Leg cramps are an involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles in the leg. These are often extremely painful and uncomfortable. Leg cramps often occur in elderly patients, although age is no criterion, since it is often seen in young people too. Leg cramps usually occur in the calf muscle, hamstring and quadriceps. The period of a leg cramp ranges from less than a miniature to quite a lot of minutes at times.
Leg Cramps Causes
• Muscle fatigue due to excessive
• Rigorous exercises
• Being overweight
• Electrolyte, hormonal or fluid imbalances
• Side effects of certain medications such as diuretics.
• An unusual or a different exercise than you normally does.
• Nerve abnormalities.
Home Remedies and Self-Care
Drink plenty of fluids and oral rehydration solutions and electrolyte loss and dehydration are the most common causes of muscle cramps. Consumption of liquids such as drinks with caffeine or alcoholic beverages constitutes no fluid intake as these are diuretics and actually have the opposite effect on the system.
Make sure the proper footwear when walking feet that provide adequate support.
Gently stretch your muscles with gentle exercises such as riding a stationary bike for a few minutes before going to bed can help relax and strengthen muscles. This would greatly limit the occurrence or severity of leg cramps at night.
Dietary measures are also an important aspect of care and prevention of leg cramps at night. Make sure your diet is not restrictive, but should be well balanced with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This should provide all the essential nutrients you need. Very often mineral deficiencies may exacerbate the problem of leg cramps at night.
There is little you can do to ease the pain when hit with a leg cramp at night, but the best way to get to happen is aware relax your mind and body. This may seem impractical but it is effective and will take some time to adjust. Deep breathing is the most effective method of relaxation at the time.
Lightly massage the cramped muscle with your hands with a soothing balm.
A hot shower or take a hot bath should also provide significant relief.
Multi-vitamin and mineral supplements can help, but should only be taken after consultation with a nutritionist or a doctor for proper dosage. Calcium, potassium and magnesium deficiencies are often the cause of leg cramps at night.
Try to eat fruits and vegetables, and varieties of whole grain foods, no refined varieties as the overall process destroys most of its nutritional value. For cereals lose up to 85% of its magnesium when finely ground. Fruits such as dates and bananas are a rich source of magnesium and potassium.
Although milk and dairy products like cheese are rich in calcium, high phosphorus levels reduced its effectiveness as a replacement source of calcium. It would be best to get the required dose of calcium supplements do not contain phosphorus.
Good to know that when you sweat, you lose important electrolytes. Electrolytes are important for the muscles to work properly. If lack of electrolytes cramps are a fact.