How to Get Rid of Hamstring Cramps
A cramp is a condition where you have that unpleasant and often painful sensation in your muscles. This condition can be caused by several things. It can be because of hyperflexion which is when your muscles get stretched too much. It can also be a result of muscle hypoxia which means that the muscle don’t get enough oxygen. Electrolyte imbalance (such as low potassium, magnesium or calcium) is also one cause of cramps.
Hamstring cramps is common among athletes especially those who run for marathons. However, given that our hamstrings muscles are responsible for walking, running and almost all general movements, we are not spared from this kind of condition. Luckily, there are ample of ways to relieve hamstrings cramps.
Cold then warm compress
As soon as you experience the cramps, apply a cold compress or ice pack on the affected hamstring. Apply the cold compress for 10 minutes, every 15 minutes for the first hour or two (depending on the severity of the cramps). After that, alternate it with a warm compress. The first compression is to alleviate the pain and to reduce the swelling. After that is settles, you would want to dilate the blood vessels by applying the warm compress. These compresses can be found in your local pharmacies or grocery stores.
Stretch and massage
Stretch the affected leg for a good 30 seconds. You can do that correctly by sitting on the floor or in any flat surface. Bend your torso forward until you can feel the stretch in your hamstring. Make sure that you do deep breathing while doing this and stretch slowly. That would relieve any constricted muscle present. Applying pressure by massaging the affected hamstring will help break down the cramp. So run your fingers through your hamstring in a circular motion. If it’s really a serious cramp, you can hire a therapist or an athlete trainer to do it for you.
Another exercise that you can consider is by laying face down on the ground. Once you’re laying face down, push your knee into the ground and hold it there for around 15 second. Continue to this 10 to 20 times a day. This is a great exercise to help your hamstrings relax when they are tightening up.
One of the causes of cramps is electrolyte imbalance so it is very important to replace the loss. Drink at least 16 ounces of water to fight off the dehydration. You can also drink any sports drink available as it contains live electrolytes, minerals and glucose as well. You can consult your physician for calcium, magnesium or potassium supplements.
Seek medical help
If the hamstrings continue to worsen and you just can’t get rid of them, there could be potential problems such as a torn muscle, etc. In order to rule this out, it’s best to meet with a doctor so that they can perform the necessary tests such as a taking a x-ray. If problems do show up, they may want to either perform a small surgery or they can even prescribe a pain killer until the hamstring cramps go away.