We’ve all experienced it. All of a sudden a tightening or painful spasm in your calf, thigh, foot most often but anywhere on your body. It’s painful and can get in the way of your workouts, daily activities and sleep. But whatcauses  muscle cramps? 

From webmd: Muscle cramps can have many possible causes. They include:Poor blood circulation in the legs, Overexertion of the calf muscles while exercising, Insufficient stretching before exercise,Exercising in the heat,Muscle fatigue,Dehydration,Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency, Calcium deficiency in pregnant women, and Malfunctioning nerves, which could be caused by a problem such as a spinal cord injury or pinched nerve in the neck or back

What can you do when they strike? 

Treatment of a Muscle Spasm–When muscle cramps occur, there are several things you can do to help ease them, such as massaging, stretching, or icing the muscle, warming the muscle, or taking a bath with Epsom salt.

For a charley horse in the calf or a cramp in the back of the thigh (hamstring), try putting your weight on the affected leg and bending your knee slightly, or sit or lie down with your leg out straight and pull the top of your foot toward your head. For a cramp in the front of the thigh (quadriceps), hold onto a chair to steady yourself and pull your foot back toward your buttock.
Eat more foods high in vitamins and magnesium and calcium.

Stay well hydrated.

Stretch properly before exercise.

In most cases, self-care measures are sufficient for dealing with muscle cramps, which typically go away within minutes. But if you experience them frequently or for no apparent reason, you should speak to your doctor. They could signal a medical problem that requires treatment.

Be mindful of any body aches, pains, cramps, etc. many times it’s a once or twice thing, other times it can be more serious. I journal my workouts and eating and always make note of new or different things. I can then track if things start to go wrong! 

How do you heal muscle cramps or pain?