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Leg cramps, also known as a charley horse, are characterized by sudden pain or tightness in the voluntary muscles of the leg. These are what most people think of when they hear the word “cramp.” True cramps are the most common and affect muscles that are working together. Not as common as true cramps, dystonic cramps occur when the muscle not intended to contract, contracts. Heavy exercising: Heavy activity results in an increased loss of body fluid, thus leading to dehydration and muscle contractions. Muscle fatigue: Strenuous activity fatigues muscles, which increases the chance of leg cramping. Injury: Torn muscles, shin splints, tendinitis, and stress factors may cause cramping as the body attempts to avoid further injury by cramping the muscles around the injury and decreasing the range of motion of the injured body part. Mineral deficiency: Deficiency of calcium, potassium and magnesium can cause over excitability of the nerves of the muscle. Poor blood circulation: Associated with leg cramping, and with night leg cramping in particular.
High weight: Heavier individuals are at greater risk of muscle fatigue and poor blood circulation, which may lead to muscle cramping. Position of Feet: Night cramps, in particular, may be influenced by the position the feet are in during sleep. Though leg cramps may not be able to be avoided entirely, there are some methods that help to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Although cramping generally goes away on its own, there are some treatments for leg cramping, including at-home remedies as well as over-the-counter and prescription medication. Heat Pad: Applying heat to the cramped muscle can help to relax the muscle and aid in pain management. Hot Showers: With the same theory as the heat pad, a hot shower running over the cramped muscle will help to relax the muscle.
Gentle Stretching: Sometimes simply stretching the cramped muscles or muscles around the cramped muscle can alleviate pan. Mustard or Pickle Juice: Both mustard and pickle juice have acetic acid, which helps produce a stimulant for leg muscles. Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 1 teaspoon honey and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink. Mustard Tea Bath: Saturate a tub full of warm water with a homemade teabag of brown or black mustard seeds. Vitamin supplements: Calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc supplements all help to prevent muscle cramps.
Electrolyte Replacement Beverages: These drinks help to restore electrolytes lost during strenuous activity or exercise.
If leg cramping is a recurrent issue that does not get better using preventative measures, a doctor may issue a prescription medication to help alleviate leg cramping. Though leg cramping is usually a result of unknown causes, it is possible that cramping is indicative of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. When visiting a doctor for issues related to leg cramping, the doctor will perform a physical exam, paying special attention to the legs, feet, hips, back, knees and ankles. After a physical exam and when the medical history has been completed, some diagnostic tests may be performed to narrow down the cause of the leg cramping. Healthy diet and moderate exercise are required not only to avoid leg cramping, but also to ensure overall good health. My name is Kim Wang and this site is my work in progress helping to pass on some of the things my mother has taught me over the years.
Massage is another way to ease the pain and discomfort that you get when you start cramping.
Another way to ease the pain is to put hot compress or a hot water bottle underneath the affected area. When you are cramping because you have been active then it is best to rehydrate with a pinch of salt. Infestations of pests and insects are one of the most annoying features in any household today.
Leg cramps are an indication of an imbalance of electrolytes and minerals in the body that result in abrupt muscle contractions, which can be incredibly painful until they subside.Depending on the underlying cause, replenishing the body with the required nutrients using natural treatments can effectively treat and prevent leg cramps. Since, leg cramps occur suddenly without any warnings, it is wise enough to know the possible causes and act accordingly to treat this debilitating condition by providing the body with proper nutrition and fluids. Dehydration that occurs after a strenuous workout or an outdoor sport in hot weather conditions increases sweating, which eventually leads to the loss of valuable electrolytes like sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium from the body.
Hence, it is important to drink water before, during and after your exercise and keep certain sports drinks containing essential electrolytes handy before starting an intense workout. Overusing certain muscles during regular exercises like swimming, running, tennis, etc., and a sedentary lifestyle, devoid of any physical activity can both lead to agonizing leg cramps. The leg cramps in the calf that jolt you awake in the middle of the night, most often respond to a combination of gentle muscle stretching exercises and massaging with an up and down kneading motion around the affected areas. Other easier ways of dealing with leg cramps include rolling a tennis ball under your bare soles for a few minutes or by just walking by putting your weight on the heel of the affected leg on a daily basis, for providing flexibility to your muscles. Alternate treatment using heat and cold therapy for 20 minutes each, can provide an instant relief from injuries and leg cramps that occur during your regular workouts. Potassium plays a major role in the contraction of muscles and in transmitting the nerve impulses through the neuromuscular junction.
