Read on for the best home remedies for leg cramps that really work. Number 14 will really surprise you! (Note: We have already covered remedies for cramps anywhere in the body here. Since that was a general article, and we have been getting more and more queries pertaining to how to get rid of nocturnal leg cramps as well as calf cramps, we are covering that here today. So read on for the most effective home remedies for leg cramps and muscle cramps.)
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A sudden cramp in the calf muscles is an indication of electrolyte imbalance. Of all electrolytes, potassium is very important as it facilitates exchange of electrical impulses in the body. Adding potassium to the diet can help relieve leg cramps. You can also take magnesium in appropriate amounts-speak to your doctor who will guide you further. Sodium is another important electrolyte to take to stop leg cramps. Eat plenty of bananas (for potassium) or take a glass of V8 juice daily.
2. Vitamin E and calcium pills
Tests have shown that a combination of vitamin E and calcium pills can stop leg cramps in elderly patients as well as in pregnant women prone to nocturnal cramps.
3. Dill juice
Many athletes take dill pickle juice to stop cramps in the legs and feet almost immediately. At the first sign of cramp, drink up a glass of dill juice. Keep a bottle at home always if you are prone to nocturnal cramps. This remedy balances the electrolytes giving you quick relief.
4. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses are full of nutrients-vitamins and minerals. If you experience leg cramps or muscle cramps, take a tablespoon of BSM immediately. You can also take a spoonful of blackstrap molasses before bed at night in case you have a tendency of waking up due to pain.
5. Apple cider vinegar
This is one of the best natural remedies to get rid of inflammation in the body. Taking a glass of diluted organic apple cider vinegar can get rid of thigh and leg cramps. You can also massage apple cider vinegar directly into the muscles for prompt relief from pain.
Stretching the cramped muscles is one of the best ways to get rid of calf and leg pain. Here are some examples:
- Pull the toes upwards in the direction of the shin. This may hurt a bit but is one of the best remedies to stop the cramping immediately.
- Stand 50-75 cm away from the wall. Keeping the soles of your feet flat on the ground, bend forward and lean on the wall. You should feel the calf muscles stretch. Do this exercise several times a day.
- Walking and stationary cycling before bedtime can help a bit.
- Yoga is also a beneficial remedy for leg cramps.
7. Hot shower
Taking a hot bath before bed is one of the best natural remedies to stop muscle cramps.
8. Warm or cool compress
For some patients, applying a bag of frozen vegetables or ice pack helps alleviate pain. Alternatively, apply a hot water bottle or warm compress to help with the cramps.
9. Tonic water
Many patients have seen success with tonic water. It helps give immediate relief from leg cramps on account of its quinine content. Quinine is a drug that has been used for malaria treatment since the early 18th century. FDA has however banned this remedy since people with heart trouble or life threatening arrhythmia can develop severe skin reaction or even blood related complications due to quinine. Tonic water contains small amount of quinine so it is safe for use.
Taking mustard daily is another popular remedy for stopping leg cramps. Mustard contains turmeric which is an antioxidant. It relieves inflammation and helps the cramps subside. If you are suffering regularly from leg cramps, try taking a spoonful of organic turmeric in warm milk at night. (You can also take a ¼ tsp of turmeric with water and honey.)
11. Magnesium oil sprays
Magnesium oils sprays can be used for massaging the legs to stop cramps. The spray is easily absorbed by the skin where it relaxes the contractions giving you much needed relief. Magnesium oil is not exactly oil- it is magnesium chloride which has a greasy texture. If the oil stings your skin, wipe it off after 20 minutes.
12. Change your sleeping position
Keep your toes pointing upwards as you sleep on your back. You may take the help of supportive pillows to keep toes upright. If you lie on your front, dangle your feet at the edge of the bed-this will keep the toes straight and feet relaxed.
13. Avoid dehydration
Dehydration is the main cause of cramps. So drink tons of water.
14. Bar of soap
Many people have relieved cramps in legs and feet with this bizarre remedy. Place a bar of soap under your sheets just near the leg. The moment you experience a cramp, touch the leg to the soap. The cramp will disappear! You can use any ordinary hotel soap for this remedy and the soap need not even be expensive. No one knows why, but this remedy works every time!
Next time you develop leg cramps, try these 14 useful home remedies for quick relief.