Managing Muscle Cramps After Dialysis

woman grabbing calf

Easing Muscle Cramping After Dialysis

People living on dialysis may experience muscle cramps following treatment. Although the cause of muscle cramping isn’t fully understood, doctors believe it is related to the fluid removal that happens during dialysis treatments.
While you may not be able to prevent cramping completely, there are a few ways you can manage this uncomfortable side effect.

Give Yourself a Massage

Massaging in the cramping area can relax muscles and prevent unwanted spasms that may follow your dialysis treatment. Gentle stroking and kneading can release tension.

Try Yoga and Dynamic Stretching

Stretching and practicing yoga are also excellent ways to relieve muscle tension and cramping after dialysis treatment. Make sure to stretch each side of the body equally.
Some yoga poses that help to relieve muscle tension and cramps include:
  • Half Front Splits Pose
  • Parsvottanasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose

Take a Warm Shower or Bath

A warm bath or shower reduces stress and relaxes aches and pains. Be sure to carefully follow your nurse’s instructions on how to protect and care for your dialysis access before turning on the tap.

Apply Heat or Ice Packs

Applying hot or cold compresses to tight muscles. Heat relaxes muscles; cold reduces inflammation which is another source of pain. Be sure to place a towel between the compress and your skin to prevent skin irritation.
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