PDHPE Assessment task 4 Muscular Cramps… Matt Tuza.
The Nature of Muscle Cramps <ul><li>At one time or another most athletes will experience a muscle cramp. Muscle cramps are involuntary and usually a painful contraction of skeletal muscle. </li></ul><ul><li>Muscle cramps will usually occur without warning and are most often in a structure that is actively providing muscle power at the moment of the onset of the cramp. </li></ul><ul><li>Muscle cramps are usually a warning to an athlete. As the muscle cramp is often a symptom of a more serious physical issue that requires attention. </li></ul><ul><li>Some common causes of muscle cramps include; fatigue ,strenuous exercise and overuse of particular muscle groups ,a failure to stretch or properly warm up prior to activity, dehydration, and the related problem of sodium deficiency, low blood sugar (glucose) levels, magnesium deficiency, calcium deficiency, the presence of the hydrogen ion that is a byproduct of lactic acid formation in working muscles, thyroid gland irregularity, kidney dysfunction, side effects of certain medications. </li></ul><ul><li>In order for an athlete to prevent a muscle cramp occurring the causes above should be monitored continuously. </li></ul>
Signs and symptoms . . . <ul><li>Signs of muscle cramps include the surface of the affected area will present as hard and contracted, with the skin appearing as if drawn tight over the muscle. A muscle cramp will invariably occur without warning. </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms include sudden sensation of uncontrollable and painful spasms in the muscle and muscle twitching. </li></ul>
Managing Muscle Cramps. . . <ul><li>Muscle Cramps can be managed using drugs and also without drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>There are several drugs available to help reduce symptoms of cramping. </li></ul><ul><li>Managing cramps without drugs. Passive stretching and massage of the affected muscle will help ease the pain of an acute attack. </li></ul><ul><li>It is thought that regular stretching of the calf muscles throughout the day may help to prevent acute attacks. Some people recommend stretching 3 times daily whilst others advocated stretching before going to bed. </li></ul><ul><li>Using a pillow to raise the feet through the night, or raising the foot of the bed may help to prevent attacks in some people. </li></ul>