Nocturnal cramps are an often problem that affect many and even though they might not be a serious medical problem they can be quite annoying. Nocturnal cramps are actually involuntary contractions of the muscles on your calf, feet and thigh and can be very painful. They usually strike at night and can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes.
Many people believe that nocturnal leg cramps are the same as restless leg syndrome but these two conditions are so much different. Restless leg syndrome doesn’t let you move the leg to ease the pain, while nocturnal cramps impair proper leg movements. Cramps are also much more painful and can cause sore muscles in the morning.
The scientific community doesn’t have a definitive answer on what causes nocturnal cramps but health experts agree that there can be more than one reason. They’ve often been linked to mineral deficiencies, like potassium, magnesium, calcium and iodine, as well as dehydration and pregnancy. They can also be cause by thyroid disorders, drugs overuse, muscle overload, poor circulation and spending a lot of time in extreme weather conditions.
If you often experience nocturnal leg cramps, here are a few advices on how to deal with them
Physical activity is crucial when it comes to nocturnal leg cramps. If you want to prevent them you need to exercise regularly and avoid prolonged periods of sitting and standing.
If a painful cramp wakes you up in the middle of the night, stretch the aching muscle to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
You need to drink an ample amount of water on a daily basis to hydrate your muscles and prevent nocturnal leg cramps.
Massage and acupuncture
Massages and acupuncture can be really effective against leg cramps. They treat the root of your problem and help your muscles relax.
Mind your magnesium levels
If you’re deficient in magnesium it may be why you experience nocturnal leg cramps so often because magnesium deficiency is one of the main culprits for this problem. You should make sure your magnesium levels are within the normal limits and if they’re not you need to increase your magnesium intake.
Magnesium is abundant in seeds and nuts, dry fruit, avocado and bananas. You can try magnesium oil and massage your calves and thighs with it to prevent cramps.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium so Epsom salt baths are a great way to increase your magnesium levels and prevent cramps. The bath also has a relaxing effect on your muscles and will prevent further attacks.
Whenever you feel a cramp wakes you up in the middle of the night start moving your leg to improve your circulation. Try rubbing your aching muscle and stretch your legs by sitting down on the floor and flexing your feet and extending your legs.
Make sure your sheets and covers are loose before you go to bed because thigh ones can squeeze your legs and induce cramps.
Article and image source : https://alternativehealthuniverse.com/heres-prevent-nocturnal-leg-cramps/