When it comes to your leg, there are many muscles, ligaments and joints that can become sore. Your body requires exercise and proper maintenance in order to deliver to you the best possible mechanics. Many people suffer from a myriad of leg conditions including the mysterious Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS.
In restless leg syndrome you will be all set to go to bed however, as soon as you lie down your legs begin to twitch, move and in some cases ache. This condition is rather elusive and mysterious. Many studies suggest that a mineral deficiency is the root cause of the condition.
Other causes of leg pain can be from over use of muscles or from a torn ligament. A simple fall can injure your leg and you may not even realize it. Consider what you’ve done on any given day if you’re suffering from unexplained leg pain.
Did you slip, fall, stretch or over extend a muscle or muscle group? Have you recently injured your back or neck? All of these can be contributing factors to leg pain.
Your body requires 4 types of electrolyte minerals to function properly. If any of these are off balance you could end up having cramping in your legs as well as the twitching and kicking so familiar to restless leg syndrome. To help combat this you’ll have to ensure that you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires.
When muscles in your legs are fatigued and there aren’t enough minerals to circulate you’ll wind up with severe muscle cramps. You’ll twitch and jump even though you’re not trying to. When you lie down these sensations seem to worsen.
Potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium work together to keep these electrolytes balanced. You’ll also have to get enough vitamins including Vitamin B, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. Zinc is also important to helping you ease those aches and pains. Take a good vitamin supplement to help combat this syndrome.
These all natural remedies for leg pain will help to ease your legs into a good bedtime ritual and they can help you to ease leg pain and discomfort at any time of the day.
Take Your Supplements
To keep those electrolytes in balance you’ll need to incorporate some supplements into your diet. The following supplements will help to balance the minerals in your body and improve the balance of electrolytes.
- 500 mg of Magnesium (taken once per day)
- 800 to 1000 mg of Calcium
- 800 to 1000 mg of Potassium
Mineral water high in magnesium. Try to find mineral water that has 100 mg of magnesium per liter of water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure that you’re staying hydrated. You should be drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day to stay healthy.
Increase folic acid to help promote the building of your red blood cells. This will help to deliver more oxygen to your body. You can find folic acid in your green leafy vegetables as well as beans and orange juice.
It may be listed as folate in some of your multi vitamins. Be sure to get the recommended daily allowances of your leafy greens to help combat this as a reason for your leg pain.
Foods that are rich in iron will also be helpful. Again, dark green vegetables as well as wheat germ, kidney beans, lean beef and liver. Iron helps the myoglobin to hold oxygen and thus prevent muscle spasms. When you prevent muscle spasms you will help to reduce pain and leg jerking which can keep you awake.
When you crawl into bed at night and want to start kicking and moving your legs, rub them and do some stretches. This is telling your brain that it’s time to relax and start the rest cycle.
If during stretches you begin to feel a charley horse (strong cramping in the calves) you likely have a magnesium deficiency and need to increase your magnesium intake. As stated above, eat more leafy greens and make sure that you’re taking your supplements.
To massage, simply sit on the edge of your bed or a sofa and firmly massage the calve area. If you are still having restless legs, take a walk around the house and make sure you’re taking some long steps so that you are stretching those muscles.
Before you head off to bed set some rituals in place and plan for a good night’s sleep. Soak in a tub that is filled with hot water (comfortably hot not too hot) for about 15 minutes before retiring to bed.
Alternately, you may also find relief by cooling your legs with an ice pack before retiring. You may also wish to consider alternating the two treatments of hot and cold to see if that helps.
Avoid any caffeine or anything else that may be stimulating before retiring. This includes foods that may keep you awake such as spicy or acidic. Your goal is to find relaxing ways to get yourself to bed. Consider soft music, hot rice packs (herbals soothing scents are also great here think aromatherapy).
There are many great homeopathic remedies that you can try as well. Consider Causticum in the 12C dilution. You could also consider Tarentula Hispanica three times each day until you’re seeing some improvement.
You can also consider some aroma therapy here as well. Lavender, calendula and peppermint are all soothing to aches and pains and can help lull restless legs to dreamland. As an alternative, you could soak in a lavender bath or add some calendula to your bath just before bed and see if that will help to ease your spasms.
It’s long been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these are stimulants that may keep restless legs in motion. Reduce or stop smoking. Cold and sinus medications may also make symptoms worse, avoid them except in dire need.
If you’re suddenly having leg pain and haven’t had any for a time, consider what you ate that day and see if you can find a correlation to one of the foods you ate or something that you drank that day.
If so, change it by avoiding that food for a few weeks and then try it again, if you have leg pain then you’ll know that you’re sensitive to that particular food or beverage.
Get up and get moving to release those endorphins. If you’re not in the habit of regularly exercising you might want to consider adding exercise to your daily routine. Consider a walk after dinner to help your body nourish damaged nerves back to health.
Endorphins are the body’s way of dealing with pain and helping us to feel better. When you exercise, those endorphins are released and start to work immediately on your pain.
Gradually increase the amount of exercise or the distance walked until there are no more symptoms. It’s okay to start out slow and work your way up to a regular routine. Consider Yoga or Tai Chi to help get your body in motion.
Focus on exercises that will use your leg muscles so that they will be ready for rest when you are. Walking, jogging, yoga and Tai chi are all good ways to get those legs up and moving.
Join a class or grab some videos to get going on yoga and Tai chi. You’ll be glad you did and your legs will show you some love by not aching and hurting so much.
