A muscle cramp can happen at unexpected moments, usually after exercise: in bed, during a walk, after working in the garden. The muscle contracts with great intensity and stays contracted for about a minute before it relaxes. But how do muscle cramps occur?

They often occur in the legs after exercise, particularly in the heat, or after spending a long time in an uncomfortable position.
They may result from an imbalance in minerals and fluids brought on by dehydration.

Abdominal cramps may be caused by low back pain problems or menstruation. Diseases such as Parkinson?s, untreated thyroid problems or diabetes can also lead to cramps.

Muscle cramps are usually not serious, although heat cramps can be a sign of heat exhaustion or, if accompanied by dizziness or disorientation, they may indicate impending heat stroke, which is serious. If you experience muscle cramps regularly, call your doctor.