I have always had problems with muscle spasms even as a child, but they have gotten worse in the past year. If I have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom and don't, I immediately go into extreme muscle spasms in both of my legs. I eat bananas, but am not much of a water drinker. If there is anything that I can do to help me get a good nights sleep I would appreciate it.
By Sue from Raleigh, NC
I know the feeling well. I tried eating bananas for added potassium, drinking more "water" to hydrate and also learned high blood pressure can bring on painful leg spasms. These spasms cramps the feet and toes. In your case, it's been since you were a child. I would suggest having your blood checked for a possible cause after consulting with your doctor.
I would get them in my legs when I would stretch them during the night. I asked a doctor and he told me it was due to dehydration. I keep a glass of water on my nightstand and try not to stretch my legs. They are annoying and uncomfortable and I have to jump out of bed to relieve the spasm. They sure do disrupt your sleep.
My Dad used to get them terribly and his doctor told him to take quinine pills. You can get them at the pharmacy without a prescription, just ask the pharamist. They worked wonders for him. You might also want to check with your doctor first. Good luck to you.
Our family recipe is eat more Marmite, hope it helps you too.And that you are a lover not a hater!
My doctor has recommended a glass of warm milk(not a fan of it plain so add cinnamon and a dash of sugar) just before bed. It has worked wonders for me as he said it may be a lack of calcium.
Drink pickle juice! My husband gets these really bad leg cramps and he learned that as soon as he gets them he drinks a little bit of pickle juice and it takes them right away! My brother in law tried it too and it worked for him!
Pickle juice either sweet or dill which ever you perfer...and you only need to drink about 2 ounces (try a Nyquil or Pepto Bismol size cup) and they will calm right down.
Drink tonic water with quinine.
I used to have bad cramps at night in my lower leg and ankle and foot, sometimes to the point of crying.I tried increasing potassium, magnesium, even the bar of soap under the sheet, but none of it helped me. Then I started untucking my flat sheet at the foot of the mattress. No more cramps! The pressure from the sheet and the blankets isn't there anymore, and neither are the cramps.
I do eat a lot of bananas and drink lots of water for my kidney problem but I take Hylands Leg Cramp Remedy when needed, available at Walmart. Calms it right down, I think it has quinine in it.
There is a homeopathic product my husband and I use called Cramp 911. It contains magnesium and is topical so it doesn't interact with other medications. It starts to work 15 seconds after you apply and lasts for hours. My husband is a tennis pro, so he sometimes gets acute spasms, especially if he's dehydrated. Statins can contribute as well. I'm a runner. We like this product the best of those we've tried. Good luck.
Wow, the pickle juice worked! Thanks to everyone who recommended it.
My DH had a really painful leg spasm in both legs at the same time (ugh). He takes potassium pills daily so I think its just a fluke.
He was in a lot of pain (started making twitches that resembled Cosmo Kramer). I googled and came upon this thread. I saw the multiple Pickle Juice response and asked him "are you still in a lot pf pain?", he screamed out "yes!" and I said "OK, you're not gonna like it but drink this pickle juice" and handed him 2 oz of pickle juice in a nyquil cap. He looked at me like "Are you crazy?" but he drank it. about 30 seconds later, the cramp was gone in his right leg, about 1 minute later, the cramp was gone in his left leg!
Amazed at the response time, I researched more and it appears that the vinegar that's in the pickle juice is the trick but because pickle juice is more palatable than a shot glass of vinegar, I would say that you should always keep some pickles in your fridge. For the skeptics reading this, I also learned that avid bicyclists keep a flask of pickle juice in their bags when they are on rides.
Also read that the Philadelphia Eagles drink 2 ounces of pickle juice before games to prevent leg cramps/spasms.
I posted about the bar of soap in the bed, back on 11-8-08. After putting the soap in my bed, I had not had a muscle spasm for about a week. I am now, very pleased to report, I have NOT had a muscle spasm for 1 1/2 years! To all you skeptics. I am a very 'hard sell' person and need solid proof to believe most anything. The one night I suffered severely with stabbing muscle spasms, I found a site for the soap suggestion & felt I had nothing to lose. I (doubtingly) put it in my bed. The best thing I've ever done for my back! I don't think it works for other back ailments, such as nerve pain or spine issues, but for spasms. It works!
I had muscle spasms all over my body for years to the point I would be screaming in pain in front of people at work.
Back when I COULD work. They got so bad that I just couldn't get out of bed anymore. Then one day a pain specialist said that he thought that I had never been properly diagnosed and put me on 100 mg valium 4 X a day and within 24 hours, 80% of my spasms had stopped! It was like magic!
Long story short, I was finally diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that is like a combination of MS, Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's. There is no cure and no treatment. But the point I was trying to make was the amazing affect that the Valium had on me. At first I was a little sleepy, until I got used to it. I know it's not a "natural" cure that everyone is looking for, but all I can say is that it worked immediately!
Alas, my disease has progressed to where I am on a morphine/baclofen pump, Valium, Lyrica and in a wheelchair most of the time. The only problem that I wish that I could get rid of, is that my legs wake me up burning, like they are on fire. I wake up so full of joy to be alive and then the pain hits and I start screaming and crying. The 20% of the spasms that the Valium cannot control is in my legs. They are just too severe for that medicine to handle. It's just part of the disease I have to learn to live with. But the valium worked wonderful on the other 80% of the spasms!
