Cramps! Help

Muscle Cramps Are The Worst!😬

 Some people experience cramping while on their bikes trying to finish a ride. Some will be assaulted with the pain towards the end of a marathon with the finishing banner just in sight. Others experience this piercing pain when they’re trying to dose off to sleep.  Being a cyclist, I have participated in many cycling events and have seen riders on the side of the road, grabbing their hamstring, writhing in pain. Being a massage therapist I have seen calf cramps, foot cramps, side cramps, even little toe cramps while trying to give someone a relaxing, therapeutic or a sports massage. There are many ways and times that people will be overcome with cramping, but one thing is for sure, it’s awful! Often massage therapists are asked about causes and remedies of this agonizing muscle phenomena. There are many different reasons why muscles cramp, but often it is due to dehydration, muscle fatigue and/or overall imbalance of electrolytes. “Eat a banana.” can be a mantra of many when offering advice on cramping. Bananas are great, but if you don’t like them or are trying to cut back on sugar (albeit natural sugar), there are a surprising amount of choices that have just as much or even more potassium than bananas do. Try these:

  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. White potatoes
  3. Watermelon
  4. Spinach
  5. Beets
  6. Black beans
  7. White beans
  8. Canned salmon
  9. Edame
  10. Butternut Squash

So, what’s the deal with potassium? It is a mineral that helps enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions and the nervous system. All these functions, when running in good order, can help minimize or eliminate muscle cramping. For immediate relief next time you feel a cramp creeping up, try stretching, massaging or applying warmth to the muscle that is cramping. As an ongoing maintenance plan, keeping muscles strong by consistently engaging in an exercise program, staying flexible by regularly stretching, maintaining a relaxed muscle tone by using myofascial release techniques, staying hydrated and having the right amount of mineral balance will go a long way in preventing muscle cramping. Check back soon for more articles that will cover each of these topics in more detail. 

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Tammara Pasquariello
Certified Massage Therapist
Certified Personal Trainer

Massage Extraordinaire
San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club
4848 Tecolote Rd. San Diego, Ca
Appointments (619) 295-3516

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