There are many people who experience leg cramps during the night. When something like this happens, these cramps typically occur as unexpected and fast spasms or contractions of the muscles located in the thighs, feet, and calves.
These nighttime leg cramps usually appear when the sufferer has fallen asleep or right after they’ve opened their eyes in the morning.
The worst part is that in many cases the pain is extremely intense and it can last anywhere from just a few seconds to a few minutes.
Once the pain is gone, the muscles are tightened and tensed and people may experience pain if they touch them or move fast.
Leg cramps that occur at night should not be confused with restless leg syndrome.
While it is true that both conditions occur at nighttime, it is also true that restless leg syndrome makes people feel relaxed when they move their legs. If they move their legs when they experience leg cramps the pain will be even stronger.
Scientists have still not determined the exact reason why people experience these muscle cramps.
However, they suspect that certain activities or health conditions can lead to this unpleasant experience.
Some of these causes include:
- Physical activity
- Muscle overload
- Lack of calcium
- Lack of Magnesium
- Lack of Potassium
- Kidney disease
- Being exposed to low temperatures for a long period of time
- Blood circulation issues
- Thyroid disease
- Specific pharmaceutical drugs.
In case the muscle cramps you notice are not a signal that there is a presence of some more serious health issue, you can rely on a few different natural methods to cure them.
First of all, you must relax the muscle or the group of muscles that are cramping. So, restrain yourself from any physical activity that may have triggered the cramp in the first place and slowly start stretching the muscle. Keep your muscle stretched and rub the area gently.
2. Massage or Acupuncture
It is a well-known fact that acupuncture has the ability to relax every muscle and this is the best way to fix the direct cause of this issue. In case you are afraid of needles, you can also use a massage. Perform these massages regularly and your muscles will eventually relax.
3. Bath Based on Epsom Salt
There are a huge number of therapists, trainers, and coaches who advise their students and patients to use Epsom salt baths in order to eliminate cramping. This special bath delivers a significant amount of magnesium to the skin and the pleasantly warm water will relax the muscles.
4. Increase Water Intake
In case you didn’t know, dehydration is one of the leading causes of muscle cramps. Of course, drinking a whole bottle of water won’t provide instant relief, but if you drink a sufficient amount of water on a daily basis then this practice will definitely improve your health condition.
5. Remain Active
Taking a walk can also support the elimination of muscle cramps because this activity is easy and relaxes the muscles in our legs. Don’t stand in one position for a long time in order to avoid cramps.
In case you don’t experience leg cramps related to certain health conditions frequently, you can also include higher amounts of magnesium in your daily diet. Seeds and nuts are loaded with this essential nutrient. Consult a doctor if you want to take supplements.
Also, you can make magnesium oil and rub it on your legs before going to bed. To make it, boil half a cup of distilled water and then add half a cup of magnesium chloride flakes. Once dissolved, remove from heat and let the solution cool. Store it in a spray bottle and spray five to ten times on each leg before going to bed.
How to Act in Case of Muscle Cramp
All these natural remedies we have mentioned before are used for prevention. But, what should we do in case we notice a cramp? Nighttime leg cramps can cause a lot of pain and in some cases, people are completely paralyzed. So, if you are in a situation like this, follow these tips.
- Move your leg if it is possible or walk in the room in order to improve blood circulation.
- Rub the muscle for a few minutes.
- Always use blankets, sheets, and clothing that provide good airflow.
- Get down on the floor and sit. Extend the legs as much as you can and flex the feet at your ankles. Extend the toes too. After that, use the hands to drag the feet and gently stretch the affected muscles.