How to get rid of foot and leg cramps fast?There are times when you would be sleeping in the middle of the night and you just want to rest but then you will be awakened because your foot or calf seems to be paralyzed. This type of cramp can be called in different ways. You may call it a cramp or you may also call it a Charley Horse.
Basically when your foot or your calf suddenly becomes painful or cannot be moved, this is because the muscle controlling these areas suddenly stiffen. Even if you are not doing anything, the muscle just cannot relax. The older you get, the more likely that you are going to suffer from this condition.
Possible Causes of Foot and Leg Cramps
It is ideal that before you know the remedies that can help get rid of the cramps that you are feeling, you should first know what possible reasons are causing the foot and leg cramps so you will know how to experience the cramps less.
- Nutritional Problems – Take a look at the food that you normally eat. Do you usually eat healthy? If yes then you have nothing to worry about but if the foods that you eat do not contribute to the amount of nutrition that you need, you know that you need to pay more attention to the food that you eat. If you would be recommended to take supplements then do it. Just one tip to remember: Do not take supplements when you are not required to take them as this may cause more harm than good.
- Lack of stretching – Do you tend to hold one position for a long period of time? This is going to cause your muscles to cramp up. Stretching can be done upon waking up but do not forget to stretch at different times of the day so that you can keep all of your muscles strong. You should also warm up before you do any rigorous exercise.
- Too much physical activity – If you have over exerted yourself because of an activity or you have exercised too much, you can expect that you will become more prone to getting muscle fatigue. The more tired your muscles are, the more likely that you are going to experience cramps.
- Wearing the wrong shoes – Does your job require you to stay on your feet the whole day? If yes, then do yourself a favor, have the right shoes that will keep you comfortable unless of course, you are required to wear shoes that are not exactly comfortable. During your rest days, wear the right shoes and your feet and legs will thank you for it. Do take note that even flats can cause some cramps because your feet are not given the proper support that they need.
- Side effect of taking some medications – Perhaps you have never experienced getting muscle cramps before but upon taking a new medication, you suddenly wake up with cramps on your foot and calf. Let your doctor know about this immediately so that your medication can be changed to something that can work better for you.
Do remember that one of the reasons why you experience cramps often is because you do not drink enough water. How many glasses of water do you take every single day? There are some who only drink a glass for the full day then they drink other beverages in lieu of water. Water is still the best drink that you can provide for your body.
14 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Foot and Leg Cramps Fast
Now that you know the different reasons why you may be experiencing cramps, remember that you can always do remedies to get rid of the cramps immediately.
The moment that you start to feel cramps, you can start massaging the affected area gently. By massaging the affected area, you are getting rid of the tension that is causing your muscles to become stiff involuntarily. When you massage the affected area, you are also increasing the blood flow in that part of the body which can eventually get rid of the pain.
- Put weight on the affected area
If you experience the cramps while lying down, this may be your body’s way of telling you that you need to change your position or at least, you need to put a bit of weight on the affected area. Stand up slowly. If you do this quickly, you may not be able to carry your weight immediately and you may find yourself sprawled on the floor and unable to get up because of the cramps.
- Heating Pads
One of the reasons why you are experiencing cramps is because of the lack of blood circulation on your feet or calves. With the use of heating pads you can increase blood circulation and eventually, effectively relax the aching muscles.
If you do not have heating pads and you feel that the cramps are getting worse, you can prepare your bathtub and fill it with warm water. Add a bit of Epsom salt to your bath water too as this can improve your blood circulation further. Soak on the bath water for a few minutes. This can help get rid of the discomfort that you are feeling due to having cramps.
- Straighten Your Leg
There are times when you simply need to change your foot and your leg’s current position. To make the blood circulate better, you can raise your leg pointing upward towards the ceiling. This will allow the muscle to eventually relax. You may want to keep your leg in that position until the leg cramps are completely gone. Otherwise, you may risk letting the cramps go back again and make you uncomfortable.
