Have ever felt sudden pangs of pain in your leg muscles? This happens due to unexpected and involuntary leg cramps. These are most common in the thighs and the calf muscles or the gastrocnemius muscles. These areas become stiff and unmovable during leg cramps. If you want to stop leg cramps, just be patient and wait for some time. The muscles are going to get back to their previous state and the intolerable pain is going to subside. For immediate results, you can try and straighten your leg completely. Don’t bend it since it poses a risk of the pain increasing. Leg cramps are very frequent for certain people, at night. They happen due to improper sleeping postures. There are several other reasons as well. We’ve talked about all that you need to know about leg cramps, in this article. Let’s jump in! 

Causes of Leg Cramps Related to Lifestyle

  • Exertion of the muscles

Overdoing while working out or exercising can lead to leg cramps and muscle soreness. Don’t exert your muscles to an extent that you end up hurting yourself. If you’re regular and sincere in your routine, you wouldn’t need to overdo it. Be extra careful when you resume working out after long breaks. 

  • Sitting for long hours 

To stop leg cramps from happening, it is mandatory to stretch and move your muscles frequently. Sitting for long hours can cramp and sore your muscles. If your work involves sitting for the entire day, make it a point to take periodic breaks and go for short walks. Your muscles need movement. 

  • Standing for long periods 

Like prolonged sitting, standing for a long time isn’t advisable for the well-being of your muscles, either. It can cause leg cramps by making the muscles immobile and swollen. Try not to hold a particular posture for way too long. 

  • Faulty sitting, standing, or sleeping positions

Leg cramps are triggered by certain incorrect postures. Folding or bending the legs and crossing them, one over the other is not the best sitting method. Pointing your toes and bending the calf muscles while standing, sitting or sleeping, leads to the shortening of the muscles. 

  • Contraction of tendons

Tendons are fibers that connect bones to their adjacent muscles. These tendons are known to contract or shorten with time, leading to leg cramps. 

Leg Cramps
Leg Cramps

Causes of Leg Cramps Related to Medical Conditions

  • Neurological Ailments

Leg cramps are associated with nervous disorders such as peripheral neuropathy or motor neuron disease. 

  • Parkinson’s Disease

This is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to reduced movements in the body, caused by low levels of the dopamine hormone. 

  • Pregnancy

Reports have shown that leg cramps are associated with pregnancy. The diverse changes in the body, both hormonal and structural cue to the same. 

  • Chronic diseases

Diabetes is evil related to all kinds of muscle degenerations. Thyroid, kidney, and liver problems also contribute to the advent of leg cramps. Structural ailments like spinal stenosis or flat feet and heart-related conditions like peripheral vascular disease are some more causes. 

  • Side effects of medicines

Leg cramps might also begin due to the side effects of medications like diuretics and stalins.

5 Ways of Relieving the Pain 

Find out the 5 best ways to get rid of the leg cramps:

1. Stretching 

As mentioned before, stretching is one of the major solutions to leg cramps. Stretching not only makes the muscles flexible but also becomes capable of endurance. Always stretch and straighten your leg during a leg cramp. Keep your toes vertical as well. 

2. Use heat to soothe the muscles 

To stop leg cramps immediately, try applying heat in the form of a hot water bag, hot cloth or towel, and a hot bottle. If you’re able to move and get up, take a hot shower to feel refreshed and energized. Warm water is proven to soothe leg cramps. 

3. Put pressure on your heels while walking 

Walk on your heels, instead of applying pressure on your toes. This could help lessen the pain and cure leg cramps. The pain usually remains for a few hours after the muscle gains back its normal state. 

4. Give your leg a comforting massage 

The pain caused due to leg cramps can be excruciating but do not move and sustain your calm. Massage and rub your leg and try doing the needful to minimize the stiffness of the muscles. 

Leg Cramps
Leg Cramps

Continue massaging gently, even when the paralysis of the muscle subsides because it would soothe the pain that remains. 

5. Consume painkillers 

Having too many painkillers within short intervals is not advisable. However, if the pain keeps increasing, consult your physician and have anti-inflammatory or non-steroidal drugs. Naproxen, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are some examples. 

Can Frequent Leg Cramps be Controlled? 

Certain basic lifestyle changes can control leg cramps, especially the nocturnal ones. 

  • Alteration of sleeping positions

The way you sleep is not just important for regulating the occurrence of leg cramps. It plays a vital role in the effective carrying out of many bodily functions. Develop a habit of sleeping in upright postures without unusual twists and turns. These sudden movements also result in leg cramps or other injuries. 

  • Opt for comfortable shoes

Leg cramps can be reduced by relying on the right kind of footwear. Soles that too hard can heighten the chances of cramps and soreness. Fashion is important but not at the cost of one’s health. Blend comfort with fashion to stand out from the crowd. 

  • Consume loads of healthy liquids

According to experts, fluids are capable of relaxing muscles and help them function better. Include healthy and nutritious drinks in your diet to stay away from painful leg cramps. Pre and post-workout drinks also help. Now that you’re aware of the various ways of soothing the pain caused due to leg cramps, you would be able to take the necessary steps on your own, instead of depending on someone else and screaming your voice out. As much as it’s hard to deal with the pain, stay steady and emulate the steps mentioned above. 

Also, read: Progressive Muscle Relaxation