May 8, 2009

Natural Remedies for Leg & Hand Cramps

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Muscle cramps are involuntary muscle contractions of a muscle that is not able to relax. Generally cramps can happen in the skeletal muscle, though these are quite common in the muscles of the feet, legs and the calf muscles. Cramps can affect either a small part of the muscle or the entire group of muscles. Muscle cramps generally affect the following group of muscles:

  • Abdomen, arms, hands, feet
  • Quadriceps or the front part of the thigh
  • Hamstrings or the back of the thigh
  • Back of the calf or the lower leg

The intensity of muscle cramps can vary from a twitch to severe pain. When a person gets a muscle cramp, the area feels rock hard and a cramp can last from anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes.

Causes of Muscle Cramps: While the precise cause of a muscle cramp is not known, many believe that it can happen due to muscle fatigue, poor flexibility or while doing a new activity. Lack of warming up exercise can also cause cramps. Depletion of electrolyte, dehydration and heat can also cause muscles to cramp. You might even get cramps when you complete a prolonged and intense period of exercise.

Treating Muscle Cramps: You can stop getting the cramps by holding the area in a stretched position, till the cramps stop; massaging the area gently; and, stopping any activity that you think is causing the cramps.

Preventing Muscle Cramps: You can prevent muscle cramps by –

  • Improving your fitness level and avoiding muscle fatigue
  • Warming up before you exercise
  • Stretching after exercising
  • You must stretch the calf muscle, the muscles of the quadriceps, and the hamstring muscle

Natural Remedies

  • Include calcium-rich food like apricots, milk, almond, sesame seeds, and millets, in your diet.
  • Vitamins E and C are known to treat muscle cramps. So make sure you have food products that are rich in these two.
  • Potassium can relieve cramps that happen due to nervous and mental disorders.
  • To prevent leg and feet cramps, try tanking up on vitamin B.
  • Improve your blood circulation by doing leg exercises and exercises for the lower back.
  • Massage the leg or the hand when the cramps hit you.
  • If your leg has got cramps, then massage the feet, toes and lower legs. Exercise and circulation can stop the cramps. Sit with your feet dangling from a chair or a bed, till they become pink.