Treat Night Cramps Naturally

Edited by Maureen D., Eng, Lynn, Anonymous and 2 others

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Leg cramps often occur at night. These abrupt involuntary muscle contractions can happen without warning and the pain awakens us from our sleep. It could occur from a few seconds up to several minutes and usually, it leaves a soreness right after the cramp goes away. Calf muscles are the ones usually involved; they are generally harmless since they don't necessarily indicate any serious illness.

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What are the Causes of Cramps?

Its certain causes are still unknown these days, but cramps are suspected to be related in one way or another to local muscle chemistry of the body. And several diseases and activities are associated with nocturnal leg cramps, such as the following:

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  • Overuse of the muscle
  • Standing on hard surfaces for a long period of time
  • Sitting constantly for sometime
  • The leg positions when we are inactive
  • Dehydration
  • Weight gain
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Thyroid imbalance and other hormone issues
  • Body's chemical imbalances such as lack of potassium, magnesium, or calcium
  • Medications the person is undergoing such as: Blood pressure medicines, statins that aids lower cholesterol, morphine and lithium.

Symptoms of Cramps

  1. 1
    Muscle spasms that happen abruptly, especially at night
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  2. 2
    Stiff muscles that is visible
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  3. 3
    Hard to touch cramped muscles
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  4. 4
    Intense spasms that could last for a few seconds to 15 minutes
    Crampsstiff - aeshma.PNG
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  5. 5
    The cramps keep recurring at the same area
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  6. 6
    After the spasms, tenderness of the affected area follows
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  7. 7
    Muscle fatigue and pain can result from regular leg cramps
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What are the Risk Factors of Leg Cramps?

  • Over 50 (age)
  • Overexertion
  • Pregnancy
  • Foot or ankle deformities
  • Alcoholism
  • Neurological diseases

How to Alleviate the Pain?

  1. 1
    When you experience leg cramps, pull against them with your leg muscles.
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  2. 2
    You can also grab your foot or feet up to alleviate the pain.
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  3. 3
    Try standing on the affected leg/legs, it sometimes stops the cramps.
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  4. 4
    Massage the legs or apply hot and cold compress to soothe the muscles.
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How to Reduce the Occurrence of Leg Cramps at Night?

  1. 1
    Stretching at least three times a day and before you go to bed.
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  2. 2
    Exercise your legs and feet regularly.
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  3. 3
    Rehydrate your body by drinking lots of fluid.
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  4. 4
    Eating potassium rich food can help as well (bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, oranges and grape fruits).
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  5. 5
    Wear comfortable shoes to prevent legs and feet strained.
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  6. 6
    Sleeping with toes pointing upwards will help as well.
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  7. 7
    Keep the blanket loose around the feet area, as tight blankets can cause the feet to be uncomfortable and result in cramps.
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  8. 8
    Drinking several cups of chamomile tea during daytime for a couple of weeks.
    It is a known relaxant and will help you greatly.
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  9. 9
    A glass of warm milk just before retiring to bed will be good as well, and the calcium in the milk will reduce any of the deficiencies that result to cramps.
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Home Remedies

  1. 1
    Aside from drinking power drinks to increase electrolytes in the body,
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    some home remedies can be given to the person experiencing muscle cramps.
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  2. 2
    Mixing 1 tablespoon of calcium lactate, a teaspoon of honey and apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water to be drunk once a day to alleviate the cramps.
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  3. 3
    Red raspberry tea is another well known remedy for cramps at night, boil water and add a teaspoon of raspberry tea, let it sit for a while before sipping every morning and evening.
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  4. 4
    Eating a tablespoon of mustard is also another way to prevent leg cramps from occurring.
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  5. 5
    Apple cider tonic.
    Apple cider honey - aeshma.PNG
    Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium so it is good in alleviating leg cramps. Drinking this tonic could help greatly.  
    1. Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 1 teaspoon honey.
    2. Mix with warm water and drink.
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  6. 6
    Green smoothies.
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    This is a delicious mix of green vegetables mixed with some fruits for those who does not like eating them. Making these healthy foods into a drink is such a breather. It could vary, from bananas, to green leafy vegetables, add some berries for a nice kick of flavor.  
    1. Pour in 4 cups of tap water into the blender.
    2. Wash a handful of greens, remove any stalks or fibrous stems.
    3. After washing and cleaning them up, add the greens to the blender.
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    4. Put the lid on and start, blending them from low to high.
    5. Do not stop blending until you do not see any bits of green anymore.
    6. Add three or four bananas or mangoes, or add more depending on your preference about the thickness of your smoothie.
    7. Add other fruits that you like, and be sure to take all the pits and seeds away.
    8. Keep blending until you reach the desired consistency.
    9. You can add raw cacao powder as it is good for leg cramps as well.
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  7. 7
    Mustard and Pickle Juice
     
    1. In a glass of warm water, add a teaspoon full of mustard
    2. Add a few ounces of pickle juice
    3. Pour in 1 teaspoon of honey
    4. And lastly, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
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Drink this mixture to help avoid experiencing night cramps.

Herbal Massage Oils

  1. 1
    In a clean jar, pour extra virgin olive oil or almond oil can be an alternative
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  2. 2
    Add oil in tincture form like:
    1/2 ounce of lobelia, 1 ounce of cramp bark, 1 1/4 ounce of wintergreen or willow bark.
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  3. 3
    Shake the solution well and massage this onto your cramped muscles.
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Ayurvedic Solution

Saturate your tub of hot water using a homemade teabag of brown and or black mustard seeds. All you have to do is submerge your feet in this solution for at least 20 minutes and you will be surprised how your muscle cramps would be relieved.

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Tips & Tricks

  • Massage the affected muscle.
  • Walk, moving around is the best.
  • Stretch it out.
  • Rehydrate.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.

Questions and Answers

Do you know the name of the natural leaves that are used for night cramps?

Is comfrey leaf used for night cramps and if so how do you apply them to the cramped area?. I have tried: I have tried taking extra magnesium but I still get leg cramps in the middle of the night.. I think it was caused by: Too much sitting at a desk typing all day without being able to take a walk or stretch.

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Please consult your doctor before using any folk remedies! There are many contraindications to using these.

  1. 1
    Bay leaf.
    One of the folk remedies for night cramps is bay leaf oil. Take 100 g (3.5 oz) of dried bay leaf and 500 g (17.5 oz) of vegetable oil. Grind the dried bay leaf and add vegetable oil. Store it in a dark place for a fortnight. Filter the oil. Apply to the cramp area and, not to stain the sheets in bed, cover the area with something, for example, bandage. You can leave it overnight or apply for several hours before bed.
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  2. 2
    Comfrey leaf.
    This is used as a general healing remedy that alleviates pain, cures ulcers, heals injuries, etc. Preparing an ointment with comfrey leaves can also help with muscle injuries. Grind 60 g (2 oz) of dried comfrey leaves. Take a porcelain bowl and melt either 500 g (17.5 oz) of petroleum jelly or wax in it by placing it over a pan of boiling water. Add ground comfrey leaves and simmer the concoction for one hour. Stir continuously. Add water in the pan if necessary. Pour the comfrey mixture into a muslin bag or any filter bag to squeeze the mixture through the bag into a bowl. Cool the ointment. When it is at the room temperature, you can spread the ointment over your cramp area. Keep the rest of the ointment in a dark cool place.
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In addition to magnesium pills, you can, if you can digest lactose, eat curds, hard cheese, and sour cream. Eat honey and fresh vegetables and fruits.

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Donna, Anonymous, Lynn

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