A muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. It often occurs in the legs. A muscle cramp is also called a charley horse.
If you get nocturnal leg cramps, we don’t need to tell you how uncomfortable these leg pains can be. One minute you’re sleeping soundly and the next you’re jerked awake with aching pain in one or both of your legs. These cramps can keep you up for hours, completely disrupting your sleep and preparing you for a less-than-pleasant day ahead. Almost everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some time in their life. It is especially common among people who participate in sports. In fact, muscle cramps afflict 39 percent of marathon runners, 79 percent of athletes and 60 percent of cyclists at one time or another.
There are a couple of reasons leg cramps occur:
Sitting for prolonged periods of time
Over-exertion of the muscles in the leg
Standing or working on concrete floors
Home Remedies for Leg Cramps
Organic Honey- Take 2 tablespoons of ACV (apple cider vinegar) and mix it with 1 tablespoon of organic honey. Consume this concoction every day to prevent occurring of cramps.
Banana– Cramping may be due to deficient potassium in your body, grabbing a banana and eating it will increase your potassium level.
Pinch Your Upper Lip– The quickest relief may be a pinch to your upper lip directly under your nostrils. Press firmly (not to hard) for 30 seconds to one minute until your leg muscle relaxes. Alternatively, pinch your lip by placing your thumb on the inside of your mouth under the lip and your index finger on the outer lip.
Epsom Salt– Epsom salt can also be used to treat muscle cramps. The magnesium in Epsom salt promotes muscle relaxation and healing. Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add two cups of Epsom salt and stir it thoroughly. Soak in this bath for 20 minutes. Usually, taking this bath once will take care of the problem. However, if required you can repeat this remedy the next day.
Castor Oil- Take some castor oil in a bowl and warm it. Now, take a clean cotton cloth and immerse it in the oil. Afterwards, wrap this cloth around the painful area and cover it with a piece of plastic to avoid oil stains. Do it before you go to bed. The healing properties of castor oil relax the swollen joints and treat painful cramps.
Cayenne Pepper– A chemical compound called capsaicin present in cayenne pepper widens the blood vessels and regulates proper blood flow. Simply spread cayenne ointment on the affected area to relax your muscles.
Stretching & Massage– Regular stretching and massage can help you get rid of the leg cramps.