When muscle spasms and/or cramps occur, you can ease them with a massage, place ice on the affected area, stretch, apply warmth, or even take a bath with Epsom salts added to the water.
Spasms in the hamstring (at the back of the thigh) or calf can be eased by placing your weight on the problem leg, and bending the knee (only a little); alternatively, you may want to lie down or sit with the leg straight, before pulling the top of the foot towards your head.
When spasms or cramp affect the thigh’s front (the quadriceps), one effective technique is to hold onto a chair, brace yourself, and lift the foot towards your buttocks.
As they say, prevention is better than cure – so what can you do to try to prevent spasms in the future?
- Make an effort to eat more foods containing calcium and vitamins (fresh fruit and vegetables, such as spinach, beets, and pomegranate). You should also avoid drinking coffee and other caffeine-rich drinks, as these can increase twitching.
- Drink plenty of water – at least eight tall glasses a day (more if you exercise, to compensate for additional fluids lost through perspiration)
- Stretch well before exerting yourself: take between five and ten minutes to prepare the muscles, using a range of movements
- If you smoke, quit! Nicotine is a mild stimulant, and has an impact on the central nervous system
Can Muscle Spasms Indicate Severe Health Problems?
While we’ve explored some of the less-serious health conditions muscle spasms may be associated with, multiple life-changing problems are connected with twitching. These illnesses are typically connected to the body’s nervous system, and can damage the nerves linked to muscles, which results in twitching/spasms.