What should I do if my leg cramps? One trick to help you