After a grueling CrossFit workout on a hot summer morning, which involved kettlebell swings, squats in a goblet and about 100 abrupt walking movements, my lower body was spread. But what was strange was that my left gluteal began to shake that night and continued until the next day. It did not hurt at all, but it was annoying! Did your muscle contract after working? Here is what you need to know.
What are the causes of a Twitch muscle?
A muscle contraction, or sometimes called fasciculation, is a short, involuntary and painful contraction of skeletal muscle that can occur repeatedly, explained orthopedic surgeon Anthony Kouri, MD. Your muscle fibers are controlled by your nerves and when a nerve is triggered, it causes movement in the muscle, causing it to contract. Muscle contractions can be caused by many factors and usually manifest themselves after physical activity, during periods of stress, when we are deprived of sleep, when we consume too much caffeine or other stimulants, or when we are dehydrated .
Why is my muscle Twitch after a workout?
"A muscle contraction often occurs after a hard workout because the muscle has been overloaded and the hyper-excitability of the nerve on the muscle that has fallen out of the exercise has caused an effect by itself," he said. explained Naresh Rao. DO, sports medicine specialist and chief physician of the US men's water polo team. If you can see muscle contraction, this is called a fasciculation. If you can not see the muscle contractions, we talk about fibrillation. If it is painful, or more prolonged, then it is a muscle spasm.
Dr. Kouri explained that when we exercise, our muscle fibers get tired and we often develop a slight electrolyte imbalance resulting from excessive sweating. Either or both of these factors can cause muscle contractions. "Calcium is one of the leading electrolytes related to muscle contractions," said Dr. Kouri, as well as magnesium. Low levels of one or the other mineral can disrupt normal muscle functioning, resulting in contractions. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause muscle contractions because it is necessary to help the body absorb calcium.
Although "electrolyte imbalance and muscle fatigue are the most common causes of muscle contractions," said Dr. Kouri, "dehydration, whatever the cause, is a common culprit. Muscle is made up of water and any dehydration can also lead to muscle fiber misfires. "
In addition to keeping our muscles functioning properly, staying hydrated also helps eliminate the byproducts from your body after an intense workout, explained Michael Sinel, MD and assistant clinical professor in the UCLA Department of Medicine. . "When you do exercise, your body burns glucose in the form of energy, but our body can not always keep pace with the elimination of byproducts such as l? Lactic Acid When too much lactic acid builds up in the muscles, you will experience burns, contractions, and cramps.
Are muscle interruptions a bad thing?
Most muscle contractions will disappear, Dr. Rao explained. "In most scenarios, muscle contractions are harmless and easy to correct," said Dr. Kouri. If you experience sustained contraction, this may be an indication of a muscle tear, explained physical therapist, Lara Heimann. While small microtears are common for developing more muscle mass, Heimann says that "any contraction that lasts more than a few days may be due to a more severe stress or medical condition, so consult a professional."
How can I prevent muscle switching?
"Muscle contractions are not always preventable," said Brian Schulz, MD, a specialist in sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon. He said that we can reduce the risk of contractions by eating a well-balanced diet, not smoking, and doing the following things:
Warm up: "Excess weight or injury can be perceived as a way of communicating with your body, asking you to spend more time preparing it for the load or stress that it will suffer," Heimann said. Before starting your weight training or cardio training, begin at least five minutes of light exercise to move your muscles and warm them up. Try to focus on the areas of your body that you will exercise that day.
Stay hydrated: Since dehydration can be a major factor in muscle contractions, be sure to hydrate yourself before, during and after exercise. Dr. Sinel said, "If sweating is excessive (especially if you are working on heat) or prolonged, water may not be enough, so you should consider hydrating yourself (and rehydrating yourself) with water. sports drink containing vitamins and minerals. " Also be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol after a workout, as these substances can indeed cause further dehydration of your body. Here is how much water you need when you are exercising.
scope: After your workout, "gentle stretching can help your body cool down, helping to prevent muscle aches, muscle twitches and cramps," said Dr. Sinel. Try these three basic stretches.
Rest: One of the best things you can do for your muscles after an intense workout is to rest, Dr. Sinel recommends. He added, "Sit down or lie down." Raise your feet and relax If your legs seem to bother you more than usual, you can try to raise them slightly to encourage the return of blood flow to the heart."
Reduce stress: Incorporating a form of stress management can also prevent muscle contractions. Jeffrey Duarte, a CSCS certified trainer, recommended finding activities that appeal to you, such as yoga, hiking, long walks, meditation or reading.
Sleep enough: If we do not sleep enough, neurotransmitters can accumulate in the brain and cause muscle contractions, "warned Dr. Kouri, so be sure to sleep at least six hours a night to feel rested.