Cramps – How Can I Reduce My Risk?

Last week, we discussed why cramps strike and how you may be increasing your likelihood of experiencing them. If you missed it, click here!

This time around, we will be concentrating on what you can do to minimise your risk of suffering at grips of pain.

The general consensus regarding cramp incidence seems to be one of deconditioning. This can apply to every facet of lifestyle ranging from elite athletes, all the way through to office workers.

When we refer to decondition, we describe that cramps are most prevalent in over stimulation and fatigued muscles, that are exposed to working more than they are prepared for.

In a practical sense, preventing the likelihood of cramps could include:

  • Training for the possibility for the unexpected, rather than the ideal situation. Instead of training for a full 90-minute soccer match, train for the possibility of extra time.
  • Train as close as possible to performance conditions. An example of this could be training in conditions that mimic game day as closely as possible.
  • Eating the nutrients, you require to feed your performance. In a vague sense, ensure your body has the fuel necessary to perform where needed!
  • Intensity mimicking training. Try your best to mimic game day intensity.
  • Soft tissue treatment & post event recovery. This is used within elite organisations to minimise the likelihood of injury.

Similarly, it’s not just athletes who suffer from the dreaded cramp. Office workers also suffer through day to day tasks. Although it is not quite thought about, body preparation is also important for a day at the office.

  • Strengthen your core. If you find you suffer from lower back pain or cramps, you might have insufficient core strength. Work to strengthen your core as to not rely on other muscles for correct posture. Ask one of our therapists for exercises you could do in the office while you work, deskercise!
  • Ensure you are hydrated. Before you ask, coffee does not count. Drink coffee by all means but ensure water is the predominant fluid of choice.

But what can I do at home, you ask?

Why not try a magnesium bath? Magnesium can aid muscle recovery and decrease inflammation. Another suggestion could include using a trigger point ball, foam roller or pocket physio. These are great tools for in- between treatment maintenance. Best of all, they’re all available for purchase online or in-clinic.