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 Professor Paula Drosescu MD PhD
Societatea Romana de Medicina Sportiva

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    The pain of a muscle cramp is intense, localized, and often debilitating Coming on quickly, it may last for minutes and fade gradually. Contractures develop more slowly, over days or weeks, and may be permanent if untreated. Fasciculations may occur at rest or after muscle contraction, and may last several minutes.  


    Abnormal contractions are diagnosed through a careful medical history, physical and neurological examination, and electromyography of the affected muscles. Electromyography records electrical activity in the muscle during rest and movement.  

    Most cases of simple cramps require no treatment other than patience and stretching. Gently and gradually stretching and massaging the affected muscle may ease the pain and hasten recovery.
    More prolonged or regular cramps may be treated with drugs. Fluid and salt replacement, either orally or intravenously, is used to treat dehydration. Treatment of metabolic or neurologic disease, where possible, may help relieve symptoms.

Alternative treatment
Cramps may be treated or prevented with Gingko (Ginkgo biloba) or Japanese quince (Chaenomeles speciosa). Supplements of vitamin E, niacin, calcium, and magnesium may also help. Taken at bedtime, they may help to reduce the likelihood of night cramps.  

Occasional cramps are common, and have no special medical significance.  

Eating a healthy diet with appropriate levels of minerals, and getting regular exercise to build up energy reserves in muscle may reduce the likelihood of developing cramps. Avoiding exercising in extreme heat helps prevent heat cramps. Heat cramps can also be avoided by taking water and salt before prolonged exercise in extreme heat. Taking a warm bath before bedtime may increase circulation to the legs and reduce the incidence of nighttime leg cramps.  

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Professor Paula Drosescu, MD. PhD
Faculty of Physical Education and Sports
“Al. I. Cuza” University Iasi
December 2, 2009
Medical Cabinet Alternative Iasi
Associate Certified Coach ICF

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