What’s good for body cramps?
If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in your leg, then you know the feeling of body cramps. These pesky contractions can occur at any time and leave you doubled over in agony. But fear not! There are plenty of ways to manage body cramps and ease the discomfort.
Causes of Body Cramps
Before we go into what works best for body cramps, it’s essential to understand why they happen.
- Muscle fatigue
- Poor blood flow
- Electrolyte imbalance (or low potassium)
- Lack of activity
Pro Tip: If you have a medical condition that causes muscle weakness, consult your doctor before trying any remedies without supervision.
Here are some remedies that don’t require medication:
Sometimes all it takes is gently stretching out those taut muscles.
- Straighten your leg: Sit on a chair or floor with both legs extended.
- Roll inward: flex your foot so that toes point towards ceiling; hold onto something stable if need be.
- Bend forward: Lean forward slowly from waist until feel stretch along backside thigh – but stop before hurt unbearable!
- Hold the pose: maintain for approx 30 secs then repeat with other leg.
- Repeat three times alternately each day.
It might seem counterintuitive to move when experiencing terrible pain – but sometimes this just might do it!
Take a Warm Bath OR Shower
This is essentially great especially if cramped area like lower back or hamstrings (common parts) . A warm bath may get tight fibers lining vessels more relaxed as well stimulates blood & oxygen fresh to reach cells.
Bonus: Consider adding Epson salt known scientifically as magnesium sulfate (yup there’s salt with such name). It assists in increasing magnesium level in body, causing muscles relax as quickly.
One of the easiest ways to avoid muscle cramps is to drink plenty of fluids. Try drinking eight glasses of water daily!
Warning: don’t overdo it though; overhydration leads to electrolyte depletion which may result in its own set problems – like swelling.
These are remedies that require medication:
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs are quite effective when managing pain due inflammation (swelling caused by irritation e.g injuries) For muscular pains occurring with physical activity, these drugs like ibuprofen can work wonders.
However, there is a risk for adverse side effects such as stomach upset and bleeding; hence best take them only after eating and/or going through doctor supervision.
Magnesium Supplement protects against deficiency that probably results from inadequate consumption diet-wise or digestive system complications.
The Institute Health notes serving size 310-320 mg each day females & 400mg males (or slightly less if not adults). Finding correct dosage for supplements is tricky^1 depends upon individual lifestyle/bodily needs on certain days/other medications taken at same time.
When uncertain consult specialist medical personnel first before taking pills containing magnesium – they’ll recommend what’s useful considering specific situation!
Body cramps hit suddenly leaving us squirming in discomfort especially during nights but simple solutions listed above can help you cope since majority happen without need medication so there’s no excuse not to fall asleep peacefully tonight!
So do yourself favor: hydrate regularly, stretch your limbs/pull up into a bath/shower more often than usual because warm moist atmosphere helps find some relief quicker.^2
For those needing little extra bit pampering? Add Epsom salt plus turn towards healthy fat diets full nutrient-rich avocado, nuts, etc… and it could be just what doctor ordered!
- Gums JG. Magnesium in cardiovascular and other disorders.. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2004;61:1569-76.
- Maquirriain J, Merello M. Pulled hamstring muscle worse with a warm bath? Not always!. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:912–917