According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of reasons that many people are awakened by an excruciating leg cramp. For some, leg cramps occur after strenuous overuse from nerve compression, dehydration or prolonged exercise.
Not ingesting enough minerals such as calcium, magnesium or potassium could be another source of the pain. Still, others are simply more at-risk of developing leg cramps.
Older people lose muscle mass, which leaves their calves and other muscles susceptible to overuse that leads to cramping. Pregnant women and people with diabetes, liver, thyroid or nerve disorders feel pain from leg cramps more often than people who do not have any of these health conditions.
You might be among any of the people who suffer from the above examples and are dealing with leg cramps. If so, there are some life hacks that can help you prevent leg cramps before running to the doctor.
The first medications typically prescribed to treat restless leg syndrome are: Mirapex, Neupro and Requip. Additionally, the following home remedies will help you prevent and treat leg cramp for peaceful night’s rest.
1.) Sleep With Irish Spring Soap
Believe it or not, placing an unwrapped bar of Irish Spring in the bed with you can lead to miraculous effects when you get nighttime leg cramps. This old wives’ tale works according to a segment on the Dr. Oz Show.
Live Science reported that Dr. Oz believes the scent of lavender emanating from for soap is an effective way to relax tense muscles.
Interesting Night Cramp Restless Leg Syndrome Video
2.) Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses because it contains two minerals, calcium and potassium that are known to help prevent and relieve muscle cramps. Both are found in apple cider vinegar and diluting it with warm water and a teaspoon of honey can relieve or even prevent those nighttime flare ups.
This recommendation from Livestrong, along with soaking a cloth in strong vinegar to make a warm vinegar compress, can help. Wrap the compress around your cramped muscle for about 20 minutes.
3.) Do Stretching Exercises
There are a variety of stretches that can relieve the pain from a leg cramp striking your calf. If it is not too painful, place your full weight on the cramped leg and bend your knee. This stretches the muscle.
If that does not work while standing, try sitting on the floor or in a chair. Extend your cramped leg while using your straight leg to pull the top of your foot forward.
Stretch towards your head to loosen the cramp. The Mayo Clinic also suggests using the sitting stretch to release cramps from a hamstring.
4.) Massage Affected Area
Manipulate the muscle while the cramp flares up by finding the center of the cramp. Take the heel of your hand or thumb and begin pressing the tight muscle. Count 10 seconds while holding the pressure on the muscle and release.
Repeat as necessary until the cramp subsides. Reader’s Digest Best Health states that massaging the affected area may be slightly painful, but tolerable.
5.) Drink Tonic Water
The University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada released a study that states quinine found in tonic water is an effective home remedy for reducing frequent leg cramps at night. Quinine decreases muscle contractions, which in turn can give you nocturnal peace.
6.) Turn Up the Heat
Reader’s Digest Best Health describes placing a hot washcloth or electric heating pad on the cramped muscles to increase blood flow. The muscle can soothe this way or by taking a long, warm shower.
Relaxing in a hot tub of water with Epsom salts is another way to apply heat to tired, aching muscles.
7.) Take Short Walks
Short walks throughout your day can help to prevent waking during the night with a leg cramp. According to Health Line, you increase blood flow by keeping your legs moving.
This alleviates cramps and leg pain that is usually associated with diabetes and other health conditions.
8.) Eat Bananas
As mentioned previously, potassium has an important role in controlling how your muscles contract. It is possible that a deficiency of this mineral is the source of your chronic leg cramps.
Potassium-rich foods such as bananas can be a cure for muscle cramps. Other food sources include orange juice, papaya, white beans, dates, raisins and tomato paste.
Leg cramps are common and very painful. If you or someone you love suffer from chronic leg cramps, return to these remedies as often as necessary not only for relief, but to prevent cramps from occurring.
Which leg cramp prevention tips will you use?
Don’t be shy, tell us in the comments section below 🙂