How to Prevent Leg Cramps
Have you ever experienced a strained sensation in your legs, where you feel as if the veins and the muscles in your legs are intertwined? Well, then you are experiencing a Leg Cramp, also known as a Muscle Cramp. These painful but harmless cramps occur when a muscle in your leg contracts suddenly, forming a hard lump at the point where it contracts.
What Causes Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are maybe overworking and exhausting your body, resulting in fatigued muscles. Dehydration, too, can be a cause of leg cramps. Some cases of cramps may also be associated with a lack of essential minerals such as Potassium and Magnesium. Leg cramps have also been identified among people with issues like alcoholism, diabetes, nerve disorders, and hyperthyroidism.
Remedies for Leg Cramps
1. Stretching and Exercise
In order to relax your muscle, calmly stretch your leg and hold onto it for some time. You can massage your leg as well, during or after the cramp. According to Harvard Health Publishing, there are several exercises to get rid of leg cramps. If you have a leg cramp in the calf, tie your blanket around your foot and pull your toes towards yourself, making sure your knee is straight all the time. Similarly, for a lower leg cramp, stand entirely on your toes until the cramp disappears. For a cramp in the back thigh of your leg, however, sit with your legs stretched out until you experience burning.
Once the cramp has subsided, put a heated pad on your leg to ensure regular blood flow.
Remember to keep yourself hydrated by ensuring you take in 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Remember, the goal is to get rid of the cramps, not lose excessive weight, hence drink accordingly.
3. Mineral Intake
Make sure to keep a healthy, mineral-rich diet (specifically Magnesium and Potassium rich). Leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds are good magnesium foods, while potassium intake can be improved through banana and black-bean intake.
4. Other Tips
There are several other tips that can help prevent leg cramps as well. These may include wearing socks at night, regular use of heat pads, and something as simple as merely walking around during a leg cramp.
Leg cramps may be painful but are widely harmless. Do contact a doctor if none of the above work for you and you deem your situation medically alarming.
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