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Sunday, 5 June 2016

What To Do About Those Nasty Leg Cramps

What To Do About Those Nasty Leg Cramps


Few things get your complete, undivided attention as fully and suddenly as a leg cramp. Your whole world gets taken up by blinding, screaming agony, like a wrench clamped down on your calf and won't let go. And of course they strike in the middle of the night, jarring you out of a peaceful slumber and ruining your sleep, right?
Well, leg cramps are more common than you might think. Once you know the causes, you can do something about leg cramps and hopefully leave that pain in the past.
SHARE this if you get leg cramps!

Sufferers know the intensity of leg cramps, but don't always know the cause.

And when you're caught in its grip, the cause doesn't matter as much as making the pain go away. 
But preventing future outbursts is well worth the effort, so you should get to know the causes.
Bear in mind that if addressing the causes and taking simple steps don't get rid of your muscle cramps and they occur frequently, talk to your doctor because it could be a sign of something more serious. 

Exercise.

Exercise is critical for living a health life, but it can take a toll, too. Simply overworking your muscles can cause them to seize up.

Dehydration.

When you get dehydrated, you don't just lose water; you lose electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that help your muscles work well too.

Standing.

Constantly being on your feet puts a strain on your muscles, just like exercise.

Cold.

Cold weather can cause your body to constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to your muscles, which can cause cramps. 
So when a cramp strikes, what can you do to get rid of it?

Rub the affected area.

You deserve a good massage anyway, right? Gently but firmly work the kink out by hand until you feel your muscle relax.

Eat a banana.

Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, both of which your muscles crave and might have been depleted while exercising. Other foods high in magnesium that can help include milk, broccoli, nuts, and oatmeal.

Take a hot shower.

Warm water can help loosen tight muscles and soothe your nerves.

Pickle juice.

Sounds weird, right? But again, pickle juice is full of salt, which is another electrolyte, and it's thought that the vinegar helps to stop the nerve signals telling tired muscles to cramp up.

Walk it off.

If you can put pressure on your leg, get up and get moving to force blood to flow into the muscle. 

Stretching.

Again, stretch out the cramping muscle to loosen it up and get blood flowing again. And make sure to stretch before exercising next time!

Put a bar of soap between your sheets.

Okay, no clinical studies on this one have been published, but many cramp and restless leg sufferers swear by it. Nobody can say why it works, but if it does you'll be thankful, and if not, you haven't done any harm.

Don't caffeinate too late.

Excess caffeine can make your muscles twitch, and the diuretic effect can once again deplete those all-important electrolytes

SHARE this if you ever get leg cramps!
Main Image via David Avocado Wolfe

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