The recommended intake of potassium for curing leg cramps varies with age and hence, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any potassium supplements.
Leg cramps that mostly catch you off guard in the middle of the night can be treated by restoring the levels of magnesium, an electrolytic mineral, which influences the volume of water and pH levels in the body. Also, certain medications for treating high blood pressure and heart disease can deprive the blood of its magnesium content and therefore, a daily intake of at least 400 milligrams of magnesium is needed to prevent leg cramps.
Although, increase in the dietary intake of magnesium through foods like whole grains, legumes and leafy vegetables can restore mild deficiencies, magnesium supplements like Amino-Mag 200 at bed time may be required to address severe deficiencies.
Yet another dietary approach for treating leg cramps, is to consume sufficient amount of calcium, mostly found in foods like sesame seeds, dried herbs, flax seeds, brazil nuts, green leafy vegetables, almonds and in dairy products like tofu, cheese, yogurt, milk, etc.
Besides nutritional imbalances and an intense workout, hormonal imbalances like the lack of estrogen and vitamin D prevent sufficient absorption of calcium by the muscles and bones thereby, leading to involuntary muscle contractions causing leg cramps. Hence, the implementation of these simple natural remedies can save you from spending on over-the-counter or prescription supplements for relieving and preventing leg cramps, which are basically not free from unwanted side effects.A A healthy and a well-balanced diet can help your body in retaining adequate levels of minerals that prevent sudden tightening of muscles and alleviates the symptoms associated with leg cramps. However, bouts of frequent leg cramps can also be caused by other medical conditions like diabetes, pregnancy, parkinsona€™s disease, depression, thyroid diseases, etc., Also ingestion of excess quantity of the above mentioned minerals can interact with certain drugs being used thus, leading to serious health problems. Restless Leg Syndrome, also abbreviated as RLS, is a neurologic disorder associated with involuntary movement of limbs is called Willis-Ekbom Disease.
Discomfort includes burning, twitching or even gnawing sensations in limbs resulting in an irresistible desire to keep moving your legs (less rare but for some, their arms or other parts of their body) in order to relieve those sensations. But, it is not life-threatening and there are natural ways to curb these symptoms with naturopathic and homeopathic options. In order to manage your symptoms you will need to check your lifestyle when living with RLS. Identify activities or habits in daily life that are contributing to worsening of the symptoms. If your way of life or work is characterized by more sitting at a desk, take a break every hour to stretch out your limbs.

Magnesium is required by the body to push excess calcium out of the cells so that muscles can relax. Unlike other minerals, magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin by using magnesium oil or epsom salt baths. There are many prescription and over the counter medicines that can actually trigger RLS symptoms, sometimes making them worse. Yoga, meditation and even breathing exercises can help sustain better health when stressed. Choose activities that keep your mind engaged and boost your brainpower like reading a book or participating in thought provoking discussions when sedentary. Engaging in physical activities like stretching, walking, jogging or running on a daily basis can assist those suffering with RLS. If you don’t enjoy any of those, find an outdoor workout that is more suitable to your personality, like working out or even rock climbing at your gym. Try alternate methods like acupressure or acupuncture to correct your energy imbalances and promote relaxation.
The patients’ unique genetic composition is taken into consideration before providing treatment. Arsenicum album is a solution prepared by diluting arsenic trioxide and is used to treat patients who cannot lie still and often complain of cramps. On the other hand, patients who have RLS with numbness, tearing pains in the joints and knee joints that are subject to cracking sounds are usually given the homeopathic remedy Causticum. People who have respiratory congestion or a history of arthritic, paralytic or rheumatic complaints are more susceptible.
RLS characterized by jerking, twitching or even tearing pains waking up the sufferer between 2 am and 4 am. Lycopodium is useful for treatment of RLS symptoms, commonly pronounced between 3 pm to 8 pm, where patients end up with their feet sticking out from under the bedclothes. The type requiring Magnesia carbonica experience weakness of calves along with cramping, pains and jerking of legs. Type of RLS benefiting from Phosphorous are those often tired, frequent thirst for cold drinks and have a marked tendency to haemorrhage. Their symptoms include cramping of the toes, numbness, jerking, and stiffness of the joints. Sepia is useful for women suffering from RLS with a history of weakness, congestion, uterine disorders, yellowing of the skin and depression.
