Leg cramps are intolerable sharp pain in the leg calves, which occur suddenly and which are known to everyone. Do not worry if leg cramps are episodic. A lot of people suffer from spontaneous and frequent cramps of night cramps. What are the causes of leg cramps, how to overcome them, and how to deal with them?
Causes of leg cramps
In most cases, elderly and middle-aged people suffer from leg cramps. More serious causes of leg cramps are inflammatory processes, hidden injuries, thyroid damage, diabetes, or neurological conditions. If you suspect the above, you should do an examination at different specialists: phlebologist, neurologist, and endocrinologist. If these ailments will be cured, also leg cramps will cease.
Night cramps are provoked by:
- varicose veins;
- muscle tightness;
- cold in icy water or coldness;
- deficiency of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D.
Mineral deficiencies are caused by:
- Usage of different medications, which hinder the absorption of magnesium, for example, antacids hinder the absorption of vitamins and trace elements.
- Pregnancy, therefore pregnant women should consume magnesium and calcium twice the norm;
- Stress, which can lead to calcium loss, but calcium is very important for the nervous system and relaxation of muscles;
- Diets with high quantities of protein, which interferes the absorption of calcium;
- Increased sweating, as the human body loses a lot of magnesium with the sweat.
The first aid:
- If cramps start at night, you need to get up and sit in bed, put the legs down and try to get up on a cool floor, not on a mat. Your body should be as straight as possible, but your feet should be positioned together. After a few minutes the blood circulation in the legs will recover and thus the normal muscle tone.
- The second technique: inhale deeply, hold your toes with hands and, overcoming the pain, pull them towards you by stretching tense muscles. At the same time make a circular motions with your foot. When the muscle spasms are eased, massage tense muscles.
- If leg cramps are severe, pinch aching muscles several times. Then gently massage the feet and the leg calves with slapping and scrubbing motions, moving from the toes to the heel and from the knee to the heel. Then lie down, putting the rolled up blanket under your feet. This posture provides the blood flow and prevents recurrent cramps.
- Also the warming ointment can help, which is applied on the leg muscles. You can also use vodka or apple vinegar.
- If leg cramps recur, apply warm and moist compresses, as the heat reduces the sensitivity of nerves and relaxes muscles.
- Wear only comfortable footwear;
- Avoid great leg load;
- Reduce the amount of coffee and sugar;
- Quit smoking;
- Eat products that are rich with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B6;
- Sleep with wool socks;
- Regularly massage your legs;
- Make contrast baths, using herbal decoctions;
- Restore mineral levels in the body with appropriate diet and supplements.