. Tuesday, September 30, 2008
  • Agregar a Technorati
  • Agregar a Del.icio.us
  • Agregar a DiggIt!
  • Agregar a Yahoo!
  • Agregar a Google
  • Agregar a Meneame
  • Agregar a Furl
  • Agregar a Reddit
  • Agregar a Magnolia
  • Agregar a Blinklist
  • Agregar a Blogmarks

Muscles That Go “Boing” in the Night

Most of us familiar with the felling. You’re sleeping peacefully, when suddenly you’re awakened by a stabbing pain in your calf or foot.

Medical books call these painful involuntary skeletal muscle contraction, but most of us know them as charley horses or simply cramps. Leg cramps affect millions of American and are not only a painful nuisance, they can destroy your chances of a good night’s sleep. They’re the fourth leading cause of insomnia, according to the journal clinical pharmacy.

Cramps are mysterious phenomenon, striking trained athletes as well as older people who might overdo physical activity on a weekend. Cramps occur while a person is resting, often at night, and affect the calf and foot muscles. Each cramps lasts only for a few seconds but can interrupt sleep nightly for a few a day or weeks, then mysterious disappear. In some unlucky souls, night cramps occur for month or even years. The affliction is particularly prevalent in people past middle age and in pregnant women.
Most leg cramps fall into of to categories; ordinary cramps, referred to as nocturnal cramps because they often occur at night; or cramps caused by arteries In the legs being clogged by cholesterol plaque. Lets first take a look at ordinary leg cramps and what you can do about them.

Why the Cramps Strikes

Ordinary cramps usually occur in the first few hours of sleep. For unknown reasons , your leg or foot muscles seize up.

But scientists have some theories as to why these cramps occur. Cramps are prolonged muscle contractions, brought on by command within the nervous system. Normally, the brain send a signal via the nervous system to a specific set of muscles. Ordering, those muscles to perform a certain task. Once the job is done, the brain send another signal telling the muscles to relax.

But a cramped muscle is already contracted, and instead of being told to relax, it is ordered by nerve cells to continue to contract, which sends the muscles into a painful spasm. This is why your impulse-to stretch the affected muscle-usually brings relief.
Scientist believe these prolonged contractions are a result of imbalances in the body’s supply of certain minerals, called electrolytes, which make electrical impulses in the nervous system possible. Among the most important of these are calcium, protesium, and sodium.

Circumstantial evidence support this theory. Cramps sometimes occur in athletes who over exercise or sweat profusely, suggesting that the loss of sodium in sweat plays a role in causing some cramps. Also, certain medications that affect electrolyte balance are associated with increased cramping.


cramps said...

Yup, leg cramps can be quite painful, like you said, a stab in the calf.

Custom Search