Nerve pain is another reason that some people struggle with restless leg syndrome. If this is you, you can find some relief by using good foot care and pampering your feet and your legs.
Nerve pain results in impaired sensations, you may not feel that pin you stepped on, but it can still cause damage. You may not notice a minor infection or an infected toenail, but over the course of time if they’re left untreated it can rage into a horrible infection.
To prevent this, make sure that you inspect your feet daily to ensure that you don’t have any ingrown toenails or hangnails or other injuries that may become infected. Make sure that you aren’t suffering from cracked dry heels that can lead to infection.
Wear good comfortable shoes to protect your feet from harm. Even if you think an injury is too minor to worry about, keep an eye on it and if it becomes infected see your doctor immediately.
Consider wearing diabetic socks. These are a bit looser on the foot and well padded. A great way to pamper the feet. Find a great supportive pair of fuzzy slippers that are so comfy they don’t feel like you’re wearing shoes and wear them around the house instead of going barefoot.
Ointments, Gels, Creams And Lotions
Many have found relief with ointments, gels, creams and lotions. There are a variety of these on the market today. You can find them with Capaicin (which is made from hot chili peppers) and will help to relieve some of the leg pain.
However, be aware that this will burn upon application although the burning sensation will dissipate after a few minutes. Many find this burning sensation to be too much but others find it soothing. There are also other forms of creams that may help as well.
You can try an arnica cream that will help to relieve the pain. This is available in most health food stores, online and also comes in a gel form. It is odorless and will absorb quickly into the skin soothing sore achy muscles.
Consider a lidocaine gel, ointment or patch. You’ll need a doctor’s prescription for this one (there are some mild ones that aren’t prescription) but it will definitely help to relieve the pain. Lidocaine is a numbing agent that is often used in treating mouth injuries and sometimes for dental work as well.
Geranium oil is another pain reliever and you can find this in most of your health food stores as well. Lavender oil is also said to offer some relief by relaxing your nerves.
Give your calves a nice massage with geranium oil or lavender oil (mix with a carrier oil to prevent any accidental burns on the skin).
Often something as simple as mind over matter is all it takes to get yourself to sleep. You can use a variety of techniques including guided imagery, biofeedback, meditation and even hypnosis to help deal with your pain. You can find many great meditation therapists to help you in your meditation techniques. You can get a referral from your doctor or a counselor.
Change Your World Change Your Life
Change your outlook. Simple changes in your life can go far in helping you to deal with your pain. Eat the right foods and avoid foods that may cause you heartburn or other issues. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can create issues for your body and keep you awake at night.
Lower your stress levels and learn new methods of dealing with stress. Add more exercise into your day. Smoke less or stop smoking altogether to help reduce symptoms. Certain medications may make RLS or leg pain worse.
If you’ve recently started a new medication and discovered that you’re struggling with leg pain, check with your doctor or your pharmacist to see if this new medication may be what is causing you to have leg pain. If so your doctor may be able to help you by prescribing a different form of medication or adjusting your dosage or the time that you take it.
Reduce outside influences such as electronics, television and the like. Too many distractions can cause you to stay awake and focus on your pain. Instead, create a quiet time around your bedtime ritual and focus on relaxation techniques and methods for falling asleep. Try listening to some soft music.
Recognize that it may be more pronounced in some people than in others. It’s also more common in women than in men.
The age of onset may vary but it’s generally in adults. Some people may only have a mild form and thus not really have any serious consequences with it while others may struggle with it on a nightly basis.
Some studies have suggested that taking a good Vitamin D supplement can greatly reduce symptoms. The same study also suggests that increased levels of Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin E will also help to reduce symptoms.
A good multi vitamin can’t hurt either according to the study. Many times pain is something as simple as lacking in a specific vitamin or mineral. By supplementing your diet with vitamins you can often help to decrease your pain levels and get a good night’s sleep.
Other things to consider are recent injuries to ankle, feet and legs. These can often be forgotten or passed off as minor when in fact a muscle was torn or stretched and is causing pain. Pinched nerves can also lead to leg pain.
If you’ve recently slipped and fallen and torqued your back or neck you could have leg pain as a consequence. Don’t discount even a minor twist or fall that could cause our pain. It is amazing how easily things can be out of alignment and cause pain. Often a chiropractor can help as well.
If this is the case opt for heat and ice intermittently so that you can relax the sore muscles and give them time to heal. Leg pain from such injuries isn’t uncommon. Heat and ice are both ideal for helping to soothe aching muscles and giving you enough relief to fall asleep. Once you’re asleep your body will begin to relax and you won’t notice any pain.
Slipped or herniated discs in the back can also cause leg pain. Sciatic nerve pain can shoot down one or both legs and cause great amounts of pain especially at night when you’re ready for bed.
Again, relaxation and a simple pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be all that is required to help ease the pain. Avoid overextending your leg muscles that can become strained and sore from over use.
If pain continues after trying some of the above mentioned remedies, consider consulting a doctor to ensure that there isn’t something more serious wrong with you.
Other conditions such as poor circulation and a peripheral vascular disease can also cause leg pain. Your doctor can fully evaluate your specific situation and recommend other treatments if necessary.
Remember, if you’re staying awake due to restless legs or pain in your legs, and it doesn’t go away after a few nights, you should seek a doctor’s advice and see what your options are. Often it’s something simple and you’ll be well on your way to recovery in no time.