Leg cramps affect almost 70 per cent of adults in the United States. Whether one is old or young, leg cramps don't discriminate. This painful type of cramp can happen at any time, but usually it comes in the middle of the night and wakes the sufferer from a sound sleep. It can last anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes. There are many theories and speculations as to why these cramps occur and just as many ways to cure and prevent them. Finding the one that works best for you is the key to relief.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Shoes with arch support
Drink plenty of water. Six to eight glasses of water are the standard for staying hydrated and healthy and may help to stave off leg cramps. When the body is dehydrated, there is a greater chance of muscle cramping.
Exercise. Even if it's only riding a stationary bike for 10 minutes before bed each night, it can still help---especially if you don't get enough physical activity during the day. Take a daily walk if your schedule allows. Swimming can also be very helpful for stretching the muscles.
Talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking, if any, to find out if that may be the cause of your leg cramps. Sometimes, stopping or switching medications can relieve leg cramps.
Wear shoes with proper arch support.
Consider how much potassium you consume. Too much or too little can cause leg cramps. Eating a banana is good way to get more potassium into your diet.
Tips and warnings
- Stretching out your leg is the best way to get rid of a cramp. Flex your toes or try walking around.
- Talk to your doctor before making any major lifestyle or diet changes.