We’ve all been there… you’re mid-marathon when your hamstring seizes up, or perhaps you’re just drifting off to sleep when you get a sudden excruciating pain run through your calf. Muscle cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that can range from mildly annoying to outright agony. Although nearly always harmless, they’re undoubtedly uncomfortable. But fear not, for there are ways to prevent muscle cramps before they take hold. In this article, we’re going to answer some common questions about muscle cramps and outline some ways to beat it.

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

First things first, let’s delve into the causes behind the cramp. Dehydration is a major factor. When your body loses fluids, it disrupts the balance of electrolytes – minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium – that are crucial for proper muscle function. This imbalance can lead to those recognisable muscle twitches and spasms.

Another common cause of cramp is muscle fatigue. Whether you’ve pushed yourself a little too hard during a workout or spent hours on your feet, overworked muscles are more prone to cramping. Improper stretching, particularly before exercise, can also tighten muscles and make them more susceptible to cramping.

Now that we know what causes cramp, let’s explore some ways to mitigate the risk. 

How to Prevent Muscle Cramps

  • Stay Hydrated: This one cannot be stressed enough, and it really is the key to avoiding cramps. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, on days when you’re training or exercising. You can also incorporate isotonic and electrolyte drinks to replenish those lost minerals post-workout.


  • Stretching: Regular stretching is a fantastic way to improve muscle flexibility and prevent cramps. Focus on major muscle groups, especially those in your legs like your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and aim for a few repetitions. Don’t forget to stretch both before and after exercise, and even consider incorporating gentle stretches before bed if you suffer from night cramps. There are many physical and mental advantages of incorporating yoga into your routine, and if you’ve got the time, it’s highly recommended.


  • Fuel Your Body: Electrolytes play a vital role in muscle function, so make sure you’re getting enough through your diet. The best ways to naturally consume electrolytes are via fruits and vegetables like bananas, avocados and leafy greens. Nuts also contain electrolytes and are also great sources of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Just remember that they can be very calorie-dense, and may contain lots of added salt, so moderation is key.


  • Warm Up and Cool Down: It’s important not to jump straight into intense activity, whether it’s at the gym or performing in an event. Take the time to warm up your muscles with light cardio and dynamic stretches. Likewise, it’s vital to include a cool-down routine after your workout, that includes static stretches and perhaps a massage, to help your muscles relax and prevent the dreaded DOMS.


Running Sports Compression Socks

Are Compressions Socks Effective in Preventing Cramps?

The question of “do compression socks help with leg cramps?” is a popular one. Compression socks apply gentle pressure to your legs, which can improve circulation and blood flow. This can then help reduce muscle fatigue and cramping. Studies on the effectiveness of compression socks for preventing cramps are mixed, but some research suggests they may be beneficial, particularly for pregnant women and athletes.

Can Cramp Cause Muscle Damage?

Generally, muscle cramps are harmless and resolve on their own within minutes. However, in rare cases, severe or prolonged cramping can lead to muscle damage or tearing. If you experience persistent cramping, significant pain, or swelling, it’s vital that you consult a doctor or medical professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could cause long-term damage.

As harmless as they may be, muscle cramps are inconvenient at best, especially if they arrive during athletic activity, and painful at worst.

Cold therapy CTC-7 Device Knee Wrap

Considering a Compression Therapy Device?

Products like the CTC-7 from G&N Recovery offer another approach to muscle recovery. The CTC-7 offers cryotherapy, thermotherapy, contrast (hot and cold) and compression therapy treatments to improve recovery and rehabilitation for injuries and medical procedures.  It can target specific muscle groups, promoting relaxation and recovery, and reducing tension. 

This combination of treatments can be very effective in managing muscle soreness and could potentially aid in preventing cramps. To find out more about CTC-7, don’t hesitate to Contact Us. We’re always happy to discuss your requirements and how we can help.