Home remedies for muscle cramps
If you suffer from muscle cramps, you're not alone. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, muscle cramps are one of the most common muscle disorders, affecting up to one third of adults. If you experience severe pain because of nocturnal leg cramps, for example, you might be desperate for a quick home remedy that relieves pain as fast as possible.
There are many potential causes of muscle cramps, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and overuse. Whatever the cause, there are a few simple home remedies that can help relieve muscle cramps. Read on and relieve yourself from that annoying and painful muscle cramp!
Causes of muscle cramps
You can fix the problem, but it is better to start at the root of the problem. There are many potential causes of muscle cramps, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and overuse.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of muscle cramps. When you don't have enough fluids in your body, your muscles can't work properly, which can lead to cramping.
To prevent muscle cramps from dehydration, it's important to drink plenty of fluids during exercise or in hot weather. Aim for two to three cups (16-24 ounces) of water per hour while exercising. And be sure to drink even more in hot weather or if you're sweating a lot.
Another potential cause of muscle cramps is an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate muscle function. When there's an imbalance of electrolytes in your body, it can lead to muscle cramping.
Common electrolytes that can cause muscle cramps include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. You can replenish electrolytes by drinking fluids that contain them, such as sports drinks or coconut water. You can also take supplements, such as magnesium or calcium.
Muscle cramps can also be caused by overuse. If you use a muscle too much or too intensely during a vigorous workout, it can become fatigued and start to cramp. This is often seen in athletes who train hard day after day without giving their muscles time to recover.
It's important to listen to your body and give yourself time to rest between workouts. If you're feeling muscle fatigue or cramping, take a break and try some of the home remedies listed in this article.
Quick and easy home remedies for muscle cramps
There are a few simple home remedies that can help relieve muscle cramps. Treat muscle cramps with these tips & tricks and your muscle pain will be gone in no time.
When you look for natural remedies, one of the most effective ways to relieve muscle cramps is to replenish electrolytes. This can be done by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes, such as a sports drink or coconut water. You can also take (natural) supplements such as magnesium or calcium.
Foods that contain electrolytes like magnesium and calcium are, for example:
- Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and arugula.
- Bananas, which are packed with both potassium and magnesium
- Almonds, a true 'superfood': Almonds are packed with minerals, including calcium for bone health, potassium for heart health and magnesium for energy production and electrolyte balance. Almonds also contain iron, B complex vitamins for metabolism as well as vitamin E to fight disease and inflammation.
- Avocados are not only a source of healthy fats, which you need to keep warm, but also contain 950 mg of potassium and 58 mg of magnesium.
- Yogurt is a quality source of calcium.
Quick and easy recipe against muscle cramps
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Drink immediately.
Try supplements for muscle cramps
Next to eating foods that are rich in electrolytes, you can also try to supplement them. Add supplements to your diet to get an easy magnesium or potassium fix. Cramp Defense® offers premium, easy absorbing magnesium supplements that are effective, without the nasty side effects cheaper supplements can cause.
Apply heat or cold
Another home remedy for cramped muscles is to apply heat or cold to the affected muscle. For example, you could take a warm bath or use a heating pad on the muscle. If you prefer cold, you could try an ice pack.
Try adding magnesium or epsom salt to your bath to relieve and relax your cramped muscle. Gently rub the affected muscle and put a warm towel on it afterwards. It's a good way to get in some quality time with your body as well!
Stretch the muscle
Stretching is also a helpful home remedy for the moment muscle cramp and pain hits. This is probably the quickest way to relieve pain. You can stretch the cramped muscle by doing simple exercises like leaning forward and reaching for your toes.
- Start by stretching the muscle that is cramping.
- If the muscle is in your leg, for example in your calf, called charley horse, straighten your leg and flex your foot up towards your shin.
- For a muscle cramp in your arm, hold your arm out straight and then bend your hand back towards your forearm.
- You should feel a gentle stretch in the muscle that is cramping.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then release.
- Repeat the stretch 2-3 times or until the muscle cramp subsides.
