Leg cramps in the middle of the night? When you’re dealing with one, there’s a good chance you will soon find yourself dealing with a sleepless night as well. Leg cramps, which typically occur in your calves and hamstrings, can feel like a spasm — the muscles contract on their own.
There can be a number of culprits behind leg cramps, from overworking or straining your muscles during exercise or other activities, dehydration, or inadequate levels of minerals which work by helping your muscles function. Leg cramps not caused by strenuous activity could be an indicator of other medical issues, including diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Here are 5 things you should know about managing leg cramps and, possibly, preventing them:
1. Stretch. Muscle cramps brought on by physical activity can be minimized if you take the time to stretch as part of your daily exercise routine. Even if you don’t work out at the gym, it’s important to start your day by performing various stretching exercises. Stretching also can be effective if you are experiencing a muscle cramp. Slowly stretch out the muscles, slightly bending and flexing the muscle.
2. Massage the muscle. Applying gentle pressure to the cramped area can help ease the tension. If necessary, apply warmth to the area with a heating pad to help loosen the muscle.
3. Take supplements. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t getting the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and mineral as part of their diets. As a result, muscle cramps could be a sign of inadequate levels of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. Also, some people have taken quinine as supplement to address muscle cramps. For decades, quinine has been used to address symptoms with benign nocturnal muscle cramps related to neuromuscular issues. It is important to select quinine that has not been banned by the FDA.
4. Soak in a warm bath. Pour Epsom salt into a warm bath so that you can soak your leg; salt also contains magnesium.
5. Drink plenty of water. You also can prevent the occurrence of leg cramps by drinking plenty of water. Sports drinks containing electrolytes also can help alleviate or prevent the symptoms.
Ready to find a supplement that handles leg cramps? Wonder Lab features the type of quinine that has not been banned by the FDA. Try Hyland’s® Leg Cramps with Quinine, a traditional homeopathic formula designed to relieve symptoms related to leg cramps as well as cramps and pain in the lower back and legs.
Directions: Adults and children ages 12 and over: Dissolve 2-3 tablets under tongue every 4 hours or as needed.