ayurveda such muscular cramps are linked to imbalance of vatta. So the treatment focusing on balancing vatta is given to the patient.
Characteristics of cramps can be described as:
- It is very painful
- When a person is struck by such cramp he must immediately stops whatever activity he is been doing
- Knotting and bulging of the muscles
- The cramped muscle may feel tight and firm
- In sever conditions the cramp is followed by soreness and swelling for several days
It is very easy to diagnose the cramp and people generally know when they have them. When a person is struck by a cramp one can easily see the tight, tense and hard bulge of the cramped muscle.
Nervous system is the root cause of cramps. This happens very suddenly and many times during sleep when a muscle in arm or leg is cramped causing acute pain. Such cramps can be a temporary or permanent problem. Situations that can lead to cramps include:
- Malfunction of nerves
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal cord injury
- Over strained muscles
- Deficiency of required minerals in body
- Lack of required blood supply to the muscle
Common herbs that can be used to relieve cramps:
Eucalyptus oil can be used to gently massage the cramped muscles, this will ease the muscles. Chamomile oil and fennel oil can be used to massage on the aching muscles after the cramp to alleviate the pain. Soaking the legs and arms in the hot water with vinegar in it can help relieve the muscles. If you are an athlete or do heavy exercises, you should take hot water shower before going to bed to avoid cramps occurring at nights.
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