How to Stop Leg and Foot Cramps

how to stop leg and foot cramps

Kick Leg and Foot Cramps Goodbye

Let us take a closer look at how to stop leg and foot cramps. If you’ve ever experienced a leg cramp in your hamstring or calf muscle, or even a foot cramp late at night, you know how agonizing the pain can be. Anyone can get leg cramps, but they are more commonly experienced by athletes and active individuals. If you are experiencing leg cramps more frequently, it may be advisable to seek professional help from a doctor. Otherwise, exploring some of the preventative measures listed below may be all you need to cure your cramping problems.

What causes leg and foot cramps?

Leg and foot cramps can be caused by dehydration, or inadequate water intake. Poor blood circulation, tense or stiff muscles, intense physical activities or muscle fatigue, low levels of potassium or sodium salt, vitamin deficiencies, or injury to the leg.


What to do if you get a cramp?

If you should get a cramp, immediately stretch out that muscle and apply pressure to the cramping muscle if possible. If you’re experiencing a calf or foot cramp, it is often helpful if you can get assistance from someone who can apply pressure or push against your foot to stop the pain and cramping. When the muscle has relaxed, apply a gentle massage to the affected area for better blood circulation. If necessary, take a muscle relaxant to help relax the muscle and prevent further cramping.


How to Stop Leg and Foot Cramps

Since the causes for leg cramps are numerous, there are a number of measures you can take to help prevent leg cramps in the future.

Water – Exercising or working in the heat can cause dehydration which can lead to muscle cramps. Always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. It is also important that you are well hydrated before going to bed to help avoid night cramps.

Electrolytes – An imbalance or deficiency of electrolytes can cause muscle cramps. A quick source for electrolytes are sports drinks or Gatorade.

Low magnesium levels can cause leg cramps. A good source of magnesium would be dark leafy greens, beans and nuts, bananas, tofu, grapefruits, oatmeal, broccoli, and whole grains such as brown rise or whole wheat bread. Magnesium can also be obtained in pill or powder form at your local grocery or health food store.

Also make sure you are not deficient potassium and sodium.

Stretching & Massage – Stretching helps increase circulation to the muscles and will help avoid injuries and cramps before exercising. Stretching or massage before bed may also help stop leg and foot cramps while you sleep.

Muscle Strengthening – A stronger muscle can tolerate higher levels of strenuous activity and lessen the likelihood of cramps setting in when working hard or during intense physical activities. Cardio exercise and weight training are excellent ways to strengthen these muscles and prevent future leg and foot cramps.


Other more Serious Causes for Leg and Foot Cramps

If your cramps persist and none of the above remedies stop your leg and foot cramps, you may need medical assistance. Cramps can also be caused by the following diseases, medical conditions and side effects from drugs.

Diseases – Kidney disease and diabetes can cause electrolyte imbalances. Peripheral artery disease is known to restrict the blood flow to muscles. Hormonal disorders and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease can affect muscle contractions. More common diseases that contribute to muscle cramps are hypothyroidism, heart disease, Addison’s disease, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Medical conditions – Medical conditions leading to muscle cramps include muscle loss, osteoporosis, aging, diarrhea, hypertension, pregnancy, anemia, and pregnancy.

Medications – Drugs for the following diseases can also lead to muscle cramps: Alzheimer’s, antidepressants, hypertension drugs, asthma medication, and cholesterol lowering drugs, Parkinson’s disease medications, erectile-enhancement drugs, and oral contraceptives to name a few.


There are many other reasons for muscle cramping that are not listed here, so consulting with your physician may be necessary to find what is causing your muscle cramps. Otherwise, we hope this article on how to stop leg and foot cramps has been helpful and may resolve your cramping issues.

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