The word “cramp” has a negative connotation, but the condition can also be a symptom of a wider health problem.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February, researchers found that women who experienced a mild bout of cramps were significantly more likely to have a heart condition than those who did not.
In a related study published earlier this year, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Harvard Medical School found that female patients who experienced mild cramps had a higher risk of experiencing coronary artery disease, diabetes and heart failure.
The researchers theorised that women experiencing mild cramp could be using the symptoms to gain weight or be taking medications to manage their symptoms.
“When it comes to getting cramps, it is important to consider a range of possible causes,” says Sara Schreiber, PhD, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University at Buffalo and author of The Cramp Cure.
If cramps are causing you pain, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.
There are some basic remedies to help ease the discomfort, such as applying ice packs, avoiding certain foods and exercises, avoiding caffeine and drinking fluids.
But if cramps have caused you severe pain, it can be difficult to stop them.
A new study published this month in the journal Pain found that those with severe cramps who used a medication called dexamethasone had a 20 percent higher risk for developing chronic pain.
The medication is used to treat acute pain in people with severe muscle spasms.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, a type of psychological treatment, has also been shown to help with pain and reduce the severity of cramp.
There is also evidence that a variety of physical exercise, such a running program, can help.
But, Dr Schreibs advice to women who are suffering cramps is simple: “Do your exercise and don’t feel the cramps.
Don’t worry about it.”
What to do if you’re feeling crampsThe symptoms of cramping vary from person to person.
One of the most common symptoms of a mild episode is cramps that feel like they are coming from your chest.
The cramps can be temporary or persistent, so it is vital that you seek medical advice.
If you have any other concerns, seek immediate medical attention.
If you’re experiencing severe cramp and you feel you need medical help, ask your GP, who will be able to refer you to a specialist.
Dr SchreIB is the author of the Pain Control Guide, which outlines what to do when you’re in pain.
For more information, you can find out how to get help from a doctor at the NHS’s online support service.