What causes calf cramps: The Facts

What Causes calf cramps

by kirybabe under CC BY


It is a common question these days – what causes calf cramps at night time or when you exercise? Asking this question probably means you have either experienced a calf cramp before or you have seen this nemesis to every athlete bring down an athlete in full glory in a race.

Yes, cramps can be embarrassing. At times, they can even rob one of a moment when they were destined to bask in athletic glory.

Whether you are a world class athlete or someone who enjoys moderate exercise, you can be struck by calf muscle cramps. Knowing what causes calf pain is the first step toward finding treatment options.

The first cause of cramps is dehydration. Yes, a lack of adequate water in the body will ensure that the muscles that are engaged at any one time lack a catalyst, or a solvent to facilitate their operations.

The net effect of this dehydration is that one ends up experiencing a contraction or spasm of muscles in the affected area and this is what is typically referred to as a cramp.

The second answer to what causes leg cramps comes down to matters of fuel. Specifically on what fuels the calf muscle. In this case, it is glucose that fuels the movement of the muscle and its absence is what is responsible for the contraction of calf muscles, and thus the cramp that one inevitably experiences.

The third reason for the presence of cramps in ones skeletal muscle has to do with matters mechanical in nature. Mechanics in this case refers to the functioning of the muscle. Matters mechanical go awry when for instance an individual puts strain on a muscle prior to warming it up.

Matters mechanical can also play out when for instance a muscle is stretched beyond its point of extension. This results in an initial cramp of the muscle and at worst could even degenerate into a muscle tear.

Finally, shock needs to be included in the causes of muscle cramps. Calf cramps can be exposed to sudden shocks. These shocks might include the sudden change in temperature occasioned by spontaneous activity. For example, you may decide to leave your warm house for a chilly run on a sub-zero day.

Such a shock can include the sudden consumption of energy in the calf region as when one is afflicted by a case of an adrenalin upsurge. And lastly such a change might be caused by way of an impact on the calf region.

This list of what causes cramps is by no means exhaustive. Many more issues are both documented and undocumented on what cause cramps. The main point is, once you know what causes calf cramps, then you are better equipped to deal with this problem.

Having an adequate reserve of food energy is one way to do so. And avoiding situations that would necessitate a misalignment of the mechanical functioning of the calf. These are the main culprits behind what cause calf cramps.

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