Leg cramps come unexpectedly and surprise us with a feeling that is similar to electricity waves. The pain that occurs thereafter is worrisome and feels like the leg is never going to work again. But then it leaves slowly, just like the lightning. Making us release about the painful seconds. Don’t you feel it is high time to think about these small yet breath-taking cramps and be ready for the next one?
What are leg cramps?
When involuntary contractions happen between the muscles of the legs, this results in a leg cramp. The feeling is similar to having a painful knot on the leg muscles or the feeling of a hard lump in the focused area. Leg cramps mostly take place in the calf area and rarely on the thigh or feet.
The pain associated with cramps stays until the muscle loosens which usually takes a few seconds.
What causes leg cramps?
Various situations can lead you to have a leg cramp. Sometimes, it’s just a contraction that can also happen to a healthy person.
When the legs are fatigued or overused, they strain the leg muscles. Thus, resulting in a solid cramp.
Leg cramps could also take place due to the deficiency of certain elements in the body. Such as not having enough electrolytes, like magnesium or potassium.
All these electrolytes are necessary for the smooth working of the muscles. Dehydration is also the cause of cramps. Lack of fluids in the body will lead to unfinished extraction of these electrolytes.
Leg cramps often take place at night when our feet are pointed outwards and our legs are slightly bent. The tightening of the muscles results in leg cramps.
Other than this, below are given some possible reasons:
The various activities that one does in one daily life might be the reason for getting a leg cramp. Activities like workouts or exercises that mainly focus on the leg muscles. Such as:
- Weight training the leg
- Recreational running
- Sports that involve one to run a lot, such as basketball or football
Many doctors say that muscle fatigue might be one of the main reasons for leg cramps. The risk of this condition is on the higher side when the weather is hot or when the person is dehydrated, thus leading to an involuntary contraction in the muscles.
You can stop leg cramps by drinking a lot of water and dealing with cramp patience. Always avoid working out while your body is fatigued. All these solutions are very easy and are simple alterations to your lifestyle.
Medical reasons such as pregnancy or an under disease. These types of situations might also be the reason for getting muscle cramps.
You need to consult your doctor regarding the cramps if you are pregnant. The various underlying health conditions that make a person experience more leg cramps are:
- type 2 diabetes
- vascular disease
- Addison’s disease
- alcohol use disorder
- kidney failure
- thyroid issues
- Parkinson’s disease
Moreover, certain medications can affect your body and result in leg cramps:
- Birth control pills
- Albuterol (asthma medications)
In most cases, diseases are not a reason for getting leg cramps. people who are 65 and older are likely to get more of it. The frequency of cramps is higher when the person has diabetes or hypothyroidism or is an alcoholic.
How to stop leg cramps immediately?
Here are some ways in which you can stop leg cramps:
As cramps originate due to contraction in muscles, stretching might relax those cramping muscles. For this, you need to stop the activity you were up to and be still. Then start by slightly stretching those muscles and hold on to the stretch gently.
While on hold, you can also massage that muscle or after you release the muscle, give it a gentle rub.
You can also apply heating add over the cramped area after you have finished stretching.
If you were sleeping while you got the cramp, first, do not panic. These types of cramps mostly take place in the calf muscles. So, to stop leg cramps, stand up and slowly put all the weight on the affected leg. This will lead the heel of the leg to get pushed down. Thus, stretching out the muscles.
This remedy is very old and might have witnessed our mothers and grandmothers doing this. This requires you to wet cloth in hot water and press it onto the affected muscles. You can also soak your muscles in hot water.
A hot water soak, with or without salt, gives great relief to the affected muscles.
This remedy is a modern one. You can also transfer dry heat to the affected area through a heating pad. Set the heat level of the hot pad at a minimum and increase only when you are not getting the required relief.
You should avoid using an ahead pad if you suffer from diabetes or an injury in the spinal cord or any other condition. The lying diseases might prevent your muscles from getting the heat.
If your leg cramps are medium to mild, you can be patient and drink some water. In short, you can hydrate yourself to stop leg cramps. You can also opt for a sports drink with added electrolytes. This might help you ease your pain quickly.
Many coaches, personal trainers, and therapists recommend the use of magnesium on the outer body in the form of Epsom salt. If you go through regular short-term cramps, you might want to add food high in magnesium to your diet.
Magnesium is highly helpful in relaxing the muscles. If you are thinking of trying magnesium supplements, you must consult your doctor first.
The bottom line
Well, these were all the remedies for leg cramps. All of the above are easy to follow and effective when done in the right manner. You can even try nothing but just walking. Walking around with cramps sends signals to the brain that the muscles need to real. Thus, giving the muscles relief from leg cramps.