Leg cramps are everyone’s worst nightmare. It can be a cramp that wakes you up at night or a cramp that bothers you throughout the day. Most often leg cramps are a result of lifestyle activities, so they can be dealt with simple corrections and changes. But in other cases, it can be a side effect of a serious health scare that would need immediate diagnosis and treatment. Follow these causes and treatment of leg cramps and you’ll never have to deal with them again.
1. Too Much or Too Less of Exercise
Why & What Happens: Lack of exercise or over exercising your body are common causes of leg cramps. When your muscles remain dormant they tend to become weak. When you suddenly contract your muscles, you experience those painful spasms. Similarly, when you overwork your muscles at the gym your muscles endure a more aggressive contraction they are used to hence yield the same result.
What To Do: Be regular with your workouts. If you plan to increase the intensity of your workouts make it gradual so your body can adjust to it. If your muscles feel sore, some ice pack and a brief period of rest are essential.
2. Your Body Posture Throughout The Day and Night
Why & What Happens: Your posture throughout the day and while you sleep are important for the good functioning of your muscles. If slouch a lot or tend to stand for long hours or even sleep in odd postures, your muscles become prone to painful leg cramps.
What To Do: Apart from maintaining a good posture during the and while napping you can also practice yoga to stretch your muscles. It will improve your body posture and give you a long term relief.
3. Another Risk To Endure During Pregnancy
Why & What Happens: People often complain of leg cramps during pregnancy especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. There is no proven reason but doctors suggest it may be a result of the pressure the uterus puts on some nerves and decreased blood circulation due to the growing baby’s pressure on blood vessels.
What To Do: Basic and gentle stretching of the calf muscles is the best reliever during pregnancy especially before going to bed. Be active and include some regular low-intensity exercises to keep your muscles worked. And massages always help too!
4. Check Your Medications
Why & What Happens: There are some medications that are known to promote or induce leg spasms in older adults. This is considered to be a side effect of medicines like statins, inhalers, and diuretics that often cause fatigue and weakness as the medicines are pretty strong on your nervous system.
What To Do: Take alternative medicines that are safer and have fewer side effects. If the meds are irreplaceable try soothing your muscles with massages and stretches.
5. A Dehydrated Body’s Call For Help
Why & What Happens: When the muscles in your body are not surrounded by the right amount of water and sodium they become too sensitive and react to contractions with spasms or cramps. It’s your body’s defense mechanism that often leaves you with sore muscles.
What To Do: The solution is too simple in this case, just make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. If you sweat too much then you need to compensate accordingly. You can also go in for sports drinks that have extra sodium in them.
6. Need for a Nutritious Diet
Why & What Happens: Your muscles need some minerals for smooth uninterrupted functioning. If you do not consume a healthy and complete diet, your body may lack these essentials like potassium, calcium, sodium etc.
What To Do: Get on with some healthy additions to your diet to keep those dreaded spasms at bay. Bananas, leafy greens, starchy veggies, cheese, yogurt, pickled food etc are good choices.
7. A Side Effect of a more Serious illness
Why & What Happens: Most often leg cramps occur due to easily treatable causes. But leg cramps are also known to be a side effect of serious illnesses like a blood disorder, liver disease, or even a thyroid or nervous disorder.
What To Do: Pay attention to your lifestyle. If you can’t pin down a cause for your cramps from the above, you should consider visiting a doctor for a detailed examination.