Muscle cramps can strike at any time, but most commonly they occur either during an activity or at night when they are least expected. The severity of the muscle cramps differs: at times they are little more than a bit of cramping that soon disappears on its own while at other times they may be as severe as to actually be almost disabling.
Muscle cramps may involve the back and neck muscles, the calves, and also the legs. In some cases the foot musculature is also affected by such cramps.
Doctors of osteopathy (D.O.s) have had copious success with treating such cramps. Although not too many patients will actually make the time to visit a D.O. to have their muscle cramps treated, the most likely candidates are those which experience a headache subsequent to a muscle spasm and those who are affected at night and without warning.
Exams are Hands-On
During the office visit, your osteopath will most likely do a thorough hands-on examination of your spine and muscles. If required, the practitioner will do musculoskeletal manipulations to resolve any inappropriate spinal cord pressures resulting from a harmful curvature of the spine.
Such a curvature may have been gradually taken on, simply during everyday activities. In other cases it is the body itself that has changed the way the spine is curving simply to relieve some pain.
Depending on the severity of the musculoskeletal manipulations the osteopathic practitioner foresees having to do, you may need to schedule one or more follow up treatments. In addition to the healing touch, your osteopath most likely will also discuss nutrition with you.
Since muscles are very much affected by the food that is ingested, there is a good chance that she or he will suggest that you increase your ingestion of water carrying foods, such as fruits and watermelons.
On the table is also a discussion about nutritional supplementation. Muscle cramps may hail back to an imbalance of potassium and calcium, and in addition to suggestion an increase in dairy products and bananas in your diet, the osteopath may suggest that you purchase high quality supplements to take alongside your regular meals. Most likely this is suggested to be done in small doses to prevent a sudden flooding of the body with these substances.
If you do not have trouble sleeping, you may also be advised to exercise just before bed. This may take the form of a vigorous walk or bike ride around the block, or simply some stretching exercises before retiring for the night. This is not a good choice if you have a hard time sleeping, have had insomniac episodes, or overall suffer from daily fatigue.
Since exercise has the power to release invigorating endorphins, anyone who does not fall asleep easily and quickly might want to simply stick to the stretching exercises. In case of a doubt, try the stretching exercises first and if you still suffer from cramping during the night, decide to take your walk or bike ride the next evening.