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What causes heat cramps?
While it was thought that dehydration and
electrolyte imbalance was the cause
of muscle cramping, there are alternative theories as to why muscles cramp when
the body is exposed to heat.
Since heat cramps begin after significant exercise in a hot environment where
the affected individual begins sweating profusely, the theory was that muscles
were depleted of water and sodium affecting their ability to contract and relax.
Some new research suggests that as the muscles tire from excess activity and
work, the ability for the muscle to regulate its own contraction is lost and
this is called altered neuromuscular control. Regardless of the cause, the
diagnosis and treatment for heat cramps remain the same.