How to Relieve Leg Cramps
If you’ve ever gotten a painful charlie horse in the middle of the night, you know how important it is to be able to relieve leg cramps quickly and easily. Whether you’re getting them as a side effect of pregnancy, old age, restless leg syndrome, or something else, these painful nuisances can be assuaged and avoided with a little time and effort.
When You Get a Cramp
If you’re lying in bed and you get a leg cramp, the best way to relieve it is to massage the cramping muscle. More often than not, the muscles that cramp are in your upper calf. Sit up on your bed and put the ankle of the leg that has cramped across your other knee. Using both hands, massage the sore muscle until it relaxes.
Once you’ve gotten the muscle to unclench, further relieve leg cramps by flexing your foot forward and back. Do this carefully, as a stretch that’s too hard can cause another cramp. Walk around a bit to make sure the cramp is fully gone.
If your muscles are still sore even after you relieve leg cramps, take an anti-inflammatory for the pain. This may also help keep away any flare ups that might have come later.
Before Your Leg Cramps
The best way to relieve leg cramps is to not get them in the first place. Most cramps occur because of dehydration or because of insufficient amounts of certain nutrients.
If you’re at all concerned about dehydration, make sure you’re getting enough water every day. Start with 6-8 glasses a day. If you’re still getting cramps, your body may need more fluid for some reason. Try going up to 10-12 glasses per day and see if that helps.
In addition, make sure you’re getting enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium. A lack of any one or a combination of these can lead to leg cramps. If you’re not sure you’re getting enough or you’re still having cramps, try taking a supplement. This should help ensure you get the nutrients you need.
You will also want to make sure that you are keeping yourself warm enough. When you are cold, you will hold your muscles slightly tense. Though you might not even notice that you’re doing this, over time your muscles can get tired and cramp. Thus, having enough blankets on your bed and using a heater can help immensely.
Finally, keep the muscles in your legs relaxed. You can do this through stretching, the use of a heating pad, or by taking a hot shower. Relaxed muscles are less likely to cramp.
Take Further Action
If you’re getting frequent leg cramps, be sure that you see a doctor. While the advice given here has worked for many people, it’s important to rule out more serious conditions, and only a doctor can do that. In addition, something mentioned here may be bad for you because of another, unrelated medical condition.
Hopefully, though, the ideas here will help you relieve leg cramps so you can rest, exercise, and live life to the fullest. Getting a cramp can be miserable; luckily, you don’t have to live with it forever.