Health Tip: Dealing With Muscle Cramps

Here's what to do

(HealthDay News) -- A muscle cramp can occur during virtually any activity, even while sleeping.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says the slightest movement that shortens a muscle can make it contract forcibly and involuntarily, leading to a cramp.

Here are the academy's suggestions for what to do when a muscle cramp strikes:

  • Immediately stop any activity or exercise that led to the cramp.
  • Gently stretch out the muscle, holding it in a gentle stretch until the cramp and pain subside.
  • Gently massage the muscle.
  • Apply heat if the muscle continues to be very tight or tense.
  • Apply cold if the muscle is tender or sore.
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