If you've experienced leg cramps in the middle of the night, then you probably know what it means to have a restless, painful night. Leg cramps usually come without warning and can last for what seems like hours. It can be very difficult to go about your day or fall asleep once you start having them, and relief can feel unattainable. In fact, even painkillers have been considered ineffective in providing relief for leg cramps because they don't act fast enough or don't treat the root of the problem. Thankfully, there are ways to help prevent the onset of leg cramps that can help provide relief from sore and tormented muscles. Before we dive into those practices, let's clarify what causes leg cramps, who experiences them, and how they can affect your daily life.
What's a Leg Cramp and What Causes Them?
A leg cramp is really a muscle cramp, or a Charley Horse , WebMD describes them as a "strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes." The causes of leg cramps are far and wide, and it can be hard to determine what's causing them in the first place. Here are few common causes of leg cramps provided by Patient, the trusted medical information and support website:
- Shortage of key minerals in the bloodstream
- Overuse of muscles
- Exposure to cold
- Standing on a hard surface
- Sitting for a long time
- Kidney disease
And that's not even scratching the surface. "Leg cramps can be caused by many conditions, ranging from dehydration to something much more serious such as kidney disease," says Matthew Hyland, a physical therapist and New York Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation president, quoted at everydayhealth.com. "Cramps often result from vigorous exercise, trauma to the muscle or keeping the leg in an awkward position for too long, such as sitting in a crowded theater." While most leg cramps can be considered harmless, they could be an indicator of something more serious and it's probably a good idea to get them checked out (if recurring) to be sure.
Effects of Leg Cramps
Getting your first leg cramp is something you won't soon forget. One minute you're fine and the next you're on the ground writhing and groaning, desperately wanting to find an immediate remedy for the pain. It feels like some invisible force is twisting or contorting your muscles in ways they shouldn't be twisted. The sharp onset of pain is debilitating. When leg cramps finally do subside, the pain doesn't necessarily go away either. Byproducts of leg cramps can include soreness and stiffness, reminders of the turmoil your body just endured. The worst form of muscle cramps, however, might be nighttime leg cramps, which usually hit either while you are falling asleep or waking up. These produce a jolt that quickly take you from a dreamlike state to a jilted reality of sharp pain. Even if you're exhausted, sleep becomes a lower priority to relieving the tormenting spasm.
Who Typically Experiences Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps are equal opportunity menaces for fitness gurus; men are just as likely to get them as women are, and the same can be said for famous athletes compared to anonymous weekend warriors. According to Patient, however, they occur more frequently in certain people, including older people: About 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 and about half of people over the age of 80 have regular leg cramps. About 4 in 10 people who have leg cramps have at least three per week. Whether you're running marathons or simply getting older, anyone can be a victim of painful muscle spasms.
How to Prevent Leg Cramps
The best thing you can do to avoid painful leg cramps is to take preventative measures. Specifically, you need to take care of yourself! Here are 5 great ways to help prevent the onset of leg cramps: 1. Sttttttretch. If your muscle cramps are brought on by physical activity, then they can easily be minimized if you take the time to stretch as part of your daily exercise routine. Even if you don't work out, stretching can be a great way to start your day and get the blood flowing. Stretching can also be a good way to find some relief when experiencing a cramp. Slowly extend the muscle, bend it slightly, and flex it. 2. Massage the muscle. Work out the cramp by applying some gentle pressure to the cramped area. To help loosen the muscle, consider applying warmth to the area with a heating pad. 3. Take your daily supplements. One of the cause of leg cramps is mineral deficiencies. These can easily be remedied with the right daily supplement regimen, which needs to include magnesium and calcium. Sometimes, this regimen could include quinine to address muscle cramps directly related to neuromuscular issues. 4. Soak in a warm bath. The warmth of the bath can help loosen the muscle, and Epsom salt contains magnesium, which can help with a mineral deficiency. It will help you relax and ease some of the lingering soreness from previous cramps. 5. Drink plenty of water. Water is your best friend when it comes to leg cramps, and you need to make sure you're hydrated to avoid them. Electrolytes, which are contained in most sports drinks, can also help alleviate or prevent legs cramps.
How to Relieve Leg Cramp Pain Naturally
Eliminating the cause of leg cramps by 100% is impossible, but you can help prevent them and relieve leg cramp pain by changing a few habits and incorporating a natural remedy. That's where Valerin comes in. A perfectly natural, homeopathic formula that is non-habit forming, Valerin was formulated to relieve muscle tension, headaches, and back pain—prescription and side-effect free. Valerin consists of three main ingredients:
- 6 Parts Valerian Root: Dried and used an an herbal remedy to help induce relaxation.
- 3 Parts Passiflora: Naturally inhibits the breakdown of serotonin already present in the body.
- 1 Part Magnesium Carbonate: Magnesium is systematically depleted from body tissue during periods of stress, which can be caused by leg cramps.
When taken regularly, the combination of Valerin's three key ingredients act to relax the central nervous system, which controls every process in the body, all while maintaining alertness and mental acuity. We can barely believe the raving reviews ourselves. We've been so blessed to see hundreds of thousands of customers finding relief in this little formula, developed decades ago. Your freedom is our passion. Stand up for your health and confidently enjoy the relief Valerin provides. While nothing will make you leg cramp-proof, you can make yourself leg-cramp-resistant by adopting some of the practices covered today into your core life habits — starting now. And don't forget to get some Valerin to naturally help you find some relief from muscle cramps.