- Increase your fluid intake
One of the reasons why you are suffering from cramps is because you have not taken the amount of fluids that your body needs. Remember that when you are suffering from dehydration, you are not only more likely to acquire various health conditions, you are also going to lose a lot of nutrients that your body needs. Do take note if you have done some activities that have made you lose a lot of water such as exercising. The more fluids that you lose, the more that you have to take in again in order to hydrate your body. You may also have the tendency to sweat more if the weather is hot.
- Change your sleeping position
Have you ever wondered if it is your sleeping position that has caused your leg and foot cramps? If you suspect that this is the reason, you can try changing your position. It will make a lot of difference. You are recommended to use blankets that are untucked near the feet area. This way, your feet can move freely even when you are asleep thus, getting rid of the chances of acquiring cramps.
- Take food or beverage that is rich in vinegar
The body needs acetylochine that is meant to improve how well the muscles can function. In order to improve the amount of acetylochine available in the body, the intake of vinegar is required. If you are not sure what you need to take, you may want to place a bit of apple cider vinegar with water. You can also eat mustard. This is one of the reasons why a lot of athletes have packets of mustard with them when they know that they are going to undergo strenuous activities. They would like to prepare their muscles for the ordeal.
- Do not wear clothes that are too tight
It is already expected that whenever you wear clothes that are too tight, you are decreasing blood circulation on some parts of your body. For example, do you realize that after wearing skinny jeans for a long period of time, you normally feel your muscles start to relax after you remove them? It is okay to be fashionable from time to time but do not make it a habit to constantly wear uncomfortable clothes as this can take a toll on your muscles after some time.
- Do something that can help you relax
It is a well-known fact that stress and anxiety can make some of your muscles tense up and cramp up. If you do not want this to happen to you, you can think of things that you can do that will make you feel more relaxed. At the same time, you can also take tea after doing hard exercises because the tea is meant to help relax your muscles. Are you wondering which tea is best for relaxation? Choose chamomile tea. Drinking this after exercising can do a lot of wonders for your muscles. You can take this every day too so you will start feeling less stressed.
- Get to know if there are other possible reasons why you are experiencing cramps
It will be easy to blame the cramps on the things that you are experiencing or feeling. You may say that you are just stressed and this is the reason why you are experiencing cramps. You may also say that it is your sleeping position that is causing your cramps to become even more uncomfortable every day but if you suspect that there are other possible reasons, consult with a doctor immediately. Your doctor will check if you have any of these possible conditions:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Endocrine Disorders
- Elevate your legs
There are times when your legs just need a little bit of elevation so you will start to feel better. For example if you are lying down and you have woken up because of the pain, you may want to put the pillow underneath your legs. This will elevate your legs even for just a little bit. This can already make a lot of difference with your blood circulation.
- Try to limit your alcohol intake
There is a bigger possibility that you are going to experience cramps after drinking a lot of alcohol. This is because alcohol is known to decrease the strength of your muscles. The more alcohol that you drink, the more that your muscles will weaken over time. There are some people who are suffering from this condition who will be experiencing this for a long period of time while there are some who can still recover.
- Increase your physical activity in a gradual manner
One of the mistakes that people do is to increase physical activity in a fast manner. They assume that just because they can, they would already do more even without stretching or doing easy exercises. In order for your muscles to build strength, they have to be exposed to various exercises in a gradual manner. For example, if you plan to do planking, you can start with 8 seconds for your first day then increase the seconds to 10 on your second day and so on and so forth. You will realize that after a couple of months, you are already able to hold the planking position for more than a few minutes at a time. This shows how much your muscles have improved in terms of strength.
Things to Remember
You may think that you are experiencing foot and leg cramps because you have weak muscles but this is not always the case. A lot of times, it is because of your current lifestyle. If you would make an effort to have a healthier diet and you would constantly do exercises that can help improve the strength of your muscles then there is a lesser chance that you will suffer from cramps. Your cramps may come occasionally and this means that managing the cramps will be easy for you to do but they are already common, you may want to ask your doctor for other methods you can do to get relief from your condition.
Did you learn a lot of methods and remedies that can help get rid of cramps on your feet and legs? You may have other suggestions available. Feel free to share your thoughts and your comments too. Out of all the methods that are mentioned above, which one worked the best for you.