Leg cramp is a condition in which sudden contraction occurs in the leg muscle. This involuntary contraction can occur in one or multiple muscles simultaneously. Usually, leg cramp is not very harmful and it gets resolved on its own in sometime but in some serious conditions the problem can lead to have some serious aftereffects. Leg cramps temporary affect the normal movement of the leg but problem lasts for longer than it is an indication that immediate medical help is required.
How Can I Prevent Leg Cramps at Night?
Let us take a look into some of the simple tips that can be very effective in preventing leg cramp while sleeping-
Stretching The Legs- Performing some simple stretching of hamstrings and calves before going to bed helps in reducing the frequency of getting leg cramps at night. (1)
Drinking Plenty of Water- Maintaining proper hydration level of the body facilitates normal muscle functioning. The amount of liquid intake depends on various factors such as age, ongoing medications, active status, and weather and so on. (1)
Bike Peddling- People who have exercising bike in the house are suggested to peddle their bike few minutes before going to sleep at night. This regulates blood circulation in the body.
Sleeping Position- One should ensure that while sleeping their feet should not be pointed downward. Instead, one should sleep on their back keeping a pillow below their knees.
Avoid Heavy Bedding- Heavy bedding is very harmful as this pushes the feet downward while sleeping. On the contrary, look for loose and comfortable bedding that will maintain the proper body posture while sleeping.
Supportive Footwear- Footwear plays a significant role in providing comfort to the nerves and muscles in feet and legs. Good quality footwear is of great help for people suffering from flat feet. (1)
When To Visit A Doctor?
As discussed above Leg cramps is resolved on its own but if the problem last longer than one needs to visit a doctor for medical help. Let’s take a look into some of the symptoms that indicates that it is high time to visit a doctor-
- Severe pain or discomfort
- Suffer leg cramps frequently
- Swelling in legs or redness of skin
- Muscle weakness
Leg Cramps Risk Factors
List of factors that can considerably increases the risk of Leg cramps are as follows-
Age- The problem of Leg cramps is very common in old people because they already suffer muscle loss. This results in imposing excess stress on the remaining muscles leading to muscle spasms.
Dehydration– Athletes mostly practices in warm weather, this makes their body dehydrated causing Leg cramps.
Pregnancy- In pregnant women the problem of Leg cramps is very common.
Medical Conditions- people suffering from diabetes, nerve or live disorder are highly prone to develop Leg cramps very frequently. (2)
Leg Cramps Treatment
Leg cramps or spasms can be successfully treated with self care. Further, if the problem occurs frequently then doctors suggest some basic stretching exercises that helps in two ways, one reduces the spasm pain and also act as a preventing measure. Keeping the body well hydrated also helps in preventing muscle cramps by facilitating smooth body movement. It is only in some serious conditions doctors may recommend muscle relaxant for getting relief from the painful leg cramp.
Leg Cramps LifeStyle Changes
One should indulge in some simple daily stretching exercises for regulating the blood flow in their muscles. If they feel pain of toughness in their muscles then immediately apply heat or cold pad on the affected area. This will help in curing the problem and will also help in avoiding any serious condition later.
One should ensure to take balance diet and should include more of a potassium rich food items. This also helps a lot in maintaining proper blood flow and releases any obstruction in muscle movement. The above mentioned preventing measures can be of great help if followed religiously. (3)
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