Leg Cramps: Causes and Treatment

Leg cramps are a common problem for many people. Even though they can be harmless, they are a huge inconvenience. The cramps may cause your leg muscles to become tight and painful. If you struggle with leg cramps, you could benefit from seeking treatment at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. The doctors are committed to ensuring that all patients get the personalized treatment that they deserve.

Causes of Leg Cramps

Leg cramps seem to come out of nowhere. However, they may be a symptom of underlying medical conditions. Common causes of leg cramps include;

  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Liver disease

When you have leg cramps, the muscles contract and shorten causing sudden pain. When you have a muscle spasm, it may be impossible to control it. Typically, leg cramps may last about ten seconds. 

You may be at a high risk of getting leg cramps under the following circumstances:

If You Lead a Sedentary Lifestyle

All muscles need regular stretching. If you sit for long periods, your legs are likely to cramp. Consider stretching often to prevent the problem. 

Poor Sitting Position

The wrong sitting position may cause cramps. To avoid the problem, do not sit with your legs crossed.

Overexerting Your Muscles

Excessive exercise can cause muscle cramps. Athletes that use their legs a lot are susceptible to leg cramps. 

Treating Leg Cramps

Even though leg cramps often need medical attention, they can be treated at home. In most cases, leg cramps can be reduced by exercising and avoiding sitting for too long. 

Stretching is one of the most effective ways to minimize leg cramps. There are lots of stretching exercises and your doctor may help you find those that are appropriate for you. 

If you get leg cramps at night, try lying on your back with your toes pointed upwards. Use pillows to prop your feet and maintain the right position. If you prefer to lie on your front, ensure that your feet are hanging at the edge of the bed. Relaxing your feet can prevent cramps. 

Massage the affected leg thoroughly to relax it. Another way to relax the leg muscles is to walk on your heels. It activates muscles that are opposite the calf and help you relax. 

Consider drinking lots of fluids to prevent leg cramps. Fluids are essential for healthy muscle function. The amount of fluid you need varies depending on your age, level of activity, and weight. Pickle juice may help with muscle cramps. 

Consider applying some heat to your leg muscles. You may use a hot water bottle or a hot towel. 

If your leg cramps are a result of underlying conditions, you can get rid of them by seeking treatment for the conditions. If you continue to experience leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe medication such as muscle relaxants. 

If you struggle with leg cramps, you know how frustrating and painful they can be. Fortunately, the problem does not need to be permanent. There are lots of ways to prevent or treat leg cramps.