Almost everyone has experienced the painful agony of a leg cramp at least once in their life. The muscles clench, the heart races, and the breath become short with the powerful feeling. If this has happened to you, the chances are that you are curious about how to “cure” leg cramps.
Here is a quick guide on all you need to know about leg cramps and how to eliminate them. Let’s go and check it out!
What are Leg Cramps?
A leg cramp is what it sounds like: it is an involuntary muscle contraction in the legs, commonly in its calf. Leg cramps can also occur in the thigh and feet regions, though these places are less common for such contractions. Thigh contractions take the longest time to relax. Leg cramps sometimes happen when you’re asleep at night, and your leg is in a bent position.
A leg cramp’s duration usually falls between up to a few seconds to about ten minutes long, depending on person to person. Many people report that while experiencing a leg cramp, they feel that the painful knot of muscle renders them immobile. Yikes!
Why Do Legs Cramp?
Leg cramps are commonly caused due to a variety of various reasons, depending on each particular individual. Here are some of the most common reasons why legs tend to cramp.
- Muscle Stress: whether it’s due to an annoying muscle stretch, a strain, or overuse of the muscle, any kind of muscle stress may cause involuntary contractions in the region. Sometimes even staying in one position too long can cause your leg to cramp up.
- Dehydration: reduced water intake is one of the primary reasons for leg cramps.
- Mineral Depletion: if the essential minerals in your body such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium decrease from the desired levels in your body, it might cause involuntary muscle spasms, such as leg cramps.
- Underlying Medical Condition: some medical conditions often cause leg cramps.
Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Leg Cramps
It may come as a surprise, but it is not that hard to get rid of a leg cramp, especially if you understand how they are caused.
- Massage and Stretch: one of the most common fixes to leg cramps is stretching it carefully and applying slow pressure on the leg cramp. Make sure you massage deeply to ease the stressed muscles into relaxing.
- Expose to Extreme Temperatures: fixing leg cramps requires a mindful calculated action. Many people have reported that applying a warm towel or placing a heating pad on the muscles is a soothing experience for the clenched muscles. Medical practitioners also suggest alternating the hot temperatures with something cold, like an ice pack, and using it to massage the problem area to reduce pain significantly.
- Rectify your diet: increase your water intake, or take up a healthy snack full of rich nutrients such as choice vegetables and fruit.
- Alternative Medicine: when all else fails, many people are increasingly turning towards leg cramp pills for a quick “cure” for the painful disorder. These medicines contain complex Vitamin B supplements, and research is being done to figure out their effectiveness.
As you have seen, leg cramps are often caused by dehydration, muscle strain, or even nutrient intake changes. Leg cramps are usually pretty harmless and can be fixed by applying gentle massaging pressure or even mild stretching exercises.
With that said, do keep in mind that if your leg cramp symptoms persist over long periods, it is a good idea to get it checked by a certified health professional to ensure that it is not a symptom of an underlying medical condition.