While I rarely have muscle cramps since I began my nutritional, exercise, and recovery “plan,” all my life previously, I suffered from pains. I felt that I could get through the cramps and did not pay much attention until they were decidedly worse. When I was younger, I did not know I had muscular dystrophy, so I did not think of it that much. However, when a doctor diagnosed me, I understood that cramping is a sign that your muscles are working too hard. It is vital to ensure that you recover most effectively from cramps to continue with your lifestyle. I will summarize many methods that I have used or could use to help suppress/reduce cramping.
The easiest way to relax is to sit or lie down. When you rest, make sure you drink tons of water and eat meals to give your body sufficient energy to help your muscles. Putting hydration tablets in the water can help you hydrate faster to have optimal recovery following an activity that causes cramping. Relaxing can take form in many ways, but I want to emphasize that you should listen to your muscles (when they are cramping, take it easy for a few days). To relax, I find it amazing to sit in my warm spa to help recover my muscles because the heat allows inflammation to die down and suppress the cramping. I sometimes play videogames with friends or read a book to take my mind off the tedious sensation. While I do things to relax, make sure you get up now and again to keep your other muscles active as that could damage them.
Epson salt baths are a great way to help recover your muscles. They loosen your muscles and reduce inflammation to prevent continuous cramping in the present and future. If you light a candle or listen to meditative music in the bath, it can prove to be a serene experience to ensure you feel relaxed. Doing slight stretches in the tub can help the cramping if that is something you want to try. In the bath, make sure to close your eyes and take deep breaths to oxygenate your blood and cells. The oxygenation makes it easier for your other organs to work and enhances the focus on muscle recovery.
Infrared saunas, saunas in general, and steam rooms are amazing as well. I will explain infrared saunas in a future blog, but it is a type of sauna that uses light to create heat. A traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air, which then warms your body. They are fantastic ways to help recover your muscles, but the use of infrared light seems to be more beneficial. Saunas help heal muscles, reduce overall stress by opening your sinuses, and flush out toxins through sweat. A steam room heats water to produce steam creating a sauna-like place with moisture. They both share the same overall benefits, but for me, I think the steam room focuses on breathing and skin health while the sauna focuses on muscles, joints, etc. Make sure to breathe well in these rooms and bring water because they tend to be very hot.
Using a vibrational device can provide better blood circulation to the targetted muscle area that can boost recovery. I find that my targetted muscles loosen pretty quickly and make it easier to stretch to relieve my muscles. Stretching while using vibrational devices is a perfect way to combine the two if you do not have that much time. On top of that, you can incorporate any roller to remove knots and encourage a release in tension. The hamstring stretch device, calf slant board, or traditional stretching methods (if it is a muscle you do not know how to stretch that is cramping search up a video on the internet and see if it works for you) should be enough assistance for your muscles.
I have mentioned the BEMER before briefly (I will write a blog on it soon), but basically, it is a device that you lay on, and it oxygenates your muscles. It boosts your overall energy levels giving your additional body energy to prevent cramping. If you wanted to help your body, you could put it under your mattress and run the sleep program through the night. Speaking of sleeping, using the Brain Tap device and listen to meditative/white noise music on any device (Sound and Sleep SE, Spotify, apple music) can boost how well you sleep. As you sleep, your muscles will recover and hopefully reduce cramping in the future and stop the cramping you felt the night before.
Any of these methods are great ways to help recover from cramps (some more than others), but there are more out there. I encourage you to research more methods to find a plan that suits you the best. By listening to your muscles, you can have a healthier lifestyle and still complete activities you want to do.