DefinitionMuscle cramps arewhen a musclegets tight(contracts)without you trying to do so. The muscle gets tight and does not relax. Cramps may involve all or part of one or more muscles.The most commonly involved muscle groups are:Back of the lower leg/calfBack of the thigh (hamstrings)Front of the thigh (quadriceps)Cramps in the feet, hands, arms, abdomen, and along the rib cage are also very common.Muscle cramps are common and may be stopped by stretching the muscle. The cramping muscle may feel hard or bulging.Alternative NamesCramps – muscleConsiderationsMuscle spasms are different than muscle twitches, which are covered in a separate article.Common CausesMuscle cramps are common and often occur when a muscle is overused or injured. Working out when you havent had enough fluids (dehydration) or when you have low levels of minerals such as potassium or calcium can also make you more likely to have a muscle spasm.Muscle cramps can occur while you play tennis or golf, bowl, swim, or do any other exercise.They can also be triggered by:AlcoholismHypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)Kidney failureMedicationsMenstruationPregnancyHome CareIf you have a muscle cramp, stop your activity and try stretching and massaging the muscle.Heat will relax the muscle when the spasm begins, but ice may be helpful 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 other medicines.advertisementThe most common cause of muscle cramps during sports activity is not getting enough fluids. Often, drinking water will ease the cramping. However, water alone doesnt always help. Salt tablets or sports drinks, which also replenish lost minerals, can be helpful.Other tips for relieving muscle cramps:Change your workouts so that you are exercising within your ability.Drink plenty of fluids while exercising and increase your potassium intake (orange juice and bananas are great sources of potassium).Stretch to improve flexibility.Call your health care provider ifCall your doctor or nurseif your muscle cramps:Are severeDo not go away with simple stretchingKeep coming backLast a long timeWhat to expect at your health care providers officeYour doctor or nurse will examine you and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history, such as:When did the spasms first begin?How long do they last?How often do you experience muscle spasms?What muscles are affected?Is it always the same location?Are you pregnant?Have you been vomiting, had diarrhea, excessive sweating, excessive urine volume, or any other possible cause of dehydration?What medications do you take?Have you been exercising heavily?Have you been drinking alcohol heavily?Blood tests may be done to check for the following:Calcium, potassium, or magnesium metabolismKidney functionThyroid functionPain medicines may be prescribed.ReferencesWang LH,Pestronk A. Muscle pain and cramps In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 26.Brinker MR, OConnor 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 Drezs Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 1.Review Date:8/14/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
Alan Cumming was presented with PETA’s Humanitarian Award at a special bash on Sunday at South Florida’s gourmet vegan eatery, Sublime Restaurant & Bar.The Cabaret and Good Wife star was recognized for his efforts to help animals, including by calling on the controversial Miami Seaquarium to free the marine park’s lone orca, Lolita, just last week; starring in PETA’s Not a Dairy Queen pride poster campaign advocating for plant-based treats; and appearing in the group’s vegetarian icon postage stamp series, among other compassionate actions.“Alan Cumming is more than living proof of the energy and youthfulness that come from going vegan — he’s a tireless advocate for animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “As his cheeky PETA campaigns show, he’s not afraid to turn heads if it means inspiring others to make kind choices.”Earlier last week, PETA selected the Top 10 Vegan Sweet Treats from restaurants and bakeries across the U.S., and Sublime landed the top spot, winning the Best Vegan Sweet Treat Award, thanks to its decadent Chocolate Nirvana cake.
Singer Miley Cyrus has been vocal about her take on Taylor Swift’s work and now she has made her choice more clear by denying any chance of joining Swift’s bunch of friends.The Wrecking Ball hitmaker, who recently hosted the VMA’s said while Swift, 25,