Elderly people are more likely to suffer from muscle cramps. This is because people gradually lose their muscle mass with age, which puts more pressure on the remaining muscles to help support the weight of the body. Some other common causes of muscle cramps include:
- muscle overuse
- muscle strain
- inadequate blood supply
- nerve compression
- mineral depletion
Some factors that put you at a higher risk for experiencing chronic muscle cramps are:
- nerve, liver, or thyroid disorders
Many people use massage therapy
for chronic muscle cramps. A massage therapist can focus on getting the cramped muscles what they need in order to relax. This may be increased blood flow, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the body's tissues while releasing waste products. This will help the muscles relax and reduce swelling, while also increasing flexibility to reduce pain
Cramped muscles are likely to be painful to the touch, due to a lack of proper blood flow. When the muscle does not receive enough blood, it is also not receiving enough oxygen. This makes the muscle feel sore and cramped.
With massage therapy, the muscle will begin receiving an adequate supply of blood and oxygen. The manual pressure on the muscles will help alleviate the muscle cramp.
Once the muscle cramp is released, it is important to talk to the massage therapist so they can adjust the pressure accordingly. The pressure of massage therapy should never be unbearable. It should feel like healing and productive pain.
After receiving massage therapy for chronic muscle cramps, any muscle soreness that occurs should go away after a day or two. The muscles that were experiencing cramping should stay noticeably relaxed with proper stretching and some rest, depending on the severity of the cramp. Most chronic muscle cramps require multiple massage treatments over several weeks to be effective.
Massage therapy for chronic muscle cramps will give the best results when it is combined with other medical treatments. This may include physical therapy, physician care, or chiropractic care. Often, professional massage therapists work as part of a team with other health professionals in order to treat a patient's ailment in a comprehensive way.