The leg cramps occur when one or more muscles contract and tighten precluding movement and making it difficult to relax. The cramp usually happens in all or part of the muscle and is most common in the calf, the back of the thigh, and the quadriceps. Leg cramps often occur when the power is at rest and is overloaded or injured by some lousy movement; however, they can also be caused by other conditions such as low potassium.
Cramps are very common; in fact, almost everyone has experienced that sensation of whiplash that paralyzes us with pain and warns us that something is wrong. However, when the discomfort becomes constant, it is necessary to look for an alternative to prevent this type of contraction; for this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we inform you about the causes and home remedies for leg cramps.
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Causes of leg cramps
Many people wonder why we suffer from leg cramps, and the truth is that many causes can cause an involuntary muscle spasm or contraction. Let’s get to know some of them:
- When we keep our legs in the same position for a long time, it is expected that when we move them, we experience a muscle cramp. This is also common when we do some exercise without previously warming up the muscle.
- Food is essential and influences the appearance of muscle cramps in the legs. For example, when we do not consume enough foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, it is expected that we begin to experience more muscle cramps than usual.
- Exercising the muscle more than it should until it becomes fatigued is also a cause of leg cramps.
- Dehydration is also responsible for cramps. Lack of fluid or drinking less than two liters of water a day can cause a person to suffer from recurring cramps.
- Some medications cause muscle cramps as a side effect.
- During episodes of diarrhea, it is also customary to have muscle cramps since the body loses a large reserve of its mineral salts.
- Diseases such as anemia and fibromyalgia.
- Vitamin E deficiency.
- Leading a sedentary life allows the muscles to atrophy earlier than usual and experience annoying cramps.
- Extreme cold and stress can throw the body out of balance and cause leg cramps.
- Circulatory problems or varicose veins.
Home treatment for leg cramps
Among the best home remedies for leg cramps, we find the following:
- Rosemary essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Horse chestnut
- Apple vinegar
- Hot water
In the following sections, we explain how you should use each of them to get relief and try to avoid leg cramps.
Essential oils, natural anti-inflammatories
Rosemary oil and eucalyptus oil have the property of generating heat in the skin, which stimulates blood circulation avoiding leg cramps. In addition, both substances act as excellent natural anti-inflammatories, which is why they help reduce cramps caused by muscle contractions or poor movement.
The best way to use the benefits of these essential oils for cramps is to massage your legs with these substances after a shower with boiling water. Nighttime leg cramps are usually frequent, so the idea is to do the massage before going to sleep, exerting movements with our hands that help us stretch the muscle and warm it up. You can find rosemary oil or eucalyptus oil in health food stores.
Horse chestnut is an excellent natural treatment for leg cramps.
Horse chestnut is one of the best medicinal plants that nature offers us, thanks to its high content of vitamins and minerals and its anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictor effect that stimulates circulation, as it tones the arteries and blood capillaries, thus helping to improve pain caused by varicose veins and prevent leg cramps.
In health food stores or herbalists, you can find supplements of aescin, which is the main compound in horse chestnut that promotes blood circulation. This is the safest way to consume this medicinal plant, and the recommended dose is 500 mg daily in the morning.
Another way to obtain the properties of this plant to avoid leg cramps is to drink horse chestnut water, which is prepared by boiling the bark of the plant and adding a teaspoon of the resulting liquid to a glass of water. The recommended dose is 2 cups of horse chestnut water a day.
Apple cider vinegar is anti-inflammatory and toning.
Many medicinal properties are attributed to apple cider vinegar. Still, among them, its power to treat muscle pain stands out thanks to its anti-inflammatory and toning action on the capillaries. Apple cider vinegar can be used internally and externally. For example, you can use it directly on your skin to massage your legs and avoid nighttime leg cramps. You can also take apple cider vinegar dissolved in water, adding two teaspoons to 1 glass of water twice a day.
In addition to its benefits for circulation, apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium and calcium, making it one of the best home remedies for leg cramps caused by a deficiency of any of these minerals. This substance helps control hypertension by lowering blood pressure levels. Therefore, it is essential that if you suffer from low blood pressure, you avoid consuming apple cider vinegar.
You can also make an apple cider vinegar remedy for chronic cramps. Add one tablespoon of honey and one apple cider vinegar to a cup of hot water, mix the ingredients and drink the preparation once a day. This drink will help you correctly distribute calcium in the body and avoid the most painful and constant cramps.
Hot shower and hydration to avoid leg cramps
Heat acts on the body by stimulating blood circulation in a good way, which prevents our muscles from contracting involuntarily. If you have noticed that your muscle cramps are more frequent, try taking a shower with boiling water to stimulate blood flow and avoid spasms.
Likewise, to avoid leg cramps, it is essential that you stay hydrated, especially if you consume any medication with a diuretic effect that may be decompensating the number of minerals, such as calcium, that the body needs to function correctly. The ideal is to consume 2 liters of water a day, but you should consider that if you do some exercise, your body needs more liquid, then you should drink at least 3 liters of water a day.
Tips to avoid leg cramps
- Exercise to activate your muscles and blood circulation.
- Remember to warm up your muscles properly before starting any physical activity and stretching them properly before each workout.
- Eat foods rich in potassium like bananas, oranges, kale, avocado, and spinach.
- Calcium is essential for bone health, and its deficiency can cause muscle cramps. Increase your intake of calcium-rich foods such as sardines, soy milk, tofu, spinach, egg, and orange juice.
- Lack of magnesium is usually the leading cause of leg cramps; you can find supplements of this mineral in health food stores or increase the consumption of foods such as almonds, watermelon, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cocoa powder, and beans. Soy.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Leg cramps: causes and home remedies , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.