The Reason Why You Get Leg Cramps at Night and How to Stop it Immediately: Sleeping is not comfortable if you are suffering from leg cramp every night. Waking up in midnight with stiffness and pain in the leg, especially in the calf area is miserable. This is something that you could not even guess when you went to bed as usual.
So whoever battling with such discomforts must have tried every possible way to get rid of seized leg somehow. Stretching the leg by force may give you temporary relief, but that’s not enough.
So to find out a permanent solution of leg cramp, you must go through this article. To know more about your health problem it’s necessary to understand the cause, only then you can uproot it.
There will be more information about nocturnal leg cramp and home remedies. So, I am sure you will reward a pain-free sleep at night.
What is Leg Cramp:
The term cramp associated with a sudden contraction of muscles. Although, muscle cramp can happen to any muscle of the body, but it is most common to leg. Leg cramps are usually harmless, but if the stiff muscles do not relax within a few minutes, it may turn to a severe painful condition. Here are a few facts about leg cramp.
- Leg cramp condition occurs due to involuntary contraction of leg muscles, mostly in the calf area.
- During leg cramp, it feels to have a knot in the leg, and it inhibits temporary mobility.
- It can happen to anyone.
- Leg cramps at night are a common occurrence during physical exercise or at night.
- Leg cramp lasts only for a few seconds, and immediate relief is possible with the forcible stretching of the leg.
Causes of Leg Cramp:
Leg cramp happens without a forecast to anyone, especially to those who usually do weight training and other activities that involve leg work. Also, it can happen while you are walking down the street or sitting in front of the desktop.
It starts with sudden discomforts in the leg muscles and makes you feel to have a knot inside the leg muscles. This knot is the hard lump formed by the cramped muscles, and it’s hard to move or stretch the leg.
Usually, leg muscles cramp happens when it does not get the signal to relax. There is a variety of reason that obstructs the signal and causes legs to cramp. Let us check.
Leg cramps at night often influenced by our lifestyle and daily activities. The activities may include occasional heavy exercise, such as—
- Recreational exercise.
- Weight exercise for leg muscles.
- Basketball or soccer type sports that need lots of leg work.
2. Extreme Exhaustion of Muscles:
Overwork or excessive fatigue causes the muscles unable to absorb the essential nutrients. Hence they could not relax after heavy workload or weight training.
So leg cramp may happen in such conditions especially to sportsmen or bodybuilders.
3. Obstruction In blood Circulation:
Inadequate blood supply to the leg area is one of the most vital causes of leg cramp and pain. Narrowing of the arteries that are responsible for blood circulation in the leg may cause cramp while you are doing any exercise or leg work.
4. Insufficient Fluid or Dehydration:
our body muscles need enough fluid for contraction and relaxation. So a lack of water can cause leg cramp, especially after exercising in hot weather.
5. Sodium Potassium Imbalance:
When electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium level become low, it affects our brain. As a result, the muscles can’t access the proper signal from the brain to relax.
Our body also drains out electrolytes while we are sweating through perspiration. This can also lead to a leg cramp.
What is Nocturnal Leg Cramp:
The painful sensation that occurs in the leg calves, soles of the feet during the night is known as a nocturnal leg cramp. This happens due to involuntary muscles contraction.
They usually occur in between periods of sleep and cause waking. Apart from that, it can also occur during the night while we are awake and away from any activity.
A nocturnal leg cramp is quite painful. Usually, it happens to calf muscles, but it can also occur in the thigh muscles or feet. The affected person may feel severe pain and stiffness along with a knot in the muscles Nocturnal leg cramps can affect those who are:
- Aged person.
- Pregnant women.
- Those who are using a specific medicine.
Causes of Nocturnal leg cramp can be linked to—
- To seat in the same position for long hours.
- Over workload with muscles.
- Standing on a concrete floor for hours.
- Improper body position while sleeping.
Home Remedies for Leg Cramps:
Treating leg cramps at home is easy if where the cause is known. Most of the time, stretching the leg muscles restores the normal position of the leg. To get rid of nocturnal leg cramp it is useful o stand up or walking around.
But whatever the reason is there are effective home remedies to treat them for relief. Let us check:
Exercise is the first and foremost step to smooth the knotted muscles lumps. It gives immediate relief. There are mainly two types of exercises anyone can practice, such as—
A):-Leg exercise during leg cramp
- During leg cramp in calf muscles, stretch and massage the stiff area.
- Try to keep the affected leg in a straight position.
- Slowly lift your leg in an upward direction.
- To get quick relief, walk on heels on the floor.
B):-Exercises to reduce the chances of leg cramp:
This exercise can prevent leg cramps at night from reoccurring. All you have to do is—
- Stand on your feet at a one-meter distance from a wall.
- Now keep your legs apart and bend your body. Keep the front legs slightly turning from knee and back leg straight. The heels must touch the floor.
- Place your forearms on the wall. Stretch your body in an angular position against the wall.
- You should try this when you have no cramp episode.
2. Use of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Muscles can function well if we have enough Acetylcholine in our body. It is the type of chemical that is released by the nerve cell. It helps the muscles to contract and relax easily.
Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid, and this acid helps our body to make acetylcholine. It is a neurotransmitter, and it boosts up muscle function.
How to take:
- Take two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar.
- Mix four to five drops of honey.
- Drink it at least twice a day.
3. Mustard Seed:
these tiny seeds are full of nutrients that we need for a healthy body. Mustard seed has calcium, zinc, iron, omega 3 fatty acid, and this is a well-known home remedy for muscle cramp for years.
According to folk medicine, mustard seeds have heat-producing properties, and it helps to stimulate damaged nerves. Apart from this, the mustard seed is useful to hydrate our body and its anti-inflammatory nature reduces the muscles pain during a cramp.
How to Use:
- During leg cramp gets instant relief with Eating 1 tbsp mustard seeds powder or applying mustard seed oil is found to be relaxing during that time.
- Eat a teaspoon of mustard seeds powder with water every night. The seeds can be powdered and stored in a container.
4. Pickle Juice:
To get rid of leg cramp cucumber using pickle juice is an old therapy. It’s a popular way to treat muscle cramps for athletes. Drinking pickle juice also prevents leg cramps at night from occurring frequently. Let us see how it actually works.
- Pickled cucumber is fermented in brine solutions. It is a highly concentrated solution of salt and water.
- Vinegar is also used to complete the fermentation.
- The excess salt in the pickle juice helps to reduce dehydration which is a common reason behind leg cramp.
- Also, sodium, potassium present in pickle helps to recover the perfect balance of electrolytes in our body.
How to consume:
- It’s beneficial to take a shot of pickle juice once a day.
Cinnamon is loaded with components that have therapeutic properties. It contains antioxidants. Cinnamon acts to reduce inflammation, and it shows beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases.
During leg cramp applying cinnamon paste tropically may relax the muscle sufferings
How to use:
- Take two teaspoons full of cinnamon powder.
- To make a paste add water to it and mix well. Consistency of the mixture must me thick.
- Apply this ointment on the affected muscles.
Turmeric is considered as the golden spice, as it has medicinal and religious significance. Turmeric consists of curcumin, which is the most active compound to prevent various ailments.
Curcumin is known as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent that cures muscles cramp and pain.
How to use:
- Take one tablespoon of turmeric.
- Mix 2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir it well to form a paste.
- Apply this in the painful area.
- Keep for half an hour.
Dehydration or lack of water is one of the significant causes of leg cramp. Water is one of the useful things that our body needs to run all the system. Our body, cells and organs depend on a lot of water.
Our tissues and muscles need the water to maintain the temperature and regulate body functions. We lose water during sweating, breathing, digesting. So it is essential to keep the body hydrated all the time.
Drinking water during exercise is useful as it prevents muscle cramping. Water also lubricates our joints and makes muscles stronger. It carries oxygen and other electrolytes to muscle cells.
8. Baking Soda:
leg cramp due to overstress or physical activity for long hours, make the muscle tired. The tired muscle releases lactic acid, and it makes the blood more acidic.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate acts to resist the changes in PH balance. In short, it works as an antacid buffer and acts against the acidity. Thus it gives relief from muscle pain and restores normal contraction.
How to use:
- Take one teaspoon of baking soda.
- Dilute it into 1 litre of water.
- Drink it.
9. Nutmeg Oil:
Topical use of essential oil, such as nutmeg oil can reduce the painful cramp episode. Nutmeg oil has powerful anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant agents, and it is capable of reducing the swelling.
The oil leaves a seductive effect of the affected muscles and helps to relax the hard knots on massaging gently.
- How to use:-
- Take 10 to 15 drops of nutmeg oil and almond oil each.
- Mix well and apply on the cramped location.
10. Hot Or Cold Compress:
Compress with ice cubes or warm water on the affected leg can be helpful to heal the pain and stiffness of leg muscles. You can use Epsom salt with water for warm compress as it contains magnesium.
Cold compress procedure helps to numb the pain and decrease swelling.
How to use:
Hot compress: Take a tub filled with warm water. Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt into it. Stir well and soak your leg into the water for half an hour.
Cold Compress: Take ice cubes in compression bags. Lightly press it on the affected area. It will reduce the soreness of the muscle.
Few Tips to Prevent Nocturnal Leg Cramp:
- Stretch your leg before bedtime may reduce the risk of leg cramp at night. Stretching of calf muscles and hamstring may help you to get flexibility.
- Drink adequate water.
- While sleeping at night, place a pillow under your knees. Don’t sleep keeping your feet downwards.
- Never sit in one position for long duration.
So, friends, everything is curable with the help of home remedies. But you must keep in mind that its best time to try them at the beginning of your health problem, as too late may worsen the situation.
Leg cramps are so sudden and painful; it makes people do things which are an odd way to treat any health issue. But somehow to get relief in such condition is the only motive, so knowledge of home remedies to solve leg cramps at night is a must.