Are you suffering from leg cramps? These can be tough to deal with and involve muscle contractions. There are many causes of this health condition. If you experience them often you should get a doctor’s checkup so you can find out the main cause of your cramps. Various conditions can cause them including genes. If you keep getting leg cramps then it’s important to know why it’s happening so you can find the root cause and the best treatment. Sometimes it could be a temporary serious situation that requires learning how to get rid of leg cramps.
You have many treatment options for leg cramps. They include home remedies like hot/cold compress or stretching/massage. These options can be effective since the condition is related to muscle contractions. However, there are other times when the condition is more serious because of a serious medical condition. In these cases, you’ll need a different treatment to deal with the main cause of the cramps. There’s also alternative medicine you can use to deal with the condition. As always you should talk to your doctor if you keep getting cramps. He/She can help you find the best remedy for the situation.
What Exactly Are Leg Cramps?
You’ve probably heard of and experienced leg cramps, but what are they all about? This is the big question. You can get cramps in different body parts so it’s critical to know what they’re about when you get them in this body part.
These are muscle contractions in the leg that can cause serious pain. Several things can cause cramps. In several situations, it’s possible to prevent muscle cramps. However, if they’re caused by genetic factors, then it can be nearly impossible to stop them. That’s because your body has been hardwired for more cramps.
That said, there are two situations when cramps are more likely. One situation is when you do high-intensity workouts. One of the main benefits is you’re awake when they happen so you can deal with the muscle problems immediately. It’s tougher when you’re asleep.
They also tend to happen at night when people are sleeping. This causes people to wake up with severe pain. If you wake up with a cramp in the leg you should take steps to treat it to help lessen the pain and get a good night’s sleep.
Health experts don’t know the exact reason people have leg cramps at night. However, it seems they occur more often than. Various causes could cause cramps including:
- Tough workout
Sometimes night cramps happen without any symptoms. However, in other situations, there are some before it becomes serious.
Other cramps are related to physical activity and can be caused by exercise like running or swimming. They’re more likely if someone has been doing them long-term. The main cause is usually dehydration. Athletes can treat cramps in different ways. Some of the best options include IV fluids if there’s serious dehydration. In other cases, drinking fluids like water or sports drinks is enough.
How to Get Rid of Leg Cramps
There are various treatments for the cramps you can use including:
This can help the muscle to relax. This is related to the muscle contraction that causes the cramp. Some basic stretching is an effective fix and helps to stretch out the muscle. This is also something you should do before starting workouts as part of your warm-up routine. This helps to warm up the muscles and helps reduce the chance of problems like cramps.
This is another effective way to work the muscle so you can ease the cramp-related symptoms. Studies show that massages can provide several health benefits. Besides dealing with physical conditions they can also help you relax. There’s also the use of aromatherapy via essential oils, which can provide several mental benefits related to different brain functions linked to mood, focus, etc.
You can also apply a hot/cold compress to the affected area. This can be a heating pad or warm towel if you experience tight muscles. You can also take a hot shower or a warm bath to help with the muscle. If you want to consider other “fire & ice” options then go with ice. Make sure to wrap up the ice before applying it to the muscle. This will prevent possible issues caused by direct contact with the skin.
4. Vitamin Bs
A Vitamin B complex supplement might help to deal with leg cramps. You could also consume foods that are high in Vitamin Bs. One caveat is there isn’t much research to prove this is an effective treatment. Make sure to do your research and if it doesn’t seem to work then switch to a more standard treatment.
If you’re an athlete or do gym workouts you should consider tweaking your exercise program if it’s triggering cramps in the leg. Your doctor can help to figure out everything.
Top Foods for Relieving Leg Cramps
Got milk? This superfood includes electrolytes (salts) like potassium, calcium, and sodium. It also helps with hydration since it’s a liquid. You also get lots of protein and amino acids to help treat/prevent muscle cramps.
These are high in magnesium. One of the best sources is black beans, which have nearly 2x more than lentils. Another plus is that these foods are high-fiber, which can help with cramps. Beans/peas are also good for lowering bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
This Keto-friendly food has been trending in recent years mostly because of its high-fat content. However, it’s also sky-high in potassium. Avocados have 2x more potassium than bananas and sweet potatoes. This is a heart-healthy food that also helps muscles function properly. One caveat is avocados are high-calorie since fat has 2x more versus carbs/protein.
4. Sweet Potatoes
This root vegetable has potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals can all help to provide relief from muscle cramps. Other foods with the same nutrients include white potatoes, pumpkins, and bananas. Sweet potatoes have more calcium but pumpkins/white potatoes have more water to keep you hydrated.
There’s a reason these fruits are considered superfoods. They’re high in many nutrients including Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They’re also high in water and have some sodium. These are both important because you lose H2O and electrolytes (salt) when you sweat. So not only can melons help to treat cramps but also help to prevent it by adding water/salt.
Bananas aren’t just high in potassium but also contain other key nutrients that can help with cramps. They include calcium and magnesium. In other words, you get 75% of the nutrients required for reducing muscle cramps. They’re also low-calorie, so a good method for how to get rid of leg cramps.