Having a muscle cramp can be a painful, and sometimes perplexing, experience. These aches or “charley horses” can occur at any time of day, at any age, during rest or physical activity—all of which make it difficult to determine the cause and, therefore, treatment.

In this blog article, we’ll give you a brief overview of what causes muscle cramps and what you can do to manage them.

First, What Is a Cramp?

A muscle cramp, defined by the Mayo Clinic, is “a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles,” often in the leg, though they can occur in any muscle group. A muscle cramp can last from just a few seconds to 10 minutes, and muscle soreness following a cramp can last up to 24 hours.

Why Do I Get Cramps?

Unfortunately, many things can trigger a muscle cramp. Let’s look at some of the most common causes and what you can do about them:

  1. Dehydration: Know the signs and up your water intake especially during warmer weather and physical activity.
  2. Low potassium: Maintain a diet that’s high in the muscle cramp–fighting nutrient. (These portable snacks make it easy.)
  3. Too much activity: Avoid overworking your muscles, and make sure you stretch daily.
  4. Too little activity: Talk about a conundrum. Prolonged sitting also puts you at risk for muscle cramps, but a balance of activity and rest, along with stretching, can help.
  5. Medication: Muscle cramps are a reported side effect of hundreds of prescription drugs. Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking and their risks.

How Do I Manage Cramps?

For most people, muscle cramps don’t require medical attention. With certain dietary and lifestyle changes, you can likely take control of your muscle cramps and continue to live the life you want.

There’s also a safe and effective topical solution that’s available over the counter at your local pharmacy. Theraworx Relief for Muscle Cramps and Spasms is clinically proven to relieve muscle cramps whenever they strike and can even prevent them when applied daily. Get the facts and find a store near you.