How to Prevent and Deal With Leg Cramps
Leg cramps are sharp, sudden, intense muscular pain generally in the leg, particularly in the lower leg, calf, or lower thigh. They can be caused by many things including sports injuries, strenuous activity, and illness. They may be a result of dehydration or food poisoning and can last from a few minutes to hours. You may also find that leg cramps develop suddenly and there is no previous warning. You could also describe them as “pins and needles” sensation.
There are many possible causes for leg cramps but none of them are true. Although you could experience varying degrees of discomfort they are not due to muscle damage or stress. In order to get rid of them, you need to find out what their causes are and then address those causes. To discover what their causes are you should keep reading.
If you’re having leg cramps due to dehydration, you should increase your fluid intake immediately to replenish the fluids lost through perspiration. This will help prevent the cramping that can lead to leg muscle fatigue. If the leg cramp is due to a prolonged bout of influenza you should decrease your caloric intake and take tamoxifen. The combination of these two medications may help reduce the frequency of leg cramps.
One of the possible causes of leg cramps is peripheral artery disease or more commonly known as Pericarditis. Peripheral arteries are the veins that transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the legs. If narrowed or clogged, it will restrict the supply of oxygen to the leg muscles causing leg cramps. The symptoms of peripheral artery disease include leg pain, tingling, numbness, and pruritus.
Another possible cause of leg cramps is tightness in the calf muscles or gastrocnemius. Tight calf muscles pull the diaphragm upward making it difficult to breathe. If this problem is not addressed, it will limit blood flow to the leg muscles and cause cramping. If leg muscles are stretched tightly causing leg cramps, you should seek the assistance of a licensed physical therapist or orthopedist for treatment.
Heating pads are an easy way to treat leg cramps during the day. Sitting on a heating pad can help relax your muscles so that they are less prone to contracting during resting. An electric heating pad can be placed next to your bed. It may help you sleep better at night if the cramp does not occur during the course of the night.
Exercises are another way to prevent cramps during the day. It is important that your muscles are given enough time to rest between exercise sessions. Long periods of standing or sitting can weaken muscle and tendon ligaments. Doing leg exercises such as leg extensions or leg curls several times each week can prevent muscle weakness and the occurrence of leg cramps.
Having calf muscles that are strong and flexible can help reduce the occurrence of leg cramps. Strengthening and stretching the calf muscles can help stretch the muscles beneath the cramp and relieve pain. If you do not get the cramp relief that you want, you should see a chiropractor or physical therapist determine the cause of the problem. They can then develop a treatment plan to make sure that you are comfortable.
If you do not have strong calves and do not get the relief that you want, you should strengthen your leg muscles by doing simple exercises. You should also practice preventing by resting in a reclining position when sitting, standing, or exercising. You should also avoid leaning forward to reach things. These simple exercises will strengthen your calf muscles, which will in turn prevent the occurrence of leg cramps.
Preventing leg cramps with exercises and dietary changes are good ways to deal with this problem. You should also learn to relax because stress can also result in leg cramps. If you do not have an underlying cause for the problem, you should consider performing exercises that do not require you to stand or move excessively. For instance, doing yoga exercises may help you alleviate the pain without straining yourself.
Sudden and involuntary leg cramping can be a sign of peripheral artery disease or pulsatile tinnitus. This condition can result from a sudden pulse or heartbeat. In this case, the cramp appears suddenly and lasts only for seconds or minutes. Therefore, if you experience sudden and involuntary leg cramps, you should visit your physician.