Leg cramps are extremely common and, in most of the cases they are not dangerous. However, they can still be quite painful and sometimes the ache can last for many hours – and it is then when you would do just about anything to relieve yourself from it.
Although most of the people experience leg cramps at least once in their life, the truth is that not a lot of them understand precisely what it is that causes them.
Even if you are not passionate about medical topics, learning about leg cramps as well as possible can help you a lot because this way, you will be able to understand why certain remedies work (and why it is not recommended to do certain things too).
Leg Cramps: What Are They, Actually?
Leg cramps can appear to occur out of the sudden, but in most of the cases there will be a very clear cause that led to them. Basically, these are muscle cramps that occur on the leg and which can be caused by a variety of things. Here are some of the most commonly encountered causes that lead to leg cramps:
1- Exercising too vigorously
When you exercise too much and your body is not ready for it, your muscle can start to resent this and they will contract themselves and not come back to their relaxed state – which is what leg cramps are.
To avoid this from happening, always make sure that you warm yourself up thoroughly before you start exercising and that you do not push yourself over your limits too much.
Of course, exercising is very healthy and you should push your limits, but you should also know when enough is enough.
We are really made out of water and our muscles make absolutely no exception from this rule. Muscles need water just as much as the rest of the body and it is very important that you provide them with it.
Drink your 8 glasses of water every single day and make sure to hydrate yourself whenever you work out because you will lose a lot of water during the exercises.
3- Vitamin/nutrient deficiencies
Sometimes, it is vitamin deficiencies that can cause leg cramps (or muscular cramps, for that matter). Vitamin A, B and D and potassium are absolutely crucial for the good functioning of your muscular system and you should always provide your body with plenty of them.
There may be many other causes that lead to muscle cramps, but these are among the most common ones. Again, they are not necessarily dangerous, but they can be extremely painful and relieving yourself from the pain is one of the main things you will have in mind when experiencing such a cramp.
Apple Cider Vinegar: The Miracle of Nature
Sometimes, nature surprises us in the most pleasant ways with “products” that are fully natural and almost miraculous when it comes to the applications they have.
Apple cider vinegar is one of those things that comes directly from nature and can be extremely healthy for you.
Among the many things apple cider vinegar can help you with, leg cramps are very common. There is no magic about it though: apple cider vinegar is very rich in potassium, which is an essential ingredient for the health of your muscles.
By providing your body with potassium, you lower the chances you will develop leg cramps or muscle cramps and you can also alleviate the pain. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar with one glass of warm water and with 1 teaspoon of honey and you should be ready to go!
In addition to helping with leg cramps, apple cider vinegar is also known for its arthritis-fighting properties.
Although there are many people who sustain the idea that there is little evidence over the fact that apple cider vinegar can help with the well-known disease, the truth is that there are also a lot of people who say that, in their case, this vinegar has made miracles.
Even more than that, apple cider vinegar’s miraculous properties go far beyond that and there are a lot of people who believe that drinking 1-2 teaspoons of this vinegar with one glass of water can prevent cancer from developing in their bodies.
However, you must keep in mind the fact that long-term use is not recommended either and that it may have repercussions on your health if you abuse it!
Other Natural Home Remedies for Leg Cramps
The pain experienced during a leg cramp can be awful, but luckily there are many things you can do at home to alleviate it. Here are some of the best natural remedies/treatments for leg cramps:
1- If you don’t particularly like apple cider vinegar
There are also many other foods that are quite high in potassium and that could help with the pain. Bananas, avocadoes, mushrooms, yogurt, dried fruit and the banal apple are all rich enough in potassium to provide you with plenty of it so that you make the pain go away as soon as possible.
2- Cut back on the salt
If you experience leg cramps often, then you should know the fact that salt is the least thing your muscles need. If you cannot eat food that lacks salt, try at least to use high quality variations of the common salt (such as Himalayan sea salt, for example).
3- Stretch it out
Simply stretching your body for a bit can work wonders. Make sure you don’t strain yourself and that you stretch precisely the muscle that is cramped.
For a leg cramp, trying to touch your toes with your fingers while sitting with legs straight in the front can be a good exercise.
Believe it or not, mustard is said to be able to alleviate the pain caused by leg cramps so you have nothing to lose by trying out this odd, but potentially efficient method: one teaspoon of mustard.