Have you ever experienced leg cramps while sleeping? Nocturnal leg cramps are often accompanied by pains before and during the sleep and occur in the calves, but leads to pain in the feet and thighs as well.
The pain is more common in people older than 50, affecting both sexes equally.
As stated by Michael Jaffee, M.D., a neurologist at the University of Florida Health:
“The pain is actually triggered by the spasm and balling up of your muscles, which typically occurs in the calf. This can last from seconds to minutes, with an average of nine minutes, followed by several hours of soreness and possible discomfort for two to three days. ”
Moreover, he adds:
“The most common form of nocturnal leg cramps are considered idiopathic, meaning that there is no known cause. ”
Yet, nocturnal leg cramps usually result from prolonged periods of sitting, improper sitting position, standing or working on concrete floors, and over-exertion of the muscles in the leg.
Certain medical conditions contribute to nocturnal leg cramps as well, such as dehydration, pregnancy, magnesium deficiency, alcoholism, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s disease, structural and endocrine disorders, as well as the use of statins, diuretics, and beta agonists.
Depending on their cause, nocturnal leg cramps can be treated in various ways.
Here are some effective natural ways to prevent and treat nocturnal leg cramps:
- Acupuncture loosens the tightness in the muscles
- Optimize your body levels of potassium and magnesium
- Stretch the legs before you go to sleep
- Use horse chestnut to boost blood flow to the legs
- Apply a heating pad on the area
- Try water exercises to strengthen the leg muscles
- Applying magnesium oil on the legs before bedtime to soothe the pain
- Enjoy a warm bath before going to sleep to relax the muscles
- Avoid high heels and wear ergonomic shoes
However, if you still experience this issue at night, follow these tips to deal with the cramps:
— Get up slowly and walk around a bit to improve blood flow
— Take a tablespoon of yellow mustard
— Extend the legs in front of you, flex the feet at the ankles and point the toes toward the knees
— Massage the area in a circular motion applying a small pressure