Stop your agonizing leg cramps from interrupting your sleep and ruining your night. You can stop the intense pain from leg and muscle cramps with a few minor changes in your daily habits.
yourfootpalace.com gathered information about stopping the pain from leg cramps, what causes them, and how to prevent them.
How to Stop Muscle Cramps
Foot cramp, leg cramp, charley horse, or whatever you choose to call it, this mysterious sudden pain happens when a muscle involuntarily stiffens and cannot relax.
When nighttime leg cramps happen in the calf of your leg, the following will help you relax the affected muscles and stop the pain:
• Breathe and try to remain calm
• Sit up in bed
• Loop a blanket or sheet around your foot
• Gently pull your toes toward you
• Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat
• Repeat this stretch until your leg is completely relaxed
When the cramp occurs in the front of the leg, do the following:
• Carefully stand at the side of the bed
• Shift your weight to your toes
• Slowly raise your heels off the floor
• Use the bed for stability if the pain has you off balance
• Repeat until the cramped muscle fully relaxes
For a cramp in the back of the thigh (hamstring), do this:
• Sit on the floor with your back against the bed or wall
• Extend your legs in front of you
• Slide your hands down your legs, slowly bending forward
• When you feel a burning sensation in the cramped muscle, hold the position for 30 seconds
• Slowly return to a sitting position and repeat the stretch
• Repeat until the cramped muscle relaxes
You can relieve cramps in your back by assuming the “child’s position” yoga posture:
• On the floor (preferably on a yoga mat), get on your hands and knees
• Keep your hands in position flat on the floor and lower your hips backward
• Continue lowering your hips until your buttocks rest on your heels
• Lower your head to the floor without lifting your buttocks
• Extend your arms in front of you, keeping your hands flat on the floor
• Hold the position for five to ten seconds
• Inhale as you return to your hands and knees
• Repeat as necessary
Once the affected muscle or muscle group returns to a relaxed state, avoid tightening it, or exercising it. Use a heating pad or warm towel on the affected area; this increases blood flow and reduces the chances of the cramp recurring.
What Causes Muscle Cramps?
Muscle cramps are idiopathic and harmless in the majority of cases and can be triggered by any of the following:
• Exercising without warming up
• A buildup of lactic acid (lack of rest after an excessive workout)
• Not stretching enough
• Calcium, magnesium or potassium deficiency
• Diuretics (some medication, sodas, coffee, watermelon, among other foods and beverages)
• Cold temperatures (constricts blood vessels)
• Shoe support, size, and tightness
However, when there is an underlying physical or health problem, muscle cramps can be caused by:
• Parkinson’s disease
• Spinal injury
• Recent surgery
• Compressed nerves
• Some medication side effects
• Foot injury
• Flat arches
• Plantar Fasciitis
Occasional leg cramps are common and are easily remedied without medical care. However, if you have frequent or nightly leg cramps, this may be signaling the necessity to seek medical attention.
Pay special attention to changes in your eating or drinking habits, consumption of OTC (over-the-counter) or prescription medication, and changes in your physical activities or workout intensity. Even the slightest of changes in these factors can impact the frequency and severity of muscle cramps.
If and when you do seek medical attention, be sure to relate such changes to your doctor. The more information you can provide, the more accurate the diagnosis and treatment will be.
How To Prevent Muscle Cramps
Leg cramps are bound to happen from time to time. That said, the following are things you can do that lessen their frequency and may prevent them:
• Drink water and keep your body hydrated
• Avoid diuretic foods and beverages
• Stretch regularly, especially before workouts or strenuous activities
• Exercise periodically without overexerting yourself
• Consume foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium (leafy greens, bananas, black beans, etc.)
• Avoid alcohol consumption
• Stop smoking and/or vaping
• Get regular massage and spa treatments
• Seek medical attention and advice for contributing physical and/or neurological factors
• Keep your feet and legs warm at night
More importantly, make an effort to detect any poor health habits and change them. Even the slightest of changes can produce significant results while encouraging you to effect more change.
Immediate Relief for Leg Cramps
In this article, you discovered the means to alleviate excruciating pain from muscle cramps, why they occur, and how you can prevent them.
By making simple adjustments in your lifestyle and habits, you can stop waking up in agonizing pain from leg cramps.
By ignoring frequent muscle cramps, you may be allowing underlying contributors to go undiagnosed and end up with a far more severe health issue.