Cramps in Muscles: Try These Remedies and Tips

· March 20, 2019
In order to avoid muscle cramps, you should eat foods that are rich in calcium and magnesium. You can also make infusions that can put a stop to the painful spasms.

A cramp is an involuntary muscle contraction. Regardless of what causes it, it’s often very painful. However, there are effective remedies and techniques you can take advantage of in order to both treat and prevent cramps in muscles. Learn about them in this article.

Cramps in Muscles: Common Causes

While you’re walking along, without any warning, a “twitch” keeps you from continuing. Or, all of a sudden, you awake to a stabbing pain in your leg. You certainly know what we’re talking about: muscle cramps.

There are many reasons people get them. The most common are the following:

  • Excessive loss of fluids or mineral salts.
  • Insufficient oxygen and blood flow to the area.
  • Prolonged strain.
  • Lactic acid accumulation (this is especially common in athletes).
  • Sudden, repetitive or strong movements of the muscles in the cold.
  • Sudden contact with cold water.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Excess weight.
  • Certain medications.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Metabolic problems.
  • Deficiency of either calcium or magnesium.
  • Lack of vitamins.
  • Incorrect sleeping position.
  • Poor posture while working or studying.
  • Emotional tension or anxiety.
  • Little muscle movement.
Cramps usually occur in leg muscles.

For the most part, muscle cramps appear in the legs.

There are two different symptoms especially associated with cramps in legs. The first is local pain in the affected area, and the second is a sharp pain or a jerking sensation that starts to tingle.

Both hands and wrists are other critical areas of the body that are prone to cramps due to circulation problems known as “carpal tunnel syndrome.” This especially affects people who have to type a lot.

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Tips to Prevent and Reduce Cramps in Muscles

  • When you’re suffering from a cramp, the best thing you can do is lightly stretch the affected area in order to relieve the pain and relax the cramped muscle.
  • Receiving physical therapy and massages, as well as sleeping without a pillow, is great for avoiding cramps both in the neck and in the shoulders.
  • Forms of exercise such as yoga and tai chi can also help cramps in general. Start exercising for half an hour a day so that your blood not only oxygenates your muscles and tissue but also repairs and nourishes them.
  • If your legs tend to cramp a lot, then you should either elevate them with a cushion or support them against a wall. You can also sleep with several pillows between your legs or apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to them.
  • Nutrition is certainly important for avoiding muscle cramps. Therefore, you should include the following foods in your diet:
    • Foods rich in calcium, such as:
      • oranges
      • almonds
      • broccoli
      • leafy greens
      • soy milk
      • dairy products
    • Foods rich in magnesium, such as:
      • nuts
      • whole grains
      • cocoa
      • beans
      • algae
      • soy flour
      • bananas
  • If you exercise a lot, then drink plenty of water or have sports drinks in order to avoid dehydration. In addition, be sure to stretch well each time you exercise.
  • Even if you do moderate exercise, it’s equally important that you hydrate your body with water.
massaging leg muscles to treat cramps

Other Useful Tips

The tips below are also helpful for preventing cramps in muscles:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing, particularly pants and socks.
  • Take a warm bath before going to sleep.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Instead of placing weight on your heel when you walk, put it on the ball of your foot.
  • Sleep on your stomach with your legs extended.
  • Consume natural diuretics.

Natural Remedies for Cramps in Muscles

Check out the following remedies for cramps in muscles. All natural and homemade, they offer great results indeed.

Remedy No. 1

ginkgo biloba tea

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of ginkgo biloba.
  • 1 cup of water.

Directions

Boil the ginkgo biloba in the water for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat, and let brew. Strain afterward, and drink daily.

Remedy No. 2

Ingredients

  • Rosemary essential oil (you can alternatively use either pine or eucalyptus).
  • Olive oil.

Directions

Mix both oils in equal parts (a few drops will be enough), and warm between your hands. Then apply to the area affected by the cramp so that the heat and the properties of the oils help soothe the pain.

Remedy No. 3

honey

Ingredients

  • A tablespoon of honey.
  • A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 cup of warm water.

See also: Kidney Stones: Lemon, Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar Remedies

Directions

Mix everything, and drink immediately afterward  so that the calcium is distributed evenly throughout the body.

Remedy No. 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds.
  • 1 liter of water.

Directions

Boil the mustard seeds in the water for 10 minutes. Then fill your bath tub with warm water. Pour in the mixture afterward. Remain in the bath until the water cools.

Remedy No. 5

cinnamon and bay leaves

Ingredients

  • A handful of bay leaves.
  • A pinch of cinnamon.
  • 1 cup of water.

Directions

Make a tea with the ingredients. Then strain, and drink while it’s still warm. Repeat daily for a week.

  • Miller, K. C., Stone, M. S., Huxel, K. C., & Edwards, J. E. (2010). Exercise-associated muscle cramps: Causes, treatment, and prevention. Sports Health. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738109357299
  • Sellers, R. G. (1992). Sports injuries. Practical diagnostic and management concerns for primary care physicians. Postgraduate Medicine.