Leg cramps are a common issue that tortures many people during sleep, and they are unexpected and fast muscle spasms or contractions, felts in the thighs, feet, and calves.
They usually occur after the person falls asleep, or just before opening the eyes in the morning. Yet, the pain they cause can be pretty intense and might last for up to a few minutes.
When it goes away, the muscles remain tensed and tight and are sensitive to touch and sudden movements.
Yet, leg cramps and restless leg syndrome are not the same. Namely, people experience greater pain when they move their legs during the cramping, while in the case of the restless leg syndrome, makes people feel relaxed when they move the legs.
The reason for leg cramps is still unknown, but some scientists argue that certain health conditions and activities might cause this painful experience.
Some possible causes include:
- Magnesium deficiency
- Potassium deficiency
- Kidney diseases
- Calcium deficiency
- Physical activity
- Muscle overload
- Poor blood circulation
- Thyroid issues
- Prolonged exposure to low temperatures
- The use of some specific pharmaceutical drugs.
The following natural methods will help you treat muscle cramps:
- Physical activity
To relax the muscles and prevent muscle cramps, you should avoid long periods of standing, and start walking for a while every day.
Start stretching the muscle that is cramping, and gently rub the place.
- Increased Water Intake
Make sure you drink plenty of water during the day to prevent dehydration, which is one of the main causes of muscle cramps.
- Massage or Acupuncture
Acupuncture effectively relaxes muscles and thus directly targets the root of the problem. Moreover, you will benefit a lot from regular massages.
You should optimize the levels of magnesium in the body, as this essential nutrient will help you prevent muscle spasms. Therefore, consume more seeds and nuts, or rub the legs with magnesium oil.
You should boil half a cup of distilled water and add half a cup of magnesium chloride flakes. Then, remove the oil from heat, leave it to cool, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray 5-10 times on both legs at bedtime.
- Epsom Salt bath
Epsom salt has been found to be of great help in the case of muscle cramps, and the baths with it will soothe the muscles and provide lots of magnesium.
Yet, these remedies will help you avoid muscle cramps, but when you do experience them, you need to follow these tips:
- Try to move the leg if possible, in order to boost the blood circulation.
- Rub the muscle for some time to relax it.
- Sit on the floor, extend the legs and flex the feet at the ankles. Then, drag the feet with the hands to stretch the muscles.
- Ensure a good air flow in bed, so use good-quality blankets, sheets, and clothing.