How To Use Lava Sand Heating Pad Alleviate Muscle Cramps
We've all had times when a sudden muscle cramp occurred and we didn't feel like we could do anything about it.
But during these times, a heating pad could be used to help alleviate some of the pain you are feeling from the cramp.
The heating pad helps to increase blood flow to the area, which should then decrease the amount of pain you have in that area.
Read on to find out why you might be getting muscle cramps and what you can do to avoid them in the future.
What are muscle cramps
According to the Mayo Clinic:
"A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. If you've ever been awakened in the night or stopped in your tracks by a sudden charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle."
Most of us have experienced muscle cramps while we are out exercising, whether running or doing some other kind of sports.
Others of us have experienced muscle cramps when we've sat or slept in the wrong position for too long.
And it can happen to any of us.
You'll typically know you have a muscle cramp when moving a particular muscle group leads to severe pain.
I was running a marathon with a friend and by the end of the marathon he could barely move his muscles in his legs.
We had to go to the emergency tent so he could taken care of.
After being off of his feet for a little bit, and when we finally got him full of water and food, his muscle cramps went away and he was able to drive home.
Muscle cramps are not a fun experience.
What causes cramps
There are a few things that could cause you to suffer from muscle cramps.
These reasons include:
- Overuse of muscle
Most of the time when I've experienced a muscle cramp, it was because I overused that muscle.
For example, last year, I was training to run a marathon in October.
I really liked going out for a long run and the way it felt when I completed that run.
When I got home, I greeted a family with a smile on my face.
But unfortunately that sometimes led to me forgetting to stretch after my run.
And I might not have felt it that night, but when I woke up in the morning, I had a bad cramp in my leg.
So I quickly found out that I needed to make sure to stretch after each run so I didn't have to experience a leg cramp the next day.
According to DripDrop.com:
"Dehydration is when your body lacks the water and electrolytes it needs to function. The condition can cause fatigue, decreased urination, extreme thirst, and dizziness. It can also cause dehydration cramps. In fact, two of the most common signs of dehydration include muscle cramping and stomach cramps.
Here’s why. When you’re dehydrated, you lose more fluids than you are taking in. As a result, your body reacts by storing water for the most vital organs. These include your heart and lungs. That means less vital organs — like your muscles and digestive system — don’t get the water and electrolytes they need.
Without these fluids, your muscles can start to cramp. You may particularly experience leg cramps in your calf muscles and thigh muscles. You may also have involuntary contractions like muscle spasms. Dehydration also decreases blood volume. That means your muscles and organs have less blood flow, resulting in cramps and spasms."
To summarize, when you don't take in enough water, you body uses your stored up water for parts of your body that need it most, namely your heart and lungs.
This means that your muscles no longer have the water that they need.
Without the water, your muscles begin to cramp.
Sometimes when I'm out in a run, I'll get a cramp on one side of my stomach.
It helps to raise my arms up in the air and put my hands behind my head.
This helps to stretch out the muscles that are cramping.
But it also helps if I sip on some water soon after the cramp comes.
To me, a cramp with the muscle in that area is a sign that your body is already getting dehydrated and you need to drink something.
- Muscle strain
Muscle strains occur when you overstretch or tear a muscle or tendon.
This often occurs in the lower back or back of the leg.
These are areas of the body are often overused when you are lifting heavy objects or doing some type of exercise.
If you lift more than you should or reach further with your legs than you should, that could lead to muscle strain.
Doing these leads to additional inflammation in those areas.
That inflammation could then lead to muscle spasms.
- Holding the same position
Lastly, holding the same position can also lead to muscle cramps.
For example, if you sit on the ground with your legs crossed and you do this for a long period of time, you could end up with muscle cramps.
Or if you sit in the same position in a chair and don't move for awhile, this could lead to muscle cramps as well.
Outside what we have already listed, there are a few things that could lead to an increase chances you will suffer from muscle cramps.
Those reasons include:
- Age. As you get older, sometimes you don't retain the muscle mass that you had before. It actually can get harder to get muscle as you get older. This means that the muscle mass that is left can be overstrained.
- Pregnancy. When you get pregnant, you will typically put on more weight, and this puts more of a strain on the muscles that you have. This can also be because of changes in blood circulation.
- Different medical conditions. Diabetes and thyroid disorders can cause more muscle cramps as well.
How to use lava sand heating pads
Now we've taken some time to cover why you might be getting muscle cramps.
Having the muscle cramps is not a great experience, but you can use the lava sand heating pad to help alleviate the pain of the cramps.
The lava sand heating pad is good for a few reasons.
First, you can use the lava sand heating pad for both hot and cold treatment.
This is effective depending on the kind of treatment that you need.
Cold treatment is good for slowing down the blood flow to that area of your body.
You would do this if you are having pain in that particular area.
For example, if you have a headache, a cold heating pad could help to reduce the pain completely to that area.
Hot treatment is good for increasing the blood flow to that area of the body.
This is for recurring injuries in your recovery.
You wouldn't want to apply hot treatment on brand new injuries, but reserve that for cold treatments.
Second, the lava sand heating pad can switch back and forth between hot and cold with very little problems.
With heating pad with other fillers, like wheat or rice, those can't go in between hot and cold without leading to problems.
The other fillers can sometimes crack or get burned if you switch too quickly in between hot and cold.
The lava sand heating pad doesn't give you the same problem.
So once you've purchased your lava sand heating pad, then you need to apply that heat to your cramping area.
Keep in mind that you should never a heating pad on the same area for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
If you do, you could end up causing some skin issues.
So apply the heating pad to your cramping area for 20 to 30 minutes and then put the heating pad away.
After 2 hours, you can apply the heating pad again for some relief.
Hopefully this should be enough to get rid of your cramps.
Other relief measures
Outside of the heating pad, there are a few other things you can do to help with your cramps.
First, make sure to drink plenty of water.
As we mentioned earlier, muscle cramps are sometimes caused by the fact that you don't have enough water in your body.
So, of course, the way to counteract this is to drink a lot more water.
Second, try stretching more.
Cramps are sometimes caused by tight muscles.
So doing some stretching can help to relax the tight muscles and put you in a more comfortable position.
Third, take a hot bath.
A hot bath will do the same thing for you as a heating pad, except not as concentrated as the heating pad.
The hot bath will eventually wear out of hot water and then you will need to fill up the tub again.
You will be able to stay in the bath longer than the recommended time for the heating pad, so there are some benefits to it.
Lastly, eat a banana.
Getting cramps can someone occur because you are low in electrolytes.
Bananas are full of potassium and that will help you to rebuild your electrolytes.
Muscle cramps happen to all of us.
It isn't anything out of the ordinary.
But a lava sand heating pad can do a lot towards helping you recovery from the cramps.
Just heat it up and apply it for up to 30 minutes to your cramp.
This should help blood flow to the area and soon you should feel relief from the muscle cramp.