Sometimes you wake up to one of the most excruciating pain you have ever felt right on the muscles of your legs. After a while, the pain subsides. In other cases, it remains extreme till the very end. These are called leg cramps, or as scientists know them, a charley horse.
Leg cramps are very common, and the pain one feels is just unbearable. Do not neglect them when they come thinking that they will subside in a few minutes – those few minutes could be very frustrating. Deal with it as soon as possible with the following remedies. Trust me- you will thank me later!
1. Flexing and stretching
A stretching and flexing exercise is one of the best ways to relive your legs from cramps that strike just out of the blue. Simply extend your leg towards the front, no matter how painful it is. You can do this while in a standing or sitting position.
If the cramps strike when you are asleep, go ahead and stretch the legs right to the ceiling. This increases the blood flow to all the affected areas, easing the cramp instantly. As a general rule of thumb, ensure that you remain in that stretching position until you can feel the cramp is gone.
This is another handy trick to deal with leg cramps. It relaxes and eases all the aggravated muscles, restricting them to more contraction.
So, what do you do? Gently massage the area affected, doing it in circular motion. Experts also advice that you apply natural oil on your thighs and calves and massage them regularly, whether you have a cramp or not. You will be glad you did!
3. Do not forget to hydrate
Like it’s always said, water happens to be the best medicine. In this case, it works wonders in relieving the cramps. According to physicians, one of the major causes of cramps is dehydration, especially during the night. So keep drinking more and more water and cramps will be a thing of the past.
4. Apply cold or hot compresses
That’s right. Applying cold or hot compresses tends to ease any inflammation on the muscles, relaxing the crams instantly. However, when using the hot compress, ensure that it’s not very hot to avoid burning yourself. Here’s the right way to do it:
You will need...
- Ice cubes
- Hot water
- Heating pad
For the cold compressions, just take the ice cubes and put them inside a plastic bag, and then place them on the affected area. Let the bag remain there for around 10 minutes.
For the heating compress, use a heating pad with the hot water and place it directly on the affected muscles. Similarly, let it remain there for about 10 minutes.
5. Chamomile tea
This is an excellent remedy when it comes to treating cramps. According to researches, it simply relaxes muscles by increasing an amino acid in our bodies known as glycine. This amino acid relieves muscle cramps and spasm.
So, if leg cramps are a common thing to you, drink chamomile tea every day. Switch it with your regular tea if you can and be free of this painful and frustrating condition.
It comes as no surprise that turmeric works as a remedy in dealing with leg cramps. Most scientists call it a “magic home remedy” as it treats a myriad of conditions. In India, it is widely used to treat bruises, wounds and muscle cramps. Here what to do:
You will need...
- 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
- Coconut oil
Mix the 2 tablespoons of turmeric with enough coconut oil to make a thick paste. Every time the leg cramps kick in, vigorously rub the paste on the affected muscles while pointing your feet upwards. In no time, the relief will come.
7. Drink and eat more vinegar-rich foods
One of the major ingredients in vinegar is acetic acid. This component helps our bodies to make a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, which helps improve the functionality of our muscles. It is therefore recommended that you take more vinegar-rich foods and drinks.
The more you do, the better you will realize better muscle functionally. To make it more tasty, drink apple cider vinegar mixed with honey.
8. Primrose oil
If you have read about the benefits of primrose oil, then you’ve probably seen that it works wonders on heart disease and ace. Well, recent studies show that it could also be a savior when it comes to relieving muscle cramps. It does this by releasing any blockage in blood vessels, which happens to be one of the main causes of muscle spasms and leg cramps. Here’s what you need to do:
You will need...
- 3g primrose oil
- 1 glass of water
Just add the primrose oil in the glass of water and drink every day before you retire to your bed. This helps deal with cramps that occur when you are asleep.
9. Check up on your vitamin intake
The reason you are suffering from leg cramps could simply be because you have a deficiency of vitamin B, D or E. You know this if the cramps never seem to subside even after days of treating.
Just take vitamin-rich foods or supplements meant to nourish your body with vitamins. According to a review published in the Journal of Neurology, vitamin B complex significantly reduces cramps in about 86% of patients.
10. Lavender oil
Perhaps you are aware that leg cramps come knocking while you are asleep, or early in the morning when you wake up. Just to be on the safe side, ensure that you apply lavender oil on your leg muscles before you head to bed.
This helps relax the muscles, releasing any tension that builds inside. To achieve better results, massage the areas after applying the lavender oil.
11. Hot Water
Hot water works wonders as well when it comes to treating leg cramps. Just heat water to a bearable temperature, put it in a hot water bottle or water bag, and then place it around the affected areas for about 10 minutes. You could also apply a cloth or a towel soaked in hot water around the muscles the moment it strikes.
12. Wear appropriate attire
I cannot forget mentioning something about what you wear, because it may be the reason you get unbearable leg cramps. This is especially true for pregnant women.
To prevent regular cramps, wear supportive stocking and elevate your legs once in a while. This eases the blood vessels and nerves on your muscles. Generally for everyone, try to wear appropriate footwear as well when going about your day to day activities. Let the muscles move freely without having to strain a lot.
These are some of the best remedies for treating leg cramps you could get. While you could just close your eyes and bite on your lips until the cramp is gone, it would be nice if you dealt with the pain there and then. I know it can be unbearable and frustrating.
Try any of these remedies and you will be happy you did. Tell me what you think in the comment box, or ask any questions and I will address them.