LEG cramps are one of the most common ailments people have and they usually occur during sports activities. They’re also especially prevalent in older people and pregnant women.
Leg cramps mostly happen because of dehydration or muscle strain. But sometimes they have much more serious reasons than that, like blood clots, nerve compression, or a mineral deficiency.
We share here Brightside’s tricks how treat and prevent leg cramps.
* Drink plenty of water. Because dehydration is one of the most frequent causes to leg cramps, drinking plenty of fluids during the day, especially during a workout is a must. Even if you’re already having a cramp, water can help you to relieve it.
* Do stair calf and toe stretches. Stand straight facing up the staircase with both feet on the bottom stair. Place your hands on a wall or a handrail for support. Scoot your feet back until your heels jut off the front edge. Shift your weight over one of your feet. Slowly lower it’s heel toward the floor. Stop when you feel a light stretching sensation in the calf of your lower leg. Hold this for 30 seconds. It is also very helpful to stretch your toes, if you’re having toe cramps. You can do it for prevention as well.
* Apply hot and cold compresses. You can apply a heating pad over a cramped muscle, which will relax it by increasing the blood flow to it. You can also use an ice pad which will numb the area and decrease the swelling. Or you can alternate hot and cold compresses. This one can’t be used by people suffering from diabetes, migraines, or other medical conditions that result in numbness in the limbs.
* Eat food high in minerals. If you frequently experience leg cramps, you might have deficiency in essential minerals: calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium can have an influence on how muscles contract. So it’s very important to maintain their balance in the body.
* Massage your cramps away. When a muscle is cramped, it’s usually not getting enough blood flow, which leads to a shortage of oxygen and other important nutrients. Massage can restore the blood flow, relax the muscles, and relieve the pain. It can be also used as a preventive measure.
* Do towel stretch. While having leg cramps it’s very helpful to stretch your muscles. One of the most useful methods is stretching by using a towel, a scarf, or a necktie: sit down with your legs stretched in front of you pointing your toes up. Sling a towel around your foot holding an end in each hand and pull the towel to lift the cramped leg.