How to Stop a Leg or Foot Cramp

Wondering how to stop a leg or foot cramp? The first step is to figure out what's causing the cramps. Simple things like adjusting your office chair, stretching before you exercise or changing the style of shoes you wear can keep cramps at bay.

When you need immediate foot or leg cramps relief, you can try stretching or use some home remedies. Home remedies may not always work, but even if they don't, you'll get the benefit of good nutrition, which benefits your overall health.

Causes of Leg or Foot Cramps
There are several causes of foot and leg cramps. Learn the cause of your cramps and you can prevent them in most cases.

  • If you sit a lot, such as at an office job, and you are not active, your calf muscles may weaken. Weak calf muscles may cramp at night when you are relaxed.
  • Too much exercising will also cause cramping. Do not overdo your fitness program. Only do as much as your body can withstand during each session, and lengthen the sessions over time.
  • Pregnancy can cause leg and foot cramping, as can circulatory problems. You should visit your doctor if you experience excessive cramps. 
  • Diabetics and people with thyroid disease often suffer from leg and foot cramping. Visit your doctor, especially if you are already on insulin or are taking thyroid medication.
  • If you wear high heels and are not used to them, you may experience leg and foot cramping. Wear the heels for a few minutes at a time and break yourself in on them before wearing them to work, especially if you do not normally wear heels.

Stopping Leg and Foot Cramps
If you are involved in strenuous activity, stretch the leg and foot muscles several times during the day. Flex the calf muscles often by pointing the toes in and out several times. If you do experience cramps, often known as charley horses, try easing into a stretch to relieve the tension on the muscles.

Quinine is often prescribed to relieve cramps. Only take this medication under the direction of a doctor, and never take it if you are pregnant. If you are pregnant and your doctor prescribes quinine, let your doctor know that you are pregnant.

Make sure you get the daily recommended allowance of calcium, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E. If you do not get enough of these nutrients in the food you eat, consider taking a multivitamin. Deficiencies in these nutrients can cause cramping, especially if you're active.

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