Is there something you can take to help prevent leg cramps?
By Doris from MI
My mother suffers from night leg cramps and says drinking tonic water really helps her. It is usually found in the pop section of the grocery store.
You should have a diet that has adequate potassium (potatoes, bananas, milk, oranges, prunes, spinach, tomatoes are a few). If you are starting a new exercise regimen or newly active then it may be that your body is depleted of potassium. This may be just a symptom of a serious malady, which means it may be time to ck with your MD.
Have you tried increasing your calcium intake? I take calcium supplements, and whenever the leg cramps start up, I know that I have been skimping on the calcium! When I resume or increase the calcium, the leg cramps ease up greatly! Good luck!
Hylands Leg Cramp Remedy, available at Walmart. I suffered from leg cramps for years until I found this product.
For several years I had terrible leg cramps almost nightly. After trying all the "folk" remedies and my doctor's suggestions (I'm on several prescription medications and can't use some of the supplements), I discovered that doing some leg stretches before going to bed have eliminated the cramps. All I do is stand on one foot, raise the other leg behind me, grasp that ankle with my hand and pull up until I feel the muscles stretch. Be sure to keep the bent knee perpendicular to the floor. Hold the stretch for 20 - 30 seconds, then do the other leg.
If you have trouble balancing on one foot as I do, just hold onto something to steady yourself.
I agree with tahloolabelle, particularly if this is an ongoing problem. Having said that, my dad gets leg cramps. The VA has prescribed something, but Dad feels terrible (groggy and tired) the next day. So he takes Hyland's Leg Cramps with Quinine. My parents order it from Vitacost.com, because they have the best price they've found (good prices on a lot of supplements). Here is a link, so you can see the packaging:
And remember to keep hydrated, too. It's easy to forget, but affects so many things. I hope you find some relief soon!
You should probably consult your doctor to make sure what is causing the cramps. If you are on prescription medications you don't want to take something that isn't recommended by your doctor, because the non-prescription stuff and the prescription stuff might have a bad interaction. My doctor told me that the cramps that hit in the night are part of growing old. He said everybody gets them to some degree as they get older.
Check with your Dr. and see if you can take Legatrim. I have used it in the past and it helped. So many things could be causing these cramps, as the others have stated. Or the other thing I find useful is a warm heating pad.
Ditto with redhatterbs comments and also about what tahloolabelle mentions about having potassium rich foods but too much potassium can also be harmful so you really should see your physician and have some blood work done and talk about underlying health issues that might be agitating the problem.
In my case the cramps most often happen when I am sleeping and sometimes are so bad that I have to get up and walk around for a long time before they will go away so I can get back to sleep. Over a couple of years of paying attention and listening to my body I finally found that the postion I sleep brings it on and, as it turns out, I have arthritis in my lower back and the sleep positions are causing the worst cramps because nerves are all interconnected. I now know exactly what position I have to sleep in and that has made all of the difference! Even during waking hours the way a person sits makes a difference too.
Different remedies for different folks! I'm surprised no one has mentioned my remedy. When you are in bed do not point your toes toward the foot of the bed. Works for me. I sleep in a fetal position or something close, making a special point not to point my feet. If I get a cramp I always jumped out of bed and put my weight on it and bounced that leg up and down and it is gone in a few seconds. No waiting for things to take hold like some have suggested.
My father had night leg cramps for as long as I could remember. I am 59 and normally very active, but have had severe night leg cramps off and on for at least 15 or 20 years. This past summer they go to the point of being debilitating. I have tried numerous doctors and have tried magnesium, calcium and vitamin supplements. The only thing that seemed to help was quinine, but it has become difficult to obtain.
In September I read about milk being a contributor. I quit eating ice cream and drinking milk at bed time and with only 3 exceptions (when I forgot) I have not had a single leg cramp. I also discovered that I could point my toes. I haven't been able to point my toes or sit on my ankles for years without inducing immediate cramping in my feet. An added benefit; I was also suffering with a bout of asthma over the summer. No Milk. No Asthma. I know this won't help everyone, but it has done wonders for me. When I told my doctors, most just looked as if I was crazy, maybe I am.
I strongly suggest vitamin B complex. It will go away. Take it every day. Let me know how it does for you. Jenwa
I forgot to mention, you need to have your potassium levels checked. When your muscles dont get enough plus lots of water daily. Dehydration will cause cramping. Good luck. Jenwa
Well it looks like you have lots of ideas to try. I didn't read them all, but I as far as I read I didn't see anyone mention Tonic Water because it contains quinine.
Ive had leg cramps since I was a baby (6mo old or so). I have always taken aspirin for them. Aspirin thins your blood which allows it to flow more freely through your muscles relieving the cramp. If aspirin isn't friendly for you, just keep your leg perfectly still and slightly elevated for about 30 mins or until it goes away. I saw suggestions for stretches... stretching is awesome, however cramps happen for different reasons, for me, stretching and walking make the leg cramps worse... Pharmaceuticals are usually always bad because they are generally synthetic (avoid those), but aspirin is derived from a plant and has other beneficial effects. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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