Anywhere you have muscles can become plagued with the pain and discomfort of a cramp – even your hands. While writing is one of the most common causes of this condition, there are many other reasons for the aches. Thankfully, home remedies for hand cramps can help speed up recovery time and ease the severity of symptoms.
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Causes and Symptoms
Hand cramps are a result of conditions that affect the muscles and nerves in your hands. They can arise when you’ve suffered trauma or injury to a nerve in the hand. They can emerge if you are breathing too fast (as in the case of hyperventilation), where carbon dioxide levels in the blood dip too low. Other causes of hand cramps include overuse, dehydration (when levels of calcium, magnesium, and fluids are low in the body), anxiety, certain medications, pregnancy, prolonged heavy exercise, and heat exhaustion.
However, the most common cause of hand cramps is referred to as ‘writer’s cramp’ and you don’t have to be a writer to experience the symptoms. Painters, drivers, carpenters, knitters, musicians and others who work with their hands are at risk. Holding or using your hand in a certain way for a length of time (and without breaks) can lead to cramping.
Luckily, hand cramps are temporary and brief – even though they can become severe and painful. Some people have reported a tingling or burning sensation during a cramp. For some, the issue is chronic, especially when battling a medical condition, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders and kidney disease . Typical symptoms include joint pain, numbness, stiffness, and swelling of hand or joints. It usually also becomes difficult to move the hand, fingers, and/or wrist.
Hand Cramp Home Remedies
If the late nights of writing or clicking a mouse have caught up to you, the muscle in your hands may rebel in protest. To soothe your symptoms, consider the following home remedies for hand cramps:
a) Chamomile Tea:
Muscle cramps respond to chamomile tea because it contains glycine – an amino acid known to relax the muscles. It is suggested to drink five cups of the tea on a daily basis for two weeks to enjoy relief from muscle cramps.
b) Green Tea:
To avoid cramping, sip green tea with cloves or ginger on a regular basis. The herbs contain analgesic properties that can help numb any discomfort in the hands.
c) Hot Shower:
A hot shower will not only relax your entire body, but will also treat cramped hand muscles. Direct your hand towards the stream of water to enjoy a penetrating massage effect.
d) Warm Bath:
Soak in a warm bath to relax cramped hand muscles.
e) Hand Stretch:
Press a cramped hand on a wall with your fingers facing down to stretch out the flexor muscles associated with the fingers.
When tight knots develop in your hands, slowly and gently rub the affected region in the natural direction of the muscles. A massage will improve blood circulation, which helps relax contracted muscles.
g) Flex Your Fingers:
Gentle stretching of the fingers, such as flexing your digits, can ease out a hand cramp.
h) Shake it Out:
If you start to feel the development of a hand cramp approaching, prevent a full-fledge attack by shaking your hands and fingers to encourage the flow of blood and increased circulation.
i) Get Proper Minerals:
If you suffer frequent hand cramps, it is suggested to make sure you’re getting the right minerals into your system. Not having enough calcium and potassium in your diet can cause cramping.
Magnesium helps relax contracted muscles in your hands.
k) Warm Compress:
Run a washcloth under warm water and apply to a cramped hand. The warmth of the water will promote relaxation of the muscles, which eliminates the cramp.
l) Your Child’s Toy:
Any rubbery or squishy toy can help alleviate the discomfort of a hand cramp. These items are similar to the gadgets and products specifically created to encourage the muscles to tense and release, which helps resolve a cramp.