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asked Feb 28 in Health & Lifestyle by (330 points)

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answered Mar 1 by anonymous

This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they're most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh. These strains can cause pain and may limit movement within the affected muscle group.

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answered Mar 1 by anonymous
  • Overuse of a muscle
  •  Dehydration 
  • Muscle strain or 
  • Simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp. 

In many cases, however, the cause isn't known. Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as: 

  • Inadequate blood supply.
  • Nerve compression
  • Mineral depletion

Factors that might increase your risk of muscle cramps include:

  • Age
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions

Muscle cramps can be prevented through the following ways:

  • Avoid dehydration: Drink plenty of liquids every day. The amount depends on what you eat, your sex, your level of activity, the weather, your health, your age and medications you take. Fluids help your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. During activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water or other fluids after you're finished.
  • Stretch your muscles: Stretch before and after you use any muscle for an extended period. If you tend to have leg cramps at night, stretch before bedtime. Light exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before bedtime, also may help prevent cramps while you're sleeping.

See here for reference.