This article is part of the Health Conditions topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Cramps are a very common complaint, especially in middle–aged and older people. They often occur at night or when a person is resting and can be extremely painful. This can lead to disturbed sleep and wakeful nights.
The most commonly affected muscles are those at the back of the calves, but both the foot and the thigh muscles may also be involved. Usually it is only one foot or calf which is affected at a time. The cramp may last only a minute or two but the muscle may be tender for a few days afterwards.
There can be many reasons for cramps but one common cause is that the muscle does not receive enough blood. This could be because of diseased arteries or when excessive heat or exercise has caused sweating and salt is depleted from the body. Excessive alcohol can also sometimes cause cramps.
It now seems that the best way to treat cramps is without drugs. For many years quinine was prescribed but it is not usually advised these days because of the possibility of side effects. Stretching and massaging the affected muscle can be most effective once a cramp occurs.
It is thought that stretching the calf muscle during the day for even just a few minutes and especially before going to bed, may stop cramps occurring. If in doing so, you can work the calf muscle enough to increase the blood flow to the muscle, there is a good chance you will sleep the night undisturbed.
One easy way to stretch the calf muscles and to boost circulation is by using an AIRCYCLE exerciser while sitting reading, watching TV or having coffee. Many people have had success in reducing their cramps with this simple-to-use exerciser.
One day a woman phoned to say she had had her Aircycle only two days and had had two nights’ undisturbed sleep! Surprisingly, within five minutes of that call, an email came through from a person who suffered from restless legs saying exactly the same thing. “I’ve had my Aircycle only two days and had two nights’ undisturbed sleep.”
The Aircycle exerciser is a soft, inflatable which helps to reduce swollen ankles, joint pain and stiffness and strengthen leg muscles to enable people to remain mobile. It is useful for convalescent patients, travellers and office workers – anyone who sits for long periods and requires gentle exercise. It is now available in pharmacies. For more information or to order direct visit www.aircycle.co.nz or phone 04 569 5013.