Leg Cramp Causes and How to Treat Them Naturally
Have you ever experienced sudden, involuntary, intense muscle pains in your calf, foot or thigh? If so, you’ve had a leg cramp. These pains can occur at any time, whether you’re exercising, walking, sitting down, or even sleeping! With so many potential leg cramp causes, these pains are very common. Just because they’re common, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t good prevention and treatment options.
Today, we’re looking at leg cramp causes as well as ways to treat them naturally. Consider some of these home remedies for leg cramps the next time you’re experiencing these pains and see what works best for you!
Common Leg Cramp Causes
There are tons of common leg cramp causes that can occur. Ones that seem to happen for no known reason are known as “idiopathic” leg cramps. Conversely, if leg cramp causes are a symptom or complication of a more serious health condition, they are known as “secondary” leg cramps. Learning how to treat leg cramps starts with identifying the likely cause behind them so you can deal with them effectively.
Some of the most common idiopathic leg cramp causes you may experience include things like:
- Overexertion of leg muscles
- Poor blood circulation
- Improperly sitting for long periods of time
- Involuntary nerve discharges
You may also experience leg cramps caused by underlying medical conditions, lifestyle choices, or even some medications. A few potential underlying medical conditions that could lead to an increased number of leg cramps include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral artery disease
If you are experiencing leg cramps, consult your doctor to rule out any potentially serious underlying health conditions before beginning any home remedies for leg cramps. Once your doctor says it’s safe to do so, you can start trying out different ways to treat leg cramps naturally and get back to being pain-free!
How to Treat Leg Cramps Naturally
Without a doubt, you want to get rid of leg cramps the moment they flair up. Learning how to get relief from leg pain will get you back to you being able to live your life pain-free! Now that you’ve identified common leg cramp causes, let’s take a look at potentially effective ways to treat them naturally. A few of our preferred methods for how to treat leg cramp causes are:
- Drink enough water
- Get a massage
- Stretch properly and get exercise
- Elevate your legs as needed
- Try heat therapy
- Stand up
Drink Enough Water
One of the biggest reasons people experience leg cramps is because they’re dehydrated. Whether you’re an athlete or lead a more sedentary lifestyle, making sure you’re staying hydrated is important. If you’re feeling thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated. Instead, try planning ahead to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re an active individual, take into account how much excess hydration your body is losing through perspiration and drink more.
Get a Massage
Another method for treating leg cramp causes naturally is to get a massage. Who doesn’t love the gentle relaxation of a great massage? While you may want to get a leg massage to help with specific pains, a massage may also be helpful for simply stimulating blood flow throughout the body, which is a common leg cramp cause.
What about getting a massage right when you need it, though? Since leg cramps can happen at any time (and are often more common at night), many people have looked for other ways to get a massage for better blood circulation and relaxation at home. For example, the benefits of a zero gravity chair with massage features pair perfectly with home remedies for leg cramps. Not only will the massage features help with circulation, but the design of the zero gravity reclining position also works to stimulate blood flow, elevate your legs, and relax the body.
Stretch and Get Good Exercise
Continuing our exploration of how to treat leg cramp causes, let’s talk about stretching and exercising to stay loose and limber. One of the easiest, and most effective, stretches you can do for how to treat leg cramps naturally is to straighten your leg and then flex it, pulling your toes towards your shin to stretch the muscles. It’s as simple as that!
It’s also important that you’re stretching thoroughly before and after exercising. Beforehand, dynamic stretching will loosen your body up for the activities ahead. Stretching after exercising should be part of your post-workout recovery routine in order to keep the muscles loose and prevent them from seizing up.
Elevate Your Legs
Elevating your legs as needed is another easy way to treat leg cramp causes naturally. Propping your leg up after the cramp may help lessen the pain and provide relief faster. While you may be inclined to elevate them using a pillow or the edge of the couch, zero gravity chairs combine a variety of home remedies for leg cramps, including elevation, for faster recovery. This makes them a popular tool for anyone experiencing leg cramps.
Try Heat Therapy
Sometimes the best way to find relief from leg cramp causes is by applying heat. Heat therapy can be broken into two categories: moist and dry. Moist heat therapy includes activities like taking a warm shower or bath. It can be great for keeping the body loose when integrated into a nightly routine.
Dry heat therapy application methods are a little easier to do in the moment, however. Instead of having to go through taking a bath, you can simply apply a tool like a heating pad to the affected area and experience some relief. If you’re using a zero gravity chair for massage features and elevating your legs, you may find heated zero gravity chairs, as well, that deepen your relaxation and also enhance blood circulation for leg cramp relief.
Last, but not least, for treating leg cramp causes is to simply stand up! Standing up and pressing your feet against the floor may help with how to treat leg cramps, bringing you relief. Not only could this activity help you work out the kinks in your muscles, but it may also alleviate any pinched nerves in the lower back or pelvic area that could be radiating pain down into your legs and causing cramps.
While there are many leg cramp causes, the good news is there are just as many (if not more) ways to treat them! Identifying the source of your leg cramps and ensuring it’s not indicative of a more serious underlying health condition is the most important first step. Speak to your doctor before beginning any home remedies for leg cramps. Once you’ve got the green light, try out these relief methods and see which works best for you!
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