- Try to avoid bouncing or jerking movements as this can actually make muscle cramps worse.
There are also a few essential oils that can help relieve muscle cramps. Some of the most effective essential oils for muscle cramps include:
- peppermint oil
- lavender oil
- ginger oil
- chamomile oil
To use essential oils for muscle cramp, you can either:
- Add 2-3 drops of the oil to a warm bath and soak it in for 20 minutes.
- Mix 2-3 drops of the oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil. Then massage it into the affected muscle.
- You can also add 2-3 drops of the selected essential oil to a diffuser and inhale the vapors.
See a doctor if muscle cramps persist
If muscle cramps are persistent and don't respond to home remedies, it's important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. But for most people, muscle cramps can be treated at home with simple self-care measures.
How to prevent muscle cramps in the future
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of muscle cramps. When you're dehydrated, your body doesn't have enough fluid to keep your muscles working properly. This can lead to muscle cramps.
To prevent muscle cramps, it's important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day. And if you're going to be exercising or spending time in the heat, be sure to drink even more.
Eat electrolyte-rich foods
Another potential cause of muscle cramps is an electrolyte imbalance. Your body needs a balance of electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) to function properly. If there's an imbalance, it can lead to muscle cramping.
To prevent electrolyte imbalances, eat foods that are rich in electrolytes. This includes fruits and vegetables, yogurt, milk, nuts, and seeds. You can also drink fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks or coconut water.
Rest and recover between workouts
If you're an athlete or exercise regularly, muscle cramps can be caused by overuse. When you use a muscle too much, it can become fatigued and start to cramp. This is often seen in athletes who train hard day after day without giving their muscles time to recover.
To prevent muscle cramps from overuse, it's important to listen to your body and give yourself time to rest between workouts. If you're feeling muscle fatigue or cramping, take a break and try some of the home remedies listed above.
Wear supportive shoes
If you have flat feet or high arches, you may be more susceptible to muscle cramps. This is because your feet are not able to absorb shock as well, which can lead to muscle fatigue.
To prevent muscle cramps, it's important to wear supportive shoes that are designed for your foot type. This will help reduce the risk of muscle fatigue and cramping.
Warm up before exercise...
Another way to prevent muscle cramps and leg cramps is to warm up before exercise. A good warm-up will increase blood flow to your muscles and increase muscle temperature.
...and cool down after exercise
It's also important to cool down after exercise. This helps your muscles recover and prevents muscle cramps. A cool-down should include some light stretching and walking. If you experience muscle cramps frequently, there may be an underlying medical condition causing them. If home remedies don't work, or if muscle cramps and pain are severe or persistent, it's important to see a doctor. You might be experiencing an underlying medical condition.
There are several home remedies that can help relieve muscle cramp and pain, including:
- gently massaging the muscle
- applying heat or ice
- taking a warm bath
- drinking fluids
- eating electrolyte-rich foods
There are several essential oils that can be beneficial for muscle cramps, including:
- lavender oil
- ginger oil
- chamomile oil
There are several fluids that can help with muscle cramps, including:
- sports drinks
- coconut water
- herbal teas
- pickle juice
Vitamin B12. Cobalamin, or vitamin B12, is a vitamin that people can find in animal and dairy food . People who have a vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes experience muscle cramps all over the body. Other common deficiencies are magnesium, potassium and water deficiency, also known als dehydration.
Acetic acid is known to help with cramping by decreasing certain neuron activity, while at the same time aiding in the role acetylcholine plays in muscle contraction and relaxation.
Apply heat or cold. Use a warm towel or heating pad on tense or tight muscles. Taking a warm bath or directing the stream of a hot shower onto the cramped muscle also can help. Alternatively, massaging the cramped muscle with ice may relieve pain.
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People with leg cramps, caused by magnesium deficiency need a fast solution that works - no matter if these are old or young people, pregnant women or professional athletes. Our product Cramp Defense® works by fixing cramps at the root cause. How? It delivers nothing but pure, high-absorbing magnesium, safely and without side-effects.