Ahhh, the dreaded muscle spasm! Let’s see 3 ways to deal with muscle spasms.
Don’t they always come at the worst possible moment? When you’re dead asleep or in an important conversation, your muscles tighten and contract, and you can’t ignore the pain.
Muscle spasms are also called muscle cramps, and they can turn the toughest person into a crybaby. Everyone gets them at some point, but you can’t predict when they’ll happen.
All you can do when these involuntary cramps occur is treat the attack. Although we all do it, hopping on one leg and screaming isn’t an effective method. Instead, the next time your muscle spasms cause you pain, try one of these treatments to reduce the cramping.
The reason we stand up and jump around when we get a muscle spasm is that this action actually stretches the muscle. But if you know how to perform the correct stretches that work the different muscles, you can get rid of that cramp much faster.
Most of us know to automatically try to stretch the area where the spasm is occurring. However, sometimes, the pain that happens with a stretch is worse than the spasm itself. If you’re stretching the muscle wrong, you’re going to feel it fast.
Try these stretches for neck, back, calf, and thigh spasms:
- Neck spasms are often relieved with shoulder rolls. Circle your shoulders ten times by rolling them in front of you, then up, back, and down.
Next, repeat the shoulder roll in the opposite direction. Circle your shoulders backward, then up, in front of you, then down. Repeat ten times or until the spasm subsides.
- Back spasms can be some of the most painful cramps. To relieve them, you can walk around slowly. This loosens up your muscles.
If that doesn’t work, lie down and use a tennis ball placed under the cramped area. Sit with the ball in place as it works out your tight muscles. Move the ball as needed until all your cramps are gone.
- Thigh cramps can be relieved from a standing position. Hold onto a chair or other support item.
Bend your leg so your foot is angled toward your back. Reach behind you and hold your ankle, then pull up gently. Keep the position for 3-5 seconds and repeat until the spasm is gone.
- Calf muscle stretches are performed lying down. Stretch your leg toward your head by pointing your toes in that direction, and hold for 3- 5 seconds. Repeat until the cramp passes.
Knowing these stretches can save you major pain when your next cramp hits. But if they don’t work, or they happen a lot, there are other treatments you can try.
2. CBD Lotions and Creams
Some lotions or creams advertise that they can help with muscle spasms with their synthetic ingredients. CBD products do this naturally.
CBD, or cannabinoids, have anti-inflammatory properties that interact directly with the nervous system. Since muscle spasms are involuntary reactions from this area, applying a cream or lotion with CBD in it can help.
If you suffer from nerve damage and have frequent muscle spasms, a CBD cream is an easy way to reduce your symptoms. Keep your product in your purse or pocket, and pull it out anytime you feel a spasm coming on.
3. Ice and Heat Compresses
Muscle spasms that won’t go away might need an ice pack or heating pad to soothe the tightness.
If you use an ice pack, never let it touch your skin directly. The extreme cold temperatures could burn the area. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel, then leave it on the spasming area for 15 minutes.
Heating pads are also helpful to get rid of spasms. Keep a moist heat pack on the area, covered by a thin towel, for 15 minutes.
Heat often makes inflammation worse, though, so always follow up a hot pack treatment with 10 – 15 minutes of ice pack used in the same area.
Hot showers or a soak in a hot tub or bathtub are also good ways to get the heat you need to get rid of a muscle cramp.
An attack of muscle cramps is never fun and rarely predictable. Knowing how to treat it with stretching and hot or cold packs gets rid of the pain fast. Having a CBD cream on hand when you can’t stretch or relax is another smart option.
The next time you’re caught in a muscle spasm attack, use one or all of these methods to get back to what you were doing.