Whether you are in the midst of working out or sound asleep, when a muscle cramp hits, the pain can be excruciating. You can sometimes be completely immobilized by the clenching muscle, unable to do anything until the cramp goes away.
Muscle cramps can sometimes seem impossible to resolve. You may have tried rubbing them out, stretching and drinking sports drinks, but you still can't find relief. Check out these seven ways to find relief from your cramps.
1. Heating pad. For some muscle cramps, heat is an effective way to relieve the cramp. The Mayo Clinic recommends using a heating pad on the muscle or putting ice on it if that feels better.
2. Wintergreen oil. To help stimulate the blood and ease the pain, Reader's Digest Best Health recommends massaging a mixture of 1 part wintergreen oil and 4 parts vegetable oil into the muscle cramp. Avoid applying heat while using the mixture because it could burn skin.
3. Epsom salt. A soak in a hot bath might do some good to help relax all of your muscles. Reader's Digest Best Health says to add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the water for some extra relief.
4. Vitamin B complex. The Mayo Clinic recommends increasing your intake of vitamin B complex as you might have a deficiency.
5. Water. If cramps tend to hit when you're working out, Reader's Digest Best Health says to drink 2 cups of water before working out. Dehydration is often a cause of cramps, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
6. Mustard. A rather unusual remedy is offered up by eDrugSearch. A teaspoon of mustard taken by mouth is said to give very fast relief. The theory is that the mustard overloads the nerves in the mouth so that the pain receptors can't communicate with the brain.
7. Pickle juice. The People's Pharmacy says to take 1 teaspoon of pickle juice at the onset of a cramp. It might be the sodium in the pickle brine or the overloading of the nerves that helps, much like the mustard that relieves a cramp.
When cramps come calling, desperation may drive you to try the unusual. Try one of these tips and see if you find your new, favorite muscle cramp relief.