Often we experience painful cramps in the legs when we are stressed out. Sometimes, leg cramps are experienced suddenly during the night when you are fast asleep. Dehydration and overuse of the leg muscles are the major causes of this painful condition.
Nocturnal muscle cramps are usually experienced in the calf muscles and toes. Athletes who have overused their leg muscles are prone to cramps many times.
Following are the causes of cramps in the legs:
- Inadequate blood supply to the legs due to narrowing of the arteries
- Nerve compression in the spinal cord
- Deficiency of calcium, magnesium, and potassium due to dehydration
- Second or third trimester of pregnancy
This helps in stimulating thirst and retaining the consumed liquids which can prove effective in hydrating your body. Maintaining electrolyte balance of the body is a good way to stop leg cramps.
However, it is recommended that consulting your doctor is important before taking these supplemental minerals.
Taking a bath (hot water) before you go to bed can also prove beneficial. Another way to avoid nocturnal cramps is to take Vitamin E and mineral supplements in adequate quantities.
Light exercises like walking or running and jogging for 30 minutes can help alleviate the pain. Prolonged sitting or standing must be avoided. This leads to contraction of muscles and restricts the blood flow in the legs.
Usually, medical treatment is not required for a leg cramp, but if the pain after cramps persists and occurs frequently, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Also, if you notice redness, swelling, and tenderness in the area where the cramp occurred, consulting a doctor is strongly recommended.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.