A muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. It usually occurs in the legs. A muscle cramp is also called a charley horse.
Nighttime leg cramps are usually sudden spasms, or tightening, of muscles in the calf. The muscle cramps can sometimes happen in the thigh or the foot. They often occur just as you are falling asleep or waking up.
Muscle cramps happen when a muscle involuntarily contracts on its own. Usually, you feel a hard lump at the point of pain — that’s the contracted muscle. Cramps don’t usually occur for no reason, though. If you haven’t strained a muscle, you’re probably cramping because you’re muscle is fatigued or overused, because your body is dehydrated, or because you’re not getting enough electrolytes, such as potassium or magnesium. Those minerals help your muscles work more smoothly, and fluids help your body process the minerals. Most cases of muscle cramps do not indicate a worrisome underlying condition. People who are 65 and older are at more risk for them. Cramps might be related to alcoholism, hypothyroidism, or diabetes. If the frequency of your cramps bothers you, tell your doctor.
At most times, no apparent cause for night leg cramps can be identified. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems.
The risk of having night leg cramps increases with age. People who are taking certain medications, such as certain diuretics, might be more likely to have night leg cramps, although it’s not known if there’s a direct connection. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps, but it’s a separate condition. In general, pain is not a main feature of RLS, although some people describe their RLS as being painful.
Other reasons can include:
Exercising: Injury or overuse of muscles.
Pregnancy: Cramps are fairly common during the later months of pregnancy due to lack of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Medical Conditions: Medical problems like blood flow problems, kidney disease, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis can all aggravate the problem of night time leg cramps.
Lack Of Minerals: Not having proper minerals in the body like potassium, calcium and other minerals can also lead to cramps.
Dehydration: When body looses too much water, whatsoever the reason may be the possibility of cramps increases.
Hormonal Medications: Taking medications that manipulate with the hormones of the body like birth control pills and steroids can also lead to muscular cramps.
There are several ways to abate the effects of cramps when they first occur. They are as follows:
1) Stretch and massage the muscles.
2) A warm shower of bath should be taken. Keeping a warm compress pressed against the sore muscles also helps.
3) Try using an ice or cold pack. Always keep a cloth between the ice and your skin as it can do some serious damage otherwise.
4) Over the counter pain medications are also viable like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen. Although a proper consultation with the doctors is still recommended before taking any drug.
5) Drink plenty of fluids and always keep yourself hydrated.
6) Walk around and jiggle the affected leg.
7) Stretching the calf muscles while sitting or standing.
While sitting, straighten your leg and flex your foot up toward your knee. It may help to place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and, while holding the towel at both ends, gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight.
While standing about 2 ft (0.6 m) from a wall, lean forward against the wall. Keep the knee of the affected leg straight and the heel on the ground. Do this while you bend the knee of the other leg. See a picture of how to do this calf stretch
Home Remedies For Night Cramps
The use of these leg cramps at night remedies will help you heal your leg cramps naturally. Use these simple leg cramps at night remedies to cure your pain instantly and effectively.
This wonder spice is god given natural remedy for many ailments. It has several therapeutic properties and that is why helpful in removing leg cramps. Take some coconut oil in a bowl and take one tablespoon of turmeric powder in it. Mix it well and then make a paste out of it. Apply this paste on the affected part to get instant relief. It is a highly effective leg cramps at night remedy.
Mustard is an excellent source of manganese and also full of acetic acid that stimulates the production of acetylcholine, an organic molecule that acts as a neurotransmitter and keeps muscles active. Thus, helps prevent soreness. Simply, have a tablespoon of yellow mustard followed by a glass of warm milk daily. Use this simple leg cramps at night remedy to ease the pain.
Milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Both of these reduce the frequency of leg cramps. A regular habit of drinking milk before going to bed has to be developed. This will prevent night cramps from occurring in the future.
Regular muscular cramps can be prevented by munching on a banana on a regular basis. Its rich in potassium and can greatly help in combating spasms. A great and effective leg cramps at night remedy.
Honey is an underrated ingredient given its high medicinal worth. Mix 1 tablespoon of organic honey with apple cider vinegar. Consume this concoction everyday to prevent cramps. A great and healthy leg cramps at night remedy.
Apples are loaded with ample nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, and many vitamins including vitamin C, E and K. Thus, consume apple every day to prevent these painful cramps.
Castor Oil works wonders for soothing sore muscles. Take some castor oil in a bowl and heat it. Now take a clean cotton cloth and immerse it in the oil. Repeat every night before going to bed. The healing properties of castor oil relax the swollen joints and treat painful cramps, making it one of the best leg cramps at night remedies.
One of the leading causes of cramps is the formation of lactic acid in the muscles after an intense workout. In order to cure the cramp, the lactic acid formed needs to neutralized. Baking Soda works wonders in this regard. Take a quarter of teaspoonful of baking soda and add it in a glass of water. Drink this solution after every workout regime.
Cramps are caused by the electrolyte imbalance in the body which is due to the lack of magnesium in the body. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium. Eating them raw can also be very good way of moderating the electrolyte imbalance.
Take some vinegar and rub it on the aching part. Or else, soak a cloth in the vinegar solution and place it on the leg and joints. It gives instant relief being one of the best leg cramps at night remedies
Chamomile herbs have a special compound in them called “glycine” is known to relax and soothe sore muscles. It also helps relieve pain associated with leg cramps. Two spoons of dried chamomile flower should be boiled and then steeped. This decoction should be drunk 4 to 5 times a day daily.
The above listed leg cramps at night remedies are some of the best cures for leg cramps. Use these to cure your leg cramps naturally.