JUN 24, 2018 11:40 PM PDT

What Are Cramps? And How Can We Cure Them?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

 

Having cramps can feel like electrical jolts running through your leg. Cramps are more common as individuals become older. But, what exactly is a cramp?

Cramps can be demonstrated using an electrical machine where electrodes are placed on the skin that transmits electrical signals, “artificially” creating a cramp by forcibly contracting the muscles. Cramps are nerves in our muscles that cause uncontrollable tightening. There are plenty of theories as to why cramps occur and recent research is unable to pinpoint the cause. But, the studies seem to agree that the cure for cramps is stretching. Stretching overcomes the signals in our nerves and reverses the muscle contraction.

Additionally, it is believed that sleeping in a position that gently stretches your muscles might prevent muscle contraction and ultimately cramps.

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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