Ouch! Most of us have experienced the pain of a muscle cramp in our lifetimes – when there is an involuntary spasm or contraction of the muscle fibres, causing sudden intense pain and/or twitching. Cramps can last for seconds, minutes or hours, and they can also recur multiple times before they finally go away. The feet and calf muscles are particularly affected. Medical researchers are still not sure of the exact cause of muscle cramps, but they are believed to be related to poor physical condition, mineral and electrolyte imbalances, dehydration and underlying medical conditions.
The minerals Calcium and Magnesium are important in preventing muscle cramps, as they are directly involved in muscle contraction, and may reduce hyperactivity of the nerves supplying these muscles. Herbs of Gold Muscle Resuscitation is a nice Magnesium formula, containing a number of other electrolytes and Vitamins for optimal muscle contraction and relaxation. If you feel that Calcium is more of an issue, then Nutra Life Super Calcium Complex Gold is recommended as it contains a nice balance of both Calcium and Magnesium. Electrolytes such as Potassium and Sodium need to be replaced after sweating, diarrhoea or excessive urination, as imbalances of these in the blood and tissues regulate muscle activity. Deficiencies in B vitamins, like those in Herbs of Gold B Complete Sustained Release, may also lead to muscle cramps.
One interesting study found that giving 100IU of Vitamin E three times a day (before meals) resulted in (as they put it) "prompt and gratifying relief" from the symptoms of leg cramps or restless legs occurring at night. Herbs of Gold Natural Vitamin E 500 I.U is higher dose, but may have similar effects.
Research Updates - June 6 2011
Dubowitz, V (2011), ‘Letter to the Editor’, Neuromuscular Disorders, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp. 235.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that painful muscle spasms and cramps may be linked to coffee consumption. Try drinking Green tea instead (as suggested in this letter) and see whether you experience a difference.
Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following products for Muscle Cramps:
|1. Herbs of Gold Muscle Resuscitation (150g, 300g) OR||1 ½ tsp in 200ml water once a day.|
|1. Endura Max Magnesium Rehydration Formula (330g)||1 scoop in 200ml water as needed.|
|2. Nutra Life Super Calcium Complex Gold (120 Tabs, 240 Tabs)||1 tab x 2 daily, 1 hour before meals.|
|3. Herbs of Gold B Complete Sustained Release (60 Tabs)||1 tablet with breakfast.|
4. Tigerbalm Red (18g)
|massage into the area that is cramping as needed.|
|4. Zen Therapeutics Tincture (50ml)||massage into the area that is cramping 1 – 4 x daily.|
|5. Herbs of Gold Vitamin E 500 I.U||1 cap daily before a meal.|
|6. Magnesium Soak Detox (600g)||Add one heaped cup to a warm bath. Bathe for a minimum of 20 minutes daily or as needed.|
NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements. Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.
For more information on Muscle Cramps or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.