Natural Cures for Leg Cramps

Natural cures for leg cramps are easy to come by, even if you can't determine the root cause of why you're experiencing them. Here are some things to try that might help you.

Rub It out
When a leg cramp strikes, you may instinctively grab and start rubbing the muscle. This can help. Be sure to massage in the natural direction of the muscle, rather than against it and be gentle. Gentle massage can help relax the tension and release the pain. It also promotes blood circulation, which may be an underlying cause of the cramp.

Heat and/or Ice
A warm or hot shower can relax the muscles, help release the cramp and soothe the pain. It can also be helpful to apply an ice pack to the cramped muscle. This reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscle.

Stretch It out
If you've got cramps in a calf muscle, known as a charley horse, stretch your leg straight and point your toes toward your head while massaging the cramped muscle. This can help release the cramp and provide relief. Follow with heat or ice to relieve tenderness.  

Be sure to stretch before and after exercise, and before bed if you're plagued by nighttime leg cramps. Don't overdo exercise; make gradual increases in intensity or time.

Mind what you wear on your feet as well. High-heeled shoes or men's and women's boots with heels keep your foot in an unnatural position and tighten the calf. When you switch back to flats, the muscle gets stretched and cramps may follow.            

Diet and Nutrition
A lack of potassium, magnesium and calcium in your diet is one possible cause of muscle cramps. Be sure you are getting plenty of nutrients by eating a balanced diet and taking supplements when needed.   

Consuming water during the day, as well as during and after exercise, can be a big help because dehydration is a known cause of leg cramps. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics that dehydrate you, so they don't count toward hydration. Water is the best, followed by juice and electrolyte drinks.

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