I can hardly think of any pain that is much worse than foot and leg cramps, especially at night. The pain, at times, can make you grit your teeth and take your breath away. Worse yet, the next day you feel muscle soreness and wonder why, then remember the god awful muscle cramp that woke you up. We have all been there at one time or another. Have you ever known anyone who hasn't had a muscle cramp or charley horse? I haven't. But, why do some of us get them more than others? There's a reason for everything even muscle cramps. If you want to know why you get foot and leg cramps it's coming up next.
Why we get Foot and Leg Cramps
There are several reasons why we get foot and leg cramps. Check out the list below carefully and find which ones apply to you. You're bound to see at least one and possible several.
*Dehydration- Are you consuming enough fluids daily?
*Over exertion of Muscles- New workout, push too hard, over train or try to show off?
*Inadequate Stretching- No stretches or warm up to prepare muscles?
*Overweight- Do you need to lose a few or a lot of pounds?
*Bad circulation- What about blood supply to legs and feet? Blue or cold feet and legs or swelling?
*Nerve Disorder- Are you a nervous wreck? Anxious? Stressed?
*Lack of certain minerals- Need electrolytes- potassium, calcium, sodium, chloride, magnesium?
There are more, but these are the most common reasons we get foot and leg cramps. As you can see all of these can be eliminated or at least alleviated. Half of the battle is to know the cause; the other half is doing what's necessary to fix the problem. It's up to you!
Mineral rich Foods/Drinks to Prevent Muscle Cramps
Let's start with something good like bananas, great in cereal and for a quick snack. Some other tasty ones are tomatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, figs, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges and orange juice. Add a little calcium to the mix, which we find in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Other calcium rich foods include- tofu, sardines, almonds, and sesame seeds.
Throw in some veggies like peas, kale, spinach, broccoli and beans. For meat lovers try a little turkey or beef and fish is good too. Surely some of these foods you already eat and like, so just add a few more and you're set. Naturally, you can take vitamins or supplements, but we all know the real deal is better. Oh, before I forget, a sports drink like Gatorade and Powerade works well to replace electrolytes.
Foot and Leg Cramps Relief
To alleviate muscle cramp pain the very first thing you need to do is massage the area. It is very important to breathe deep and relax as much as possible when you massage. It's also good to have someone assist by getting a warm or hot compress. Heat relaxes muscles, so you want to apply heat asap. While massaging gently stretch the muscle, if it's a foot cramp rotate the ankle each direction then flex and point the foot.
Stand up and slowly, but firmly press foot into floor from heel to toe back and forth, if you have a small ball that you can massage foot with like a tennis ball it would be great. Roll the ball around with the foot applying pressure as you go, especially in the arch area.
When the muscle cramp is in the leg it's usually in the calf. Once again start with massage, go deep using the palm more than the fingers in a circular motion. Use fingers after cramping pain subsides a little in a kneading motion. Now it's time to stretch the calf muscle, while sitting on floor legs straight out in front, lean forward and grab the arch of your foot, pull toes toward you and hold the stretch. Breathe slowly and relax, tension makes muscles tense and tight creating more pain.
Now it's up to you, you know what causes muscle cramps and how to get rid of them.
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