The RLS symptoms requiring to be treated by homeopathic remedy called Tarantula hispanica include extreme restlessness with jerking, numbness and twitching. While doses of Zincum metallicum are commonly used by practitioners in the hope of relieving RLS symptoms like trembling or fidgety and twitchy feet requiring constant movement, as a result. Doctors suspect genes as a possibility of one of the reasons for RLS; maybe a family member had the condition.
While there is no medical test to diagnose RLS; patients knowing their symptoms and family history can be beneficial. These muscles are mainly the muscles in the area of the calf, hamstring, or quadriceps, and though the cramp usually only lasts a couple of seconds, it can take several minutes for the muscles to relax. True cramps may occur following an injury—the muscles cramp around an injured bone to prevent its movement—or vigorous exercise. These cause a tingly or numb sensation in addition to the painful cramping felt in true cramps. Researchers believe this sudden forceful contraction is caused by the hyper excitability of the nerve controlling the muscle.
Toes pointing down cause the calf muscle to shorten, thus resulting in cramping if this position is held for too long. This may be due to the changes in a pregnant woman’s blood circulation, the stress of the baby on the muscles of the legs, or the pressure of the baby on the nerves and blood vessels. Sudden changes in activity result in an increased chance of cramping, as well as the risk of damage to muscles.
Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and making sure to consume the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals will help to reduce the occurrence of leg cramping, and will promote overall health. Since leg cramping is such a fleeting ailment, however, many of these treatments are best for those with recurring cramping.
Flexing the foot, squatting, and other typical stretches of the legs can all help to remedy the leg cramp. The apple cider vinegar is high in potassium, which is helpful for the treatment of leg cramps.
This herbal massage oil is made with one cup of extra-virgin olive oil, with ? ounce of lobelia, 1 ounce of cramp bark, 1 ? ounce of willow bark. Prescription muscle relaxers may prevent recurring leg cramping, as well as help relax muscles in the midst of a cramp.
Therefore, it may be necessary to seek the advice of a medical professional in order to determine if an underlying medical condition is the cause behind frequent cramping.
These tests range from x-rays to bone biopsies, and as with any medical procedure, a candid discussion should take place with the doctor regarding the method, side effects, and any concerns surrounding the procedure. Before beginning an exercise regime—and especially if leg cramping is recurrent—it is important to ensure that the planned exercise can be completed safely.
Do You Have Creepy Crawly Sensations In Your Legs?Or maybe you would describe it as being electrocuted by gnomes with tiny live wires? But the pain and the discomfort can easily send your stress and anxiety levels to the roof. That is why in order not to feel the pain and discomfort of leg cramps it is best not to have it at all. This deprivation of essential body fluids can have a negative impact on the body and lead to painful leg cramps.
Also, avoid dehydrating-caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks while exercising. Hence, it is important to stretch your muscles regularly especially before beginning and finishing your workout for an improved blood circulation in the body. Researchers from the New York University’s Langone Medical Center have reported that holding a calf stretch for about 10 seconds, three times daily, that involves standing at an arma€™s length from a wall and leaning towards the wall by locking your knees together until you feel a strong pull in your calf muscles, can bring maximum relief from leg cramps.
Application of a cold compress can relax the muscles and relieves soreness and tenderness in the muscle and heat relieves the tightness and spasms experienced in the muscles. It also helps in maintaining homeostasis by regulating the pH in the blood, cells and tissues in the body. Its dietary sources include fresh fruits like bananas, kiwis, oranges, grapefruits, papaya, melons, apricots, figs, raisins and vegetables like baked potatoes with the skins intact, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, fish and some dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk. Almost 30% of pregnant women suffering from leg cramps were found to have a deficiency of magnesium. Excess of magnesium can lead to diarrhea and hence, it is most often used as a supplement in massage oils, whose application on the affected areas can eliminate or significantly reduce the episodes of leg cramps. Among the various functions that calcium serves in the body, one of the most important roles it plays is in contracting, relaxing and strengthening the muscles and the bones.
In such instances, supplementing your body with enough calcium supplements can ease your leg cramps.
Therefore, it is a must to consult your doctor before incorporating them into your diet, to help you understand the correct dosage required by your body.

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They are painful and can leave lasting soreness for days after the acute cramping takes place.
Those indulging in too much caffeine or alcohol can worsen their RLS symptoms as they act as stimulants, especially around bed time. Norepinephrine, a chemical required to moderate the brain’s response to stress is released through basic activity.
Rhus tox are essential for people with RLS symptoms that need to constantly move their legs and the first movement is often excruciating.
