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What is Understood About Muscle Cramps and Spasms

Muscle cramps and uncontrollable spasms in the legs, feet, and hands have managed to remain mostly a mystery to medicine and science. People commonly experience such a cramp while they are sleeping, or during athletics or physical activity. The affected muscle tightens to a point of agony, and it can stay that way for hours. This can happen to pretty much any muscle, and to a person of any age, even young children, but about 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience cramps in the legs regularly.

When the pain subsides, your muscle will feel weak or even sore and the wrong movement could set off another one at any moment. Many people claim that it is the most horrible pain they've ever felt in their lives and absolutely dread going to sleep at night for fear of having another incident.

In sports, muscle cramps are the single-most commonly occurring injury. Sometimes, the cramps won't present themselves until later, when the sporting event or other physical activity has already come and gone, but there are many times when they show up early and athletes are forced to sit out of entire games because of uncontrollable cramping, usually in their legs. This fact supports the idea that physical exercise certainly plays a role in cramping, but there also seems to be another type of cramp that happens, perhaps, for no reason at all. Many of us who are not involved in sports or intense physical activity have horrible pains and cramps in the legs at night, ranging from once or twice a month to nearly every night for weeks and, in some cases, only a few isolated incidents after years or even decades of not having them.

This medical phenomenon has existed for hundreds of years. Today, half of all people over the age of 80 get leg cramps regularly, and nobody can tell them exactly why. In fact, we aren't even sure exactly how the Amish formula that was given to us is able to stop these cramps so quickly and prevent them from happening, but it does.

Calf, Thigh, and Foot Cramps

The muscles throughout your legs and feet seem to be the most susceptible to these sudden and mostly unexplainable pains, especially at night while sleeping. Most physical activity tends to rely very heavily on the legs, so it's not at all uncommon to see a professional athlete on the bench coping with terrible pains, or to have your trip to the gym or time at the park with your children cut short because you've got no way to alleviate one of these cramps.

The leg muscles seem to be the most prone to cramping when you are lying down asleep. Just as your limbs will often “fall asleep” and begin to tingle due to non-movement or compression of the nerves in bed, muscle cramps in the legs and feet are just as likely to plague your nights, perhaps for some of the same reasons.

All of the muscles in your legs and feet work in coordination with each other. Bending your foot forwards or backwards at the ankle will apply pressure to the muscles in either side of your leg, and bending your leg at the knee to pull your toes back towards your buttocks will stretch the muscles in the front of your thigh. The weight applied to your feet as you walk, bend, and move is distributed throughout your entire leg, using more muscles than you can count on all of your fingers and toes for every step.

Because of this, conditions such as being flat-footed or even just wearing improper footwear can lead to severe cramping in your calves. Slight movements in your feet and toes can also be what causes some cramps – these often happen despite your wishes while you are sleeping, and it isn't understood why your leg muscles respond to this movement by cramping.

Hand Cramps

Hand cramps are a bit different from those that happen in other areas because they will usually happen after holding your hand or fingers in a certain way for an extended period of time, or after tiring the muscles in your hands out by sewing, writing or drawing by hand, washing dishes, or doing a similar activity for work or leisure. Put simply, it is usually a lot easier to pair a cause with your hand cramps than it is with those in the legs, but there are still many phantom incidents that seem to happen for no reason at all. Since the muscles in your hands are very small, the pain is usually more bearable than that of a cramp in a larger muscle like your calf, but they can still greatly impair your ability to continue what you were doing. And, usually, once you get one hand cramp, you'll keep getting them whenever you try to use your hands again for a while.

Taxi drivers and truck drivers who have to grip their steering wheel all day long sometimes have problems with their hands cramping up, and you can actually find our product sold (and sold out) at many truck stops throughout the country for this exact reason. Race car and motorcycle drivers also experience hand cramping.

What Causes These Cramps?

There has been much speculation as to the cause behind these pains. Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium are necessary for proper muscle function, and some believe that a lack of these minerals in your diet can increase your chances of getting a cramp or spasm. Poor blood circulation and dehydration may also contribute to the occurrence of cramps, as this would prevent these and other nutrients from reaching your muscles.

There are a number of underlying medical conditions that may be related to muscle cramping and spasms in the legs, feet, and hands, such as:

·       Lead poisoning

·       Parkinson's disease

·       Issues with the kidney

·       Having an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)

·       Excessive alcohol or tobacco usage

·       Peripheral artery disease

·       Various medications (ask your doctor)

·       Pregnancy, particularly during the 2nd and 3rd trimester

Pushing a muscle to its limits can lead to a horrendous Charlie horse, evidenced by athletes in every sport. On the other hand, neglecting to exercise a muscle is also believed to increase the likelihood of that specific muscle cramping. The muscles most commonly affected are in your calves, thighs, feet, and hands.

While all this may be true, that vitamin and mineral deficiencies, problems with blood circulation, dehydration, various medical conditions, and an excess or lack of exercise can all cause or contribute to the problem, people that maintain all of these factors pretty well still experience unexplained muscle cramps. What's more, many get them in the middle of the night while they're sleeping, and on a day in which they did nothing out of routine.

What Can Modern Medicine Offer?

Conventional pain relievers and muscle relaxant medications are generally unable to provide much relief from common muscle cramping. By the time the medication arrives in your bloodstream, which usually takes about 30 or 40 minutes, the worst part of your cramp will have come and gone. Also, many medications can worsen some of the symptoms that are believed to contribute to the cramping in the first place.

There was a time when something called Quinine, a drug originally used to treat malaria, was prescribed by doctors for those suffering from nocturnal and/or frequent leg cramps because it was thought to help. In 2010, the FDA released a report that showed serious complications associated with using quinine for leg cramps, even death, and the prescriptions stopped. Four years prior, in 2006, the World Health Organization had also removed its recommendation on quinine for treating malaria due to similar complications, and advised that it only be used in the most severe of situations.

In America, all "non-approved" quinine has been banned, but it is still available under the brand name of Qualaquin. You can also still find it in small amounts on the ingredient lists of some of the online and over-the-counter products for leg cramps even though this is not an FDA-approved use of the drug.

While you won't find our Amish remedy at your doctor's office, you will find it in the homes of many doctors and medical practitioners who want the fastest, organic & natural relief that you can get from any kind of muscle cramp.