Think about that moment when you were fast asleep but got jolted awake by the ripping pain of muscle cramps, or when you were so close to shooting a goal but had to pull out from the game due to the all too familiar muscle cramps. Those who have experienced muscle cramps or the sudden contraction or tightening of the muscles will be able to relate to the excruciating pain that comes with it. But what causes muscle cramps and how can it be prevented or treated? The cramping of muscles is basically an involuntary contraction or tightening of the muscles where it does not return to its relaxed state. This often occurs in the calves and thighs, but also in the feet, hands, abdomen, neck and arms. Though generally harmless, when it happens, one can find it quite impossible to use the affected muscle, from a few seconds to several minutes. A common occurrence that most would have experienced; no one is immune, young or elderly, fit or unfit. According to studies, leg cramps occur in three out of four people at night; one out of five people during the day and night; and one out of 14 people during the day. When experiencing muscle cramps, people instinctively tend to rub or stretch th...