Foot and leg cramps can be strong and painful contractions that last for a few seconds or a number of minutes. Night-time cramps are quite common and often occur just as fall asleep or awaken.
There are multiple causes for these cramps. Among them are:
– Potassium, magnesium and calcium deficiency
– Extended time standing on a hard surface
– Use of some types of medications
– A variety of medical conditions and foot health problems
– Poor circulation
In this article, we will focus on preventing and coping with the symptoms of leg cramps through the use of home remedies. Read on to learn more.
Things You Can Do At Home To Relieve Leg And Foot Cramps
- Keep the muscles of your feet and legs limber with regular stretching and exercise. Remember to stretch before and after your workout.
- When cramps do occur, massage the cramped muscle with warming oil. Organic oil such as coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil with a few drops of cinnamon oil added can be quite helpful.
- Apply an ice pack to the cramped area. Remember that RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is a soothing combination for a wide variety of aches and pains.
- Use over-the-counter pain medications touch as naproxen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of pure filtered water. This is especially true before and during your workout. Avoid commercial sport drinks as they are full of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Drink coconut water instead.
- Take prescription medicines only as directed, and review your medications with your doctor to determine whether some of them may actually be causing your problem.
- Make certain that you are getting plenty of magnesium, potassium and calcium in your everyday diet. Examples of foods rich in these minerals include dairy products, Brazil nuts, beans and legumes, whole grains, Chia seeds, avocados, fish and a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Adding a mineral supplement to your daily regimen is a good idea.
- Choose to cycle or walk to nearby destinations rather than driving. Every bit of exercise you provide your legs and feet can help to increase circulation and prevent cramping.
- Add exercise to your daily regimen judiciously. If you are inactive now, don’t suddenly begin doing a lot of exercise. Introduce exercises in small increments one at a time to allow your muscles to adjust.
- If you are subject to foot and leg cramps while you sleep, try drinking a cup of warm milk at bedtime. The natural calcium in the milk will help reduce incidents of night-time cramping.
- Add chamomile tea to your daily routine. Drinking several cups a day can help to remedy cramps and spasms because it increases natural levels of the amino acid, glycine, in your system.
- Boost your calcium and potassium levels by drinking a glass of water mixed with a tablespoonful of calcium lactate, a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoonful of honey. Apple cider vinegar contains a great deal of potassium, and calcium lactate is an excellent source of calcium. Honey makes the whole concoction more palatable.
- Eat more mustard and pickles. These foods contain acetic acid that stimulates your muscles to produce more acetylcholine. This is very helpful in preventing and addressing muscle cramps. Some people drink pickle juice as a tonic to help prevent cramping and ease tummy troubles.
- To stop a muscle cramp in its tracks, try pinching your upper lip. The moment you feel a cramp coming on, grasp your upper lip between your forefinger and thumb and hold it firmly until the cramp begins to fade. This can take between half a minute and three minutes. Keep a firm hold until the cramp has subsided.
- Apply pure DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) to the cramping area. Some people dab it on. Others rub it in. Massaging seems to help it penetrate the skin to provide relief to the cramped muscle. Be sure to use only 99.9% pure products (available at your local drug store) rather than those mixed with fragrance and other ingredients. DMSO works by penetrating tissues deeply. It carries any additives along with it, so it’s best to use it in its purest form.
Foot and leg cramps can be annoying and painful, but luckily they are not impossible to deal with. With regular exercise, proper stretching and rest and a good diet you should be able to avoid them to a great extent. Even so, you may experience an occasional leg or foot cramp. When you do, turn to the smart advice presented here for simple, easy home remedies.