Even though most leg cramps are not a big deal, they are short-lasting and can sometimes go unnoticed, there are times when they can just become unbearable and even interfere with our daily activities.
Some people even complain about cramps being so severe that they wake them up! Fortunately, this only happened to me once but I can tell you that it was no picnic. You wake up in pain, not knowing what is going on, what time it is and what to do about it. I can only imagine what you are going through if this has become something you regularly go through…
But this is why I am here, to try and help you deal with this problem and recommend the very best remedy for cramps you can use on a daily basis without having to worry about its effectiveness.
In the following text, we will be going through some of the most common natural remedies people use so you can try them out and see if they help.
What Are Leg Cramps And What Causes Them?
We can characterize them as involuntary muscle contractions lasting for a certain amount of time.
– Why involuntary? -Because they happen suddenly, without warning and we do not have control over them. We did not cause them willingly and we cannot stop them willingly, just wait for them to stop on their own.
– How Long Can They Last? – As I`ve said earlier, they can be fairly short in duration and last as little as few seconds, but they can also last for couple minutes, waking people from their sleep and causing tremendous pain!
What Causes Them?
The thing we call muscle or leg cram, is just a muscle reaction to some sort of stimulation. That stimulation can come from the nerves for some unknown reason or from prolonged muscle tightness due to body (leg) position.
And the reason these cramps occur most often when we sleep is because of our sleeping position where we bend our knees and point the feet down, resulting in shortening of the calve muscles. They can also be caused by excessive use of the muscle (when we exercise for example) or if we are dehydrated.
There are a lot of other medical conditions and contributing factors, some more some less examined, but they can also occur as a result of some poor choices we make in life, such as alcohol abuse.
So How Can We Treat Them?
I find myself repeating this too often, but the foundation of every successful treatment is pinpointing the exact cause of the problem. Remember that cramps are just a symptom, and if you address the symptom instead of the cause, your solution will be short-lived.
First, I am going to suggest you some ways you can deal with cramps (symptoms) quickly in an effort to shorten their duration and make them more bearable:
- Lip Pinch – this is a rather funny and goofy sounding way of dealing with leg cramps but people report that it works! Researchers are still uncertain as to why it works but it simply does. So next time you feel a cramp, pinch your upper lip and see if it works 🙂
- Using Soap – no, I am not talking about washing your legs real fast. According to the information found in the book called Best Choices from the People’s Pharmacy, placing a bar of soap under the sheets (next to your calves) will prevent cramps. Try it out and see for yourself
- Stretching – stretching your muscles to oppose the muscle contraction can help you stop if. Note that I have only attempted this with cramps of lower intensity
Addressing The Cause And Preventing Them
The best way of dealing with leg cramps is preventing them from happening in the first place. To do this, you must get to know your body and figure out what possible problems might lead to the development of cramps.
If you are not hydrated, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. It may be more than you are used to, but just remember you have a whole day to spread it out, you don`t have to drink all at once (and you shouldn`t try)!
Exercising and stretching – if you are not doing it already, I would advise you to pick up on these two habits, not only to fight leg cramps, but to improve your overall health! You don`t have to go to the guy and “hit the weights,” all it takes is 10-15 minutes of stretching when you get up (and 2-3 times during the day) and a light 30-minute walk.
Buy proper footwear – no seriously, buy proper footwear, especially if you have some problems with the arch of your foot.
Boosting potassium and calcium – low potassium and calcium levels have been connected to the frequency of leg cramps, so you should find ways to boost their levels (if they are low). You can use potassium and calcium rich foods or supplements. I don`t use any supplements myself so I can`t really suggest you any, but your doctor will certainly be able to recommend some.
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