Being the nerd I am, after experiencing a few days of painful muscle cramps (which I wrote about here), I went to Google like a madman. Here’s what I learned from the experience and subsequent Googling.
Most things I wrote in the original post still stand. But there are a ton of completely different types of muscle cramps; those associated with cirrhosis, MS, pregnancy, dialysis, idiopathic nocturnal (which is the type I think I had), etc.
Number 1 mandatory advice: do all the long-term stuff like broths, potassium, mag, etc (even though all of these things have mixed findings; they might work for your specific type of cramp and are unlikely to cause harm). But for immediate pain management, you may need to bite the bullet and take a muscle relaxer.
A lot of this post is inspired by a crazy theory touted by a new anti-cramp product (targeted at yet another type of cramp, exercise-associated muscle cramp [EAMC]), but the explanation of it’s mechanism is super-interesting.
I still stand by the previous interventions, except according to a few case studies and a lot of anecdotes, pickle juice can work within 1-2 minutes! That observation was part of the basis of developing this product. Some people think the acidity in pickle juice activates gastrointestinal TRP receptors (see below), and I’m totally cool with all kinds of vinegar…
But I digress.