Hydration Key For Prevention
Having cramps in your legs is never a pleasurable experience, but it’s even worse when those leg cramps strike when you are trying to sleep. They can wake you up out of a sound sleep and keep you up for hours. It’s not as common, but leg cramps can also strike during the day, making walking uncomfortable. Regardless of when they happen, there are things you can do to relieve leg cramps.
You can go most of your life without feeling leg cramps, but then they start to become a problem as you get older. You can’t get into a time machine and get younger, so you need to take action and do what you can to treat your leg cramps.
Your first line of defense is to make sure that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This keeps everything in your body moving along. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, but you don’t have to obsess over it. Just do your best to make sure you’re getting a lot of water. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst and cramping, so it makes sense that staying hydrated will help to relieve leg cramps.
Many people have found that taking calcium supplements helps. A few researchers have found a link between leg cramps and calcium deficiency. Try drinking a glass of milk shortly before bedtime and see if that helps; if not, then a supplement may be the answer.
If you are on any kind of prescription then you should check the label carefully to see what the potential side effects are. There are medications that can cause muscle cramps, and some medicines can lower the level of potassium, magnesium or calcium in your body. Dehydration is also a possible side effect of a few prescription drugs. Be sure to discuss any of your concerns with your doctor or pharmacist.
A lot of times leg cramps are caused by a lack of activity, or from not going through their full range of motion. Doing stretches is one way to solve this problem. One stretch to help relieve leg cramps is to stand about two to three feet from the wall and put your hands on the wall. Start doing a push-up like motion, but keep your feet completely flat on the floor. If it feels like it is stretching too much, then move a bit closer to the wall; if you can’t feel any stretching, then move back a bit. Be careful to not overdo it.
If, despite all of your best efforts, you end up needing to relieve leg cramps at night, then try this little trick: place your finger directly on your upper lip and then press gently. This is a pressure point that is connected to your leg and can bring enough relief to get you to drift back asleep. Chances are the other remedies that will work just fine, but it’s always good to have another trick up your sleeve just in case.