Decreasing levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine triphosphate, which provides the energy for muscle contraction, contributes to the occurrence of contractures. Water is better for hydration than juice or soda, and small amounts should be drunk every thirty minutes to ensure adequate hydration. Pain medication may be prescribed in order to deal with persistent or recurrent pain caused by cramps. It may be necessary to substitute low impact exercise for higher stress exercises if the cause of the leg cramping is an injury or other underlying medical condition. People that have experienced it swear that it is an experience that you don't want to get. You may need to ask for assistance on this one as it can cause accidents that may cause more damage. Low levels of potassium can be caused by severe diarrhea, vomiting, excessive consumption of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, laxatives and black licorice. A leg cramp or charley horse can occur with no warning and can truly interrupt your life. So, what causes these cramps to occur?
If you want to calm your RLS, you will need to significantly reduce or altogether quit smoking. When discussing leg cramps, it is important to know that there is more than one kind of leg cramp.
Called night cramps, the cramps that occur at night may wake the sufferer up in the middle of the night. When there is too little adenosine triphosphate, the muscle stays frozen in a contracted state and cannot relax. However, there are some things that are contributing factors to leg cramping, even if they do not directly cause the cramping.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed if arthritis or other inflammatory disease is believed to be contributing to leg cramping. That is why it is best to arm yourself with information that you can use in the event of leg cramps. Hot water bottles can bring general relief to the affected area and could provide a relaxing feel. Anticoagulants, which are blood thinners, may be prescribed if medical investigation shows a blood clot, which may be contributing to leg cramping. The education can also be handy in helping a family member or a friend that is in need of help due to leg cramps.
Overexertion during exercise- If you work your muscles too hard they may begin to retaliate. These different types of leg cramps have different possible causes and, therefore, different treatments. Here are some natural remedies for leg cramps that you can use to alleviate the pain and discomfort. It is best that you seek alternative sources of proteins to avoid getting too much phosphoric acid. Potassium is not only good against leg cramps but it can also help lower blood pressure which tends to get high when you are under stress and feeling anxiety symptoms.
Fortunately, through a little trial and error I’ve been able to eliminate it without the help of medications.
Won’t this mess me up?A Experts often suggest that people need to consume twice as much calcium as magnesium for bone health.
As long as you stay hydrated and stretch prior to any exercise, you should be able to minimize the pain that comes with leg cramps. However, if you are still plagued with a leg cramp, remember hot or cold, stretch, and massage for great relief options. Apparently, the recommendation goes back to statements made by French scientist Jean Durlach, who warned that calcium intake should never dip exceed twice the amount of magnesium consumed.
New research indicates why he made this suggestion –A  without adequate magnesium, calcium can calcify soft tissue and contribute to heart disease. However, you may want to try MyoMalic which is helpful for fibromyalgia, and also Relax Already, which helps for those with muscle spasm.Good Luck Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. This includes … More Boosting Energy With FoodFood as Body Energy Fuel It's well-known that food fuels our body energy, but knowing what to eat, when to eat and how to eat are the keys to using food to fight off low energy.
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A deficiency in magnesium causes muscle tightening and that causes people to experience the leg spasms common in RLS. This is what we have all been taught from the time we were old enough to begin bathing ourselves. First,A iron and magnesium compete for receptor sites in the body, so taking too much can affect your magnesium stores.Second, according to Dr. With the help of your health professional you can use natural treatments effectively to improve your health. They not A only can’t absorb essential for blood vitamins and minerals from food, but their own production of these vitamins is damaged. Learn More Natural Remedy to Lose WeightNatural Weight Loss Remedies If you asked the average man on the street what his #1 problem is, his answer will either be not carrying around enough money or carrying around too many pounds.
Not the British pounds sterling … MoreInsomnia Remedy – Sleep RemediesWhy Can't I Sleep?
They consume whatever iron the person gets from the diet, leaving that person deficient in iron. The information on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You can see my full disclaimer here.Related PostsRestless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding8 Natural Remedies When Your Baby Is Congested5 Natural Remedies For Pink Eye Natural Remedies 131 Comments About HeatherHi, I'm Mommypotamus. I didn’t cut sugar from my diet, I had to cut all forms of wheat, no bread, pasta, pizza or cake. Do you think it works as well?thx Jamarys to jamarys hwang'>reply to this comment SarahApril 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM I had terrible RLS with my third pregnancy. It took about an hour to kick in, so I just made sure that I took it well before I went to bed.

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