How to stop leg and foot cramps

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How to stop leg and foot cramps
Stop Leg and Foot Cramps

It wakes you up in the middle of the night, a painful foot cramp that curls your toes under or splays them out awkwardly. Any attempt to wiggle your toes or work out the cramp only makes it worse. Occasionally the cramp also invades the sides or calf of the leg. The following steps, taken individually or together, can help alleviate the cramps and let you go back to sleep.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Use IcyHot. This pain relieving cream works quickly to alleviate leg and foot cramps. The cream is available in a flip-top tube, making it easy to apply in the dark. It's also now available in a gel. Squeeze out a small amount of the cream and massage it into the affected area.

    IcyHot is also available in patches of various sizes that can be applied to the cramped areas for quick relief. People who are prone to foot and leg cramps might want to keep a tube of IcyHot on the bedside table.

  2. 2

    Tonic water: Drink a gin and tonic without the gin. Tonic water (quinine water) works quickly to alleviate foot and leg cramps. Keep a bottle in the refrigerator and drink a glassful when cramps strike.

  3. 3

    Walk on the cold side: walk barefoot on a cold hard surface such as tile or concrete.

Tips and warnings

  • Women sometimes experience leg and foot cramps after changing heel height. A woman who is accustomed to wearing flat heeled or low heeled shoes might experience cramps after wearing spike heels. Prepare by keeping IcyHot and/or tonic water on hand. Tourists may also experience these cramps after a long day of sightseeing on foot. Again, be prepared by always packing a medicated cream in your suitcase and even buying a bottle of tonic water at your destination.

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