Cramps in Legs
Leg muscle cramps are one of the most painful things that exist. If you have ever had one then you know what it's like. They can bring you to your knees in a matter of seconds. Many times it happens really fast and usually catches us off guard. Moreover, those of us who have leg muscle cramps know that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
There are just a few primary reasons for leg muscle cramps. One of the first ones is not stretching properly or not at all for the exercise that you're doing. Muscles need to be prepared to work, especially if the workout is strenuous. To prepare a muscle properly to workout it first needs to be warmed up. Stretching should not be the warm up. When you stretch cold muscles you can strain or tear them. The warm up is first then the stretches.
Dehydration is another cause of leg muscle cramps. If you aren't drinking enough liquids and the body get dehydrated then muscles cramp. When you do strenuous exercise, especially on a hot day then plenty of water is needed. Don't drink caffeine or other drinks that are part of the problem and create dehydration. A person who works out or trains their body should drink water or sports drinks.
Lack of electrolytes in the body can bring on a leg muscle cramp as well. Electrolytes are minerals that we need in the body and sometimes we come up short. The good news is that there are supplements that you can take to reduce or eliminate leg cramps. You find electrolytes in calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium; therefore it helps to eat foods that contain them.
To get a quick fix of electrolytes drink energy drinks, eat bananas, tomato soup, drink or eat low fat dairy for calcium and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are helpful as well.
When the body is overworked and fatigued this can cause leg muscles to ache and weaken. So, don't be surprised if you get leg muscle cramps from not getting enough sleep or rest. In addition, stress can be a factor, since it robs the body of energy.
To alleviate leg muscle cramps at the onset, use these 5 tips in this order:
- Perform deep massage and do it quickly to increase circulation.
- Rotate the ankle then flex / point the foot and elevate.
- Stretch the calf first then the entire leg.
- Apply heat if calf muscle is sore later.
- Massage gently and baby it.