A sudden contraction of muscle is generally referred as a cramp. Leg cramps are extremely debilitating and cause severe pain. It may affect calves, hamstrings or quadriceps and can occur at any hour; even when we are asleep. The main reason behind this is an imbalance of electrolyte in the body. It is also termed as charley horse that lasts from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. There is no certain reason for these leg cramps, but it can happen when your body lacks sodium, potassium or magnesium. Apart from these, there are a few more reasons that may cause muscle spasm in the leg.
Let’s try to find out why it happens. Dehydration, sudden injury, pregnancy, weakness, excessive consumption of alcohol, standing or sitting for a long time, vigorous exercise, extremely cold weather, certain types of medications, and lack of vitamin D, results in leg cramps. The risk of leg cramps increases if you are prone to kidney disease, thyroid, muscle fatigue, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, high or low blood pressure. Common symptoms of this ailment are unbearable pain, swelling, difficulty in walking and standing. So, before the pain takes a toll on your health, try out the below-listed home remedies to get rid of leg cramps.
Turmeric is well-off with several therapeutic properties, and that is why helpful in preventing leg cramps. Take coconut oil in a bowl and add two tbsp of powdered turmeric in it to make a thick paste. Rub this paste on the painful part, to get some relief.
- Alternatively, you can take turmeric capsules.
2. Mustard Seeds
Mustard is an excellent source of manganese and also full of acetic acid that stimulates the production of acetylcholine, an organic molecule that acts as a neurotransmitter and keeps muscles active. Thus, helps prevent soreness. Simply, have a tablespoon of yellow mustard followed by a glass of warm milk daily.
3. Organic Honey
Take 2 tablespoons of ACV (apple cider vinegar) and mix it with 1 tablespoon of organic honey. Consume this concoction every day to prevent occurring of cramps.
4. Hydrate Yourself
Dehydration is one of the major causes of leg cramps. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Drink at least 8 to 9 glasses of water a day. This is the best and simplest way to treat cramps.
The richness of calcium and vitamin D in milk reduces the frequency of leg cramps. Develop a habit of drinking milk every day before you hit the bed. This remedy will prove effective in preventing night cramps.
Apples are loaded with ample nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, and many vitamins including vitamin C, E and K. Thus, consume apple every day to prevent these painful cramps.
Banana contains a wealth of potassium. If you experience muscle spasms on a regular basis, munch on a banana every day.
8. Warm Bath
Take a shower with lukewarm water whenever you experience cramp. It soothes your nerves and relaxes your entire body. The high temperature of water regulates the blood circulation in the painful area.
- Besides, you can add Epsom salt to the bathtub to increase the effectiveness of this remedy.
9. Grapefruit, Lemon, and Orange
Peel two small-sized oranges; cut three lemons and one grapefruit. Blend them in a juicer and add one tsp of tartar. Mix all the ingredients properly. Drink it to prevent leg cramps.
- Or else, prepare lemon juice and drink it by adding a pinch of salt.
10. Stretch Your Leg
Whenever you experience cramp in your leg, do not just sit around; try to stretch it. Stand and walk a little, this will help a lot.
11. Castor Oil
Take some castor oil in a bowl and warm it. Now, take a clean cotton cloth and immerse it in the oil. Afterwards, wrap this cloth around the painful area and cover it with a piece of plastic to avoid oil stains. Do it before you go to bed. The healing properties of castor oil relax the swollen joints and treat painful cramps.
Take a few drops of alcohol and rub it on the cramped leg. This will provide instant relief from the unbearable pain.
13. Balanced Diet
A balanced diet can actually prevent cramps since it fills your body with all the essential minerals. You can incorporate fresh fruits and organic juices in your every diet. Also, eat food which is high in potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Healthy eating habits will surely strengthen your muscles and prevents cramps from occurring.
14. Baking Soda
Mix ¼ tsp of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink this solution after your workout regime. This remedy helps neutralize the lactic acid that is formed in muscles after a vigorous exercise.
15. Indian Gooseberry
Take a glass of water and add a tsp of crushed gooseberry powder in it. Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach daily to strengthen your muscle and prevent leg cramps.
16. Pumpkin Seeds
Lack of magnesium in the body causes electrolyte imbalance, which, in turn, leads to painful cramps. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with ample magnesium. Simply chomp roasted pumpkin seeds to obtain its benefits.
Take some vinegar and rub it on the aching part. Or else, soak a cloth in the vinegar solution and place it on the leg and joints.
Drink a cup of ginger tea or use its tincture to treat the muscle cramp. It improves the blood circulation and relieves pain.
- Moreover, you can get rid of leg cramps by consuming ginger capsules.
- Or else, massage with ginger essential oil to soothe your tired muscle.
Use an ointment prepared from cinnamon on the affected area thrice a day to relax your muscle.
Herbal Remedies for Leg Cramps
20. Rooibos Tea
Brew a cup of Rooibos tea to avert cramps. Add a tsp of rooibos leaves in a cup of hot water and steep it for five minutes. The abundance of vitamins and minerals in this herbal tea treats those painful cramps effectively. Drink it every day before you hit the hay.
A compound called glycine is found in chamomile herb that relaxes our muscle and helps relieve the pain associated with leg cramps. Boil two spoons of dried chamomile flowers and steep them. Drink this herbal decoction 4 to 5 times a day for at least 2 weeks.
- Alternatively, you can massage the affected area with chamomile oil. Afterwards, cover the area with a hot towel.
22. Raspberry Tea
Raspberry tea contains a wealth of nutrients. It has a high content of potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and iron; hence, proved effective in soothing leg cramps. Boil some water and add some red raspberry leaves. Cover it with a lid. Strain after 5 minutes and drink this infusion twice a day.
23. Green Tea
Steep some green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for a couple of minutes and drink it thrice a day. It will surely relax your muscles and give relief.
24. Black Cohosh
Take some lukewarm water and add up to 60 drops of its herbal tincture. Alternatively, consume 500 mg capsule prepared from grounded root. Have any of them after every two hours.
- This remedy is not for moms-to-be.
- Overdose of this herb may cause severe side effects. So, do not consume it for more than six months.
25. Ginkgo Biloba
Flavonoids and terpenoids are two active ingredients in this herb that regulate the blood flow and prevent accumulation of platelets. Thus, dilates the arteries. To treat leg cramps, consume 120-240 mg of this herb two times a day.
26. Wild Yam
Combine ten drops of wild yam in some water and rub it directly on the painful part of your leg to get instant relief.
- Besides, you can also prepare tea from dried roots of wild yam.
Combine lavender oil and olive oil and massage with this mixture for 15 minutes to obtain some relief.
Prepare an herbal decoction from dried yarrow leaves or flowers by boiling them in a cup of water. Soak a cotton cloth in it and place it on the painful area.
- Moreover, you can drink this infusion a couple of times a day.
- A tbsp of yarrow juice if consumed on a daily basis can prevent frequent muscle spasms.
The relaxing properties of this herb help prevent leg cramps and improve blood flow to the limbs. The recommended dose of this herb is 80 mg thrice a day.
30. Gotu Kola
This wonderful herb treats several ailments and re-energizes your body. Use extracts of gotu kola to treat the aching leg. The daily recommended dosage of this herb is 60-180 mg.
Warning: Consumption of this herb may cause skin rashes. Avoid it if you are pregnant.
31. Nutmeg Oil
The sedative effects of nutmeg oil are helpful in curing muscle pain. Pour 10 drops of nutmeg oil in 10 ml of almond oil or any other carrier oil. Rub this mixture three times a day to get relief from muscle cramps.
The presence of bioflavonoids in hawthorn boosts up the circulation of blood; hence, proved effective in the treatment of leg cramps. The standard dosage is 150-200 mg two times a day.
- Moreover, you can also have its capsule, tablet, or sip a cup of herbal decoction prepared from this herb.
Rub caraway oil on the painful area to get instant relief from the muscular spasms or cramps. To increase the effectiveness of this remedy, drink an infusion prepared from this herb.
34. Cayenne Pepper
A chemical compound called capsaicin present in cayenne pepper widens the blood vessels and regulates proper blood flow. Simply spread cayenne ointment on the affected area to relax your muscles.
- Or else, have 60-120 mg of its tincture two times a day.
35. Silverweed and Balm Leaves
An herbal infusion can be prepared by mixing different herbs. For instance, take dried chamomile flowers, balm leaves, and silverweed. Add all three to the hot water and let them steep for a couple of seconds. Strain and add honey for a better savour. Drink it two to three times a day to reduce the pain related to cramps.
Add a few drops of rosemary oil into your bathtub. Soak in it to relax your inflamed muscles. You can also massage with this herbal oil.
- Apart from this, mix oil of eucalyptus, arnica, and rosemary, and massage gently to get rid of leg cramps.
37. Horse Chestnut
Take capsule prepared from the powdered root of horse chestnut two times a day for a few days to prevent muscle spasm.
38. Cramp Bark
This herb acts as an antispasmodic that helps lessen the pain related to leg cramps. You can sip its herbal tea or have it in the form of capsule or tincture.
39. Butcher’s Broom
This herb treats poor circulation of blood that otherwise results in muscular pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce soreness and swelling in legs. Take 36 mg of this herbal extract two times a day.
- Try wearing leg warmers while sleeping.
- Wear high-quality shoes in which you feel comfortable.
- Drink water and fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
- Before you go to sleep, do stretching exercise and massage.
- Consume salty food before exercise.
- Use stockings to support your calves.
- Seek a doctor in case of persistent pain.
- Say no to alcohol and caffeine as they dehydrate your body.
- Don’t consume sugary foods in excess quantity.
- Avoid soft drinks as well.
- Do not sit cross-legged for long hours.