What really works to get rid of the pain in seconds without damaging muscle tissue that causes pain for days and weeks,is I jump out of bed and put pressure on the heel of the hurting foot. No! It is not a cure but really works for me to get rid of pain almost instantly. Enjoy this simple tip. Phil
My daughter is 7 years old and has a viral infection. She has been suffering from intense muscle spams all over her body. The doctor says that she can fight off her viral infection and pretty much blew off the spasms. They gave her a prescription for Zantac and Tylenol. Does anyone have any remedies for me?
By Monique B.
Ask Dr. for muscle relaxer & cortezone pills in appropriate doses for her age!
Is there a natural remedy for muscle spasms?
PMM from MO
My husband has incomplete spinal cord injury. He is paraplegic. He has muscle spasms even though he is on medication for it. Physical Therapy tells us that the muscles have to be stretched, which means daily stretching exercises of his legs. Once the muscles are stretched, the spasms ease. Also, I have found that an electric hand massager does wonders.
Drink plenty of water and take potassium. I personally take 99mg a few times a day instead of one of those honker pills with 350 mg.
Potassium citrate is pretty inexpensive and has done wonders for me.
Before taking any supplement, contact your doctor if you are on any medication or have health issues. (10/12/2008)
I have been using soap in my bed for several years and it always works for me. I do still get some cramps and that is only when I'm not in bed. (10/13/2008)
Eat bananas-a natural source of K+ (potassium). Also, when you get a cramp, resist pointing your toes. Keep your foot flat to reduce the likelihood of a cramp and to minimize it's duration.
Calcium allows muscles to contract (form a muscle spasm), while magnesium allows them to relax. In order for the body to properly absorb these minerals, they must be taken in a 2:1 ratio of 2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium. Most people are magnesium deficient, so many have a problem with spasms. Eating chocolate, cooked spinach, and lots of other stuff prohibits magnesium absorption. After taking these supplements for a while, you'll be amazed at how much better you feel. Make sure you have adequate potassium intake too. Eat a banana a day. (10/14/2008)
It depends on what kind of muscle spasms you are having. Do they happen at night? If so, you might try some extra magnesium. It's a natural muscle relaxant, that's good for the heart. Also, most people think calcium supplements should be way more than magnesium.
Do you crave chocolate? This usually means a magnesium deficiency. Get a balanced mineral supplement and add magnesium. If you are younger, you can take magnesium citrate, if you are, say, older than 35 or so, take magnesium carbonate. No matter what anyone says, as we age, we become more acidic. Therefore adding acidic things make us feel and become worse. Buffering is important.
Also for relaxation, St John's Wort, tryptophan, 5-htp, among others. I would try the minerals first. There is another area that you might try. I have adrenal fatigue and this can have all sorts of symptoms. Not being able to relax is one of them. Taking kelp helps a lot. I'd try Nature's Way, it is the whole kelp, dried. Iodine is helpful, too. Iodoral is a good supplement for this. There are so many things, without knowing more, these are some avenues to try. Hope this is any help. (10/14/2008)
By Chris T.
In my experience, muscle spasms comes from a lack of potassium. Eating a banana or baked potato usually works. Banana works faster if chewed and held under the tongue. I've found it works in minutes and sometimes seconds to relieve muscle spasms/cramps in the legs. Also, my Air Force training reminds you to keep well hydrated. I hope this helps. (10/15/2008)
I know this'll sound crazy, but I had bad leg cramps and would wake up nightly. I recalled someone writing about cramps and said they found a spoon in bed did the trick, so as silly as it sounded I gave it a try. I'm thinking it's the cold metal that eases the cramp, but whatever it is it works. I place the spoon right on the cramp and presto gone. I haven't had a cramp in quite a while, but that big serving spoon is right under my mattress, ready to grab when needed. I like the sound of the soap cure, too, although I haven't tried it. (10/25/2008)
By Jan from Bangor, ME
I thought you all were crazy about the bar of soap. I have a very physical job and have very sharp spasms in my back, almost always, to where I am practically "crippled up". Because of this, I am unable to do much of anything on my time off, but try and "rest" my back. I decided I had nothing to lose, so I tried the soap. Nothing short of a miracle. I have not had one since, and it has been over a week. I even worked a 10 1/2 hr. shift, no lunch break and sitting a total of 10 min., and my back is wonderful. I feel like a young person again. I carry a bar of soap under my clothes and I am doing things I haven't been able to do in a very long time. I really don't don't get it, but it really does work. Don't knock it till you try it. (11/08/2008)
To lessen the pain and discomfort during muscle spasm, press your finger on the area right below your nose and above your lip, the pain will subside rather quickly. I do not know how the soap remedy works. Is it simply put a bar of soap at the foot of the bed will stop the muscle spasm? Thanks. RY (12/02/2008)
Hey everyone. I suffer from constant muscle spasms in my shoulders and neck. I am in constant pain. I have found that using hard rubber balls to massage yourself works very well. I have looked around for several different sizes I found some solid rubber dog toys and hard rubber balls like a super ball work really well. I stand with my back to a wall or door and reach over my shoulder put the ball on my back or for lower back reach around under my arm or for really lower back put one on your butt. Sounds silly, but really works.
You can also do the back or your neck this way and for the top of your shoulder you need a bigger ball like the size of a soft ball so you can lean into the top of your shoulder. Once you try it you will understand what I mean.
I have maybe 20 or so knots in my back. Before I started doing this I could not function sometimes the pain was so bad, but I've gotten much better because of this approach. I also mix heat and cold in as well.
By Charles C.