The different types of cramps treatments depend on the type of cramps a person is experiencing. Menstrual cramps, which typically occur every month during a woman's menstrual cycle, are often treated with heating pads or over-the-counter painkillers. Muscle cramps, which may occur as a result of exercise or randomly when a muscle involuntarily contracts, are usually treated with massage or topical analgesics. There are also some steps a person can take to reduce the likelihood that either muscle or menstrual cramps will occur.
In addition to heating pads and painkillers, some other cramps treatments that might be effective for menstrual cramps are exercise and relaxation techniques. Even though many women prefer to huddle up in bed when they are experiencing painful menstrual cramps, it is probably better if they get up and move around instead. Fast-paced exercise, such as aerobics, may cause the body to release natural endorphins, which can eliminate pain. If a woman simply cannot bring herself to exercise, she can try some deep-breathing relaxation techniques instead. This can help to take the mind's focus off the pain.
There are also many different cramps treatments for muscle cramps in addition to analgesics and massage. Just as heat is considered helpful for menstrual cramps, ice may be just as effective for muscle cramps. A person who has pulled a muscle, either randomly or through exercise, can apply an ice pack to the affected area for up to 10 minutes to help ease any swelling and pain. Following this up with massage may be extremely beneficial. It is important for a person using ice for treating a pulled muscle to keep in mind that the ice pack should be removed for a while after 10 minutes. This is because it is possible to get frostbite from prolonged direct exposure of ice on the skin.
Cramps treatments may not be necessary for people who take steps to avoid the onset of cramps. Women who experience menstrual cramps every month can cut back on how much salt and sugar they consume just before their periods to reduce the likelihood of cramps. Caffeine may also contribute to more painful menstrual cramping, so it may be a good idea for a woman to avoid this as well. If a person has a problem with frequent muscle cramps, he can make an effort to stay hydrated at all times, particularly before exercising. Drinks that contain electrolytes are typically considered better than water for the prevention of muscle cramps.