Almost all of us have experienced muscle cramps at some point of our life. It is common among people involved in sports. 60% cyclists, 79% of athletes and 39 % of marathon runners are affected by muscle cramps at a time. This involuntary and sudden contraction occurs in various groups of muscles. Most of them occur in the muscles present in the back and front of thigh and back of lower leg. Muscle cramps may occur in feet, hands, arms and abdominal wall. Medicines are often not used to treat such ordinary muscle cramps. However, to beat leg cramps and feel less discomfort, you can try some simple home remedies for muscle cramps. But first of all, let’s look at some of the common reasons behind these cramps.
Why we suffer from muscle cramps?
The cause of these cramps is often unknown. But usually it occurs because of muscle overuse during any kind of exercise.
Other reasons can be poor circulation, dehydration, muscle injuries and deficiency of minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium.
It is also associated with some medical conditions as well like hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney failure, pregnancy, alcoholism, spinal nerve compression and restless leg syndrome. To know how to prevent these cramps, follow the discussion below:
Home remedies for muscle cramps:
- Cold compress:With an initial heat treatment, the pain in the muscles will improve. Then use cold compress on sore muscles so they you may get a complete relief from such cramp. Pain will be numbed, inflammation will be reduced and muscles will feel relaxed. Also if the cramp is gone, the soreness of the muscles will be reduced by reconstruction of blood vessel.
Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth and put them on the affected area for nearly 15 minutes. Repeat this activity in every two hours for 2 days. Or you may take a cold shower to relax.
- Epsom salt:
Epsom salt is among the excellent home remedies for muscle cramps. Epsom salt contains magnesium that promotes healing and relaxation of muscles.
To apply it, first fill the bathtub with some warm water. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and stirr thoroughly. Soak the affected area for twenty minutes. Note that Epsom salt should not be used by those who are suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart ailments.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:
Unfiltered and raw apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium and helps to beat leg cramps. Lowering potassium levels in the body also causes muscle cramps. Also there are many essential nutrients in apple cider vinegar that could control the balance of fluid in the body and prevent dehydration.
Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass containing warm water. Drink it once a day so that muscle cramps could be prevented. And if you want to prevent nocturnal leg cramps, mix a tablespoon of calcium lactate, honey and apple cider vinegar in half glass of lukewarm water. Drink this solution half an hour before you lie on bed at night.
- Yellow mustard:
Natural treatments of yellow mustard may also heal muscle cramps in just a few minutes. The reason for it is that it has acetic acid that boost up acetylcholine production in your body. Aceylcholine acts as a neurotransmitter promoting muscles for work. Thus soreness and pain is relieved in the muscles.
- Clove oil:Clove oil posses anti inflammation properties which could reduce swelling, inflammation and muscle cramps. Also the pain could be relived due to the aesthetic properties of the oil. Warm the oil to rub it on the affected area. With firm strokes, massage for 5 minutes. If needed, repeat this procedure again.
- Black strap molasses:
If there is a deficiency of potassium and calcium in your muscles, black strap molasses will work best for you. It is a great source of potassium and calcium and helps in maintaining strong muscles. It is also among the best home remedies for muscle cramps.
Mix one tablespoon of it in a glass containing warm milk or water. Drink this mixture in just a few minutes so that the pain is relived. Drink this mixture more than once if needed. You may also drink it regularly to cover up the deficiencies of calcium and potassium in your body.
- Rosemary:There are anti- inflammatory characters in Rosemary who could calm down the inflammation in muscular tissues and thus the soreness and pain is reduced. The natural treatments of rosemary give out a warming effect which promotes relaxation. The recovery speed is also enhanced as rosemary is absorbed easily by the skin.
Put an ounce of rosemary leaves in a jar and fill it up with water at boiling point. Cover and steep it for 30 minutes. Soak any washcloth in this warm solution and apply it for 10- 15 minutes over the affected area. Or you may add 1- 2 spoons of rosemary leaves in a cup of hot water and steep it for 10 minutes. Strain it down and drink this tea thrice a day.
- Stretching exercise:
Home remedies for muscle cramps include stretching exercise. Perform some simple stretching exercise so that the muscle cramps could be relieved. Stretch out the muscle with a light and static stretch for 15- 30 seconds and then rub it gently so that it could relax. You may opt for swimming as the muscles in water stretch more easily. Also cold water will reduce pain and inflammation.
The muscle which is affected should be relaxed so that stiffness and soreness is reduced. Give long strokes until the muscle cramps are relaxed. Then wrap the affected area with a towel. For more benefits, use any massage oil which contains wintergreen oil and vegetable oil in 1:4 as these oils promote blood flow.