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Submitted by Richard

When the muscle fibers over-contract and go into spasm, a painful cramping sensation occurs. Cramps can result from the build-up of lactic acid in muscles that are over- exercised or chronically tense. Other causes are insufficient dietary minerals and repetitive actions, such as writing. Leg cramps at night are common. Massage and homeopathy can be used for immediate pain relief - a healthy diet and regular exercise may provide more permanent freedom from pain.

The cramped muscle should be stretched as far as possible against the spasm and massaged vigorously. This increases the blood supply to the muscles and disperses any build-up of lactic acid.