Most of us at least one times in our life experience leg cramps at night. Anyone who has ever woken up at night with a leg cramp acknowledges how painful it could be when their muscles suddenly contract. These painful, sudden knots, called charley horses, are resulted by muscle spasms that often impact the thighs or the calves – particularly, the quadriceps or the hamstrings. The cramps could last from several seconds to 15 minutes or even more.
Actually, it is not easy to pinpoint the cause of leg cramps with certainty. Maybe, the culprit is the combination of hot weather and exercise, which could result in dehydration as well as imbalances of salt and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium – which help in regulating muscle contraction. It is no surprise that those athletes like triathletes or marathon runners are prone to suffer from this condition than others. However, those at greatest risk of leg cramps are people older than 65 and those who are overweight or ill.
Actually, in most cases, night leg cramps are nearly harmless and could be relieved or prevented with some easy, simple stretching techniques or self-care measures. Nevertheless, if they happen regularly and lead to extreme discomfort, then you need to see a doctor. Yet, if you case is not too severe, so before going to see your doctor, you can consider some easy home remedies for leg cramps first. Here, from WikiYeah, we introduce some tips on how to stop leg cramps at night and in the morning naturally. Some information in this entry is referred from WebMD, dDdavidwilliams and Medicinenet. Take a quick look!
How To Stop Leg Cramps At Night – 7 Home Remedies
1. Stay Hydrated
The easiest thing you could do to stop leg cramps and prevent further occurrence is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water and other fluids during the day will keep you from becoming dehydrated – one of the most common causes of leg cramps. Also, it helps your muscles contract and then relax much more easily. Particularly, it is more important to replenish the fluids upon engaging in exercise and to continue getting water as well as other fluids after being active.
The next easy tip on how to stop leg cramps is to stretch the spot. Once your cramps happen, you stop, drop and stretch. Or, you could treat yourself with a gentle massage to hit the knot.
That will help you relax the cramping muscle. Remember, it is important to stop any activity that might have induced your cramps and slightly stretch your muscle and gently hold the stretch. Even, you could massage your muscle both while and after stretching. Apply a heat as mentioned below to the spot of cramping after stretching.
3. Take Magnesium
According to Sarah Thompson, an acupuncturist and doula at the Sacred Vessel Acupuncture, magnesium is very important for those who often suffer from leg cramps, especially those pregnant women with muscle cramps. However, more studies need to be carried out. If you get pregnant, consult your doctor before taking supplements.
If you often suffer from leg cramps, you should add more foods rich in magnesium to your daily diet. Seeds and nuts are great sources of this vitamin.
4. Take A Hot Soak
When it comes to natural ways on how to stop leg cramps, maybe the most relaxing is to take hot soak. A large number of professionals like coaches, trainers, and physical therapists recommend leg cramp sufferers to take magnesium from the outside, in the form of Epsom salts. This is a traditional remedy. You can do it by applying Epsom salts to a wet cloth and the press it onto the cramped muscles. Or, you can ask some Epsom salts to your hot bath and soak.
A hot soak will supply a quick relief from leg cramps, both with or without Epsom salts. If it is not convenient for you to take a hot soak, then consider dry heat in the form of a heating pad. It also brings the similar effects. First, use the pad on the lowest setting, just increase the heat if you do not get any soothing at all. Yet, if you have a spinal cord injury or diabetes, or any other condition that may prevent you from feeling the heat, your best option is not a heating pad.