Most of us know what it’s like to be rudely awakened by leg cramps in the middle of the night. Some of us have experienced it after exercise. It might even happen when you’re outdoors, which can be awkward. But whatever the cause, there are some easy ways to cure leg cramps.
First, let’s take a look at the possible causes of leg cramps:
- poor blood circulation
- muscle fatigue
- deficiency of potassium and magnesium in your diet
- calcium deficiency (especially in pregnant women)
- injury to the spinal cord or nerves in the back or neck region
- side-effects of certain drugs
- skipping warm-ups before exercise
- exercising in the heat
- over-exerting your calf muscles during exercise
To prevent leg cramps, take the following precautions:
- Include foods rich in vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium in your regular diet
- Drink at least 2 litres of water every day
- Never skip warm ups before workouts or exercise
How to cure Leg Cramps based on where they occur:
You can use the following stretching exercises depending on where you’re feeling the pain:
1. Back of the thigh (hamstring):
Shift your weight on to the affected leg and slightly bend your knee.
If you are not able to stand, then sit or lie down with your leg straight. Then pull the top of the foot towards your head.
2. Front of the thigh (quadriceps):
Steady yourself by holding on to a chair. Then lift your foot and pull it back towards your buttock.
Other common home remedies for cramps include massaging the muscles, simple stretches, applying ice, applying heat or adding Epsom salt to your bath water.
Most leg cramps last only a few minutes and can be cured at home. All you need is a little presence of mind in addition to knowing how to cure leg cramps. However, if you are frequently experiencing leg cramps for none of the above reasons, then it is best to consult a doctor.