Every activity we do involves the contraction and expansion of muscles. Over the time the muscles are prone to wear and tear. It is common to get spasms or cramps in the leg muscles during running or workouts. Some people get night cramps in the legs, during sleep that are extremely painful. Although it lasts only for some time, it sends a wave of pain in the body.
Causes of Leg Cramps
There are numerous reasons for leg cramps as given below,
- Restless leg syndrome
- Stress or Fatigue
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Flat feet
- New or excess workouts
- Leg injury
- Deficiency of minerals
- Neural disorders
- Electrolyte imbalance
Home remedies for Leg Cramps
The following home remedies for leg cramps and quick tips will help you in getting relief from the painful cramps in legs and calf.
- Deficiency of potassium in the body is one of the factors for cramping legs. Bananas are rich source of potassium and improve the potassium levels in the body.
- Eating banana before bedtime, helps in relieving leg cramps.
- It is a really beneficial home remedy for leg cramps.
- Leg cramps caused due to electrolyte imbalance in the body can be fixed by common salt.
- Sprinkle a dime sized salt on your hand and lick it.
- This will restore the diminished electrolytes in the body and relive the contraction of leg muscles.
- It is a quick and effective natural home remedy for leg cramps.
- Many sports drink like Gatorade has electrolytes and drinking small quantity help in relieving the leg cramps.
- The instant rush of electrolytes in the body after the prolonged dehydration in muscles relaxes the muscles and relives the spasms.
- Pickle juice primarily consists of salts that replenish the dehydrated muscles.
- When there is a shooting pain in the foot and calves, this remedy is found very helpful.
- Quinine tree’s bark is used in many drugs and tonics. However FDA recommends avoiding larger dosages for leg or muscle cramps.
- Studies prove that people with night leg cramps, who took quinine drugs instead of placebo have shown significant improvement in the cramps and muscle pulls.
- Drinking tonics that contains quinine is found effective in treating leg cramps.
- But it is recommended to consult a physician before using it as this has adverse side effects.
- Using a hot compress or electric pads on the legs during cramps helps in easing the cramps to a large extent.
- VapoRub can be applied on the skin before placing the hot bottles or compress on the affected area.
- It not only soothes the pain, but is also considered to be one of the best home remedies for leg cramps.
- Another possibility for leg cramps is the deficiency of potassium in the body.
- The best sources of potassium are available naturally in our food.
- Fruits – oranges, grapefruits, bananas, apricots and grapes
- Dry Fruits – dates and raisins
- Saltwater fish, pork and lamb
- Use this simple home remedy for leg cramps to respite your pain.
Magnesium supplements for Pregnant Women
- Pregnant women should consider taking magnesium supplements and eat magnesium-rich food.
- Taking 400mg of calcium before bedtime helps is proper processing of calcium in the body.
- Chamomile tea is an excellent anti-relaxant that helps in relaxing the muscles and nerves by increasing the levels of glysine.
- Drinking atleast 4-5 cups of chamomile tea for a period of 2- 3 weeks is recommended for those suffering from leg cramps.
- Night cramps can be cured by drinking raspberry tea 2-3 times a day.
- You may also consider eating fresh raspberries in breakfast for improved results.
- A simple and effective home remedy for leg cramps.
- Mustard is popularly used by athletes to relieve cramps in muscles.
- Acetic acid in mustard stimulates the muscles and produces acetylecholine in the body.
- Wintergreen oil contains methyl salicylate, which stimulates the flow of blood and relieves cramps.
- Mix few drops of wintergreen oil with any carrier oil such as, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
- Massage this on the legs regularly to promote the blood circulation.
- Avoid using it with heating pads as this may burn the skin.
Other Tips to Reduce Leg Cramps
Soap Under the Bed
- This may sound weird, but many people suffering from the problem of leg cramps at night, swear by this trick.
- Simply place any soap bar between the mattress and bottom sheet and sleep over it.
Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate
- Dehydration causes muscle to shrink and thus the painful cramps.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrates.
- If you are experiencing night leg cramps, drink at least 2 glasses of water before sleep.
- Having enough water is the best natural home remedy for leg cramps.
Stretch the Muscles
- Doing yoga and pilates will relax the muscles and make it more flexible.
- It is important to stretch the calf muscles to relieve cramping and sharp pain in the legs.
- This also improves blood circulation and strengthens the muscles.
Toes to Nose
- Pointing your toes towards the nose helps in reliving the cramps instantly.
- Avoid tucking your bedsheets too tight because this make the toes to point out and leads to cramps.
- Always sleep on loose-fitted sheets to keep the feet and toes relaxed and avoid cramps.
- Wear proper-fitted footwear which does not strain the foot muscles.
- A simple yet effective home remedy for leg cramps.
Pinch the Upper Lips
- Pinching your upper lips provides instant relief to the cramping leg muscles.
- Pinch the part between the upper lips and nose for 30 seconds or more until the muscles relax.
- You may also try pressing the upper lip by placing the thumb inside the lip and index finger over the lips.
All these tips are recommended by people who have tried, tested these quick home remedies for leg cramps on themselves. However these tricks cannot substitute the effectiveness of balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and drinking lots of water.