Have you ever heard about or experienced nocturnal leg cramps? This painful condition can instantly wake you up and manifests through involuntary contractions in the calf and thigh muscles that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The leg cramps occur overnight, and can be caused by a variety of factors.
Many people confuse nocturnal leg cramps with the restless leg syndrome, but the conditions have their differences. In fact, RLS does allow your legs to move, while the nocturnal leg cramps prevent any kind of movements. The exact cause of this peculiar condition is yet to be discovered, but scientists have associated the cramps with calcium, potassium, iodine and magnesium deficiency. Thyroid problems, muscle overload, frequent use of medications, exposure to pretty low temperatures and poor circulation may also cause the cramps.
Continue reading the article below to learn a few tips which will help you prevent the nocturnal leg cramps.
If you wake up during the night with a painful cramp in your leg, stretch the muscle and it should go away.
In order to prevent nocturnal leg cramps, you need to stay physically active. If you can’t go to the gym, at least try to walk more.
Hydration is key
Staying properly hydrated is one of the keys of preventing nocturnal leg cramps. Drink plenty of water every day, and you will no longer have to fear the cramps.
Massage and acupuncture
Acupuncture will relax your muscles and reduce the risk of nocturnal leg cramps.
In order to prevent the painful condition, experts suggest upping your magnesium intake. This can be done through supplements, but it’s best to get the mineral through dietary sources. Magnesium is vital for the contraction of your muscles and plays a big role in many body functions.
To get the optimal levels of magnesium, you should eat more bananas, avocados, nuts and seeds and dry fruit as well. Rubbing magnesium oil on your calves and thigh muscles should help as well. You can prepare your own oil by boiling ½ a cup of magnesium flakes in ½ a cup of water, then straining the oil and using it warm.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt is a special type of salt which is rich in various minerals including magnesium. Taking an Epsom salt bath regularly should supply your muscles with magnesium and prevent the cramps from occurring.
In order to relieve the cramps, try to stretch your muscles once you feel it. You can also sit on the floor and extend your legs, then start flexing them at your feet. Sleep in loose pajamas and make sure your covers and bedsheets are loose as well, as tight fittings might contract your muscles overnight.