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Health Tip: Controlling Muscle Cramps

Suggestions to prevent them

(HealthDay News) -- Muscle cramps are common during exercise, and can be caused by factors including dehydration, not stretching properly, and fatigued muscles.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these guidelines for treating and preventing muscle cramps:

  • Always warm up before exercising, including before stretching.
  • Properly stretch your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
  • Stretch gently -- never to the point where you feel pain.
  • If you get a muscle cramp, stop what you are doing.
  • Gently stretch out and massage a cramped muscle to help relax it.
  • Treat tense or tight muscles with heat, and sore muscles with cold.
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