Keep cramps away- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

Leg cramps, those sudden and agonising muscle contractions that strike while you slumber, can disrupt your peaceful night’s rest. There can be various causes for this nuisance, but understanding them is the first step in finding relief. So, let’s dive into what causes these cramps and explore ways to prevent them:

Nutrient deficiencies: Often, leg cramps signal that your body is running low on essential nutrients. Deficiencies in vitamin D3, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B12 can make you susceptible to muscle cramps. These nutrients play a significant role in muscle function and neurotransmitter activity.

Dehydration: Even a mild drop in your body’s hydration levels can trigger leg cramps. During fasting or strenuous activities, maintaining proper hydration is crucial.

Lack of rest: Pushing your body hard with rigorous exercise or physical activity without giving it enough time to recover can lead to muscle spasms. Rest is vital for muscle recuperation.

Medications and health conditions: Certain drugs, like diabetes medication and thyroid-related medications, as well as excessive alcohol  consumption, can contribute to muscle cramps. Additionally, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, which involve heavy chemical drugs, can cause neuropathy and muscle tightness.

Now that we know what causes these painful contractions, let’s look at what will help us in controlling the same:

Epsom salt soak: Fill a bucket with warm water (up to knee level) and add about 50 to 100 grams of Epsom salt. Soak your legs, particularly your calf muscles, for about 15 minutes at bedtime and then remove. If you wake up without cramps the next day, it indicates that you may have magnesium deficiency.

Stretching, activity and yoga: Stay active, as sedentary lifestyle can lead to muscle tightness. Regular movement, stretching and flexibility training can help prevent cramps. Regular yoga practices that include calf muscle stretches are beneficial and it helps with improved blood circulation.

Hydration: Ensure you stay adequately hydrated because even if there is a slight decrease in water content in your body, it can lead to muscle cramps.

Rest and relaxation: Engage in techniques that put your body in a state of complete relaxation. Yoga poses like Shavasana and quality sleep can activate your body’s self-healing mechanism.

Nutmeg essential oil massage: A powerful external application involves massaging your calf muscles with a mixture of four to five drops of nutmeg essential oil and a carrier oil like coconut or sesame oil. Gently warm the oil and then massage it onto your calf muscles in a circular motion before bedtime to alleviate pain.

Leg cramps during sleep can be a real pain, but understanding their causes and adopting these remedies can go a long way in preventing and managing them. Stay hydrated, nourish your body with essential nutrients, get enough rest, and maintain an active lifestyle to keep those pesky cramps at bay.

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