Cramp is a muscle spasm generally caused by exercising and loss of fluid, for example through heatstroke. However, it can also occur spontaneously, often at night, particularly in older people. Common sites for cramp include the sole of the foot, the calf and the thigh. If the abdominal muscles are affected, the condition is known as a stitch.
First Aid for Treating cramp
A gentle stretching and massage of the affected area will help to relieve cramp. Give the affected person plenty of fluids and something salty to eat.
For the thigh
- Straighten the knee and raise the leg if the cramp is in the back of the leg.
- Bend the knee if the cramp is in the front of the thigh.
- Massage the affected muscle firmly.
For a foot
Often if the affected person stands on the foot with the sole flat on the ground this will relieve the pain. If this does not work, accompany this with gentle massage.
For the calf
Straighten the person’s knee and gently push the foot up towards the shin. Massage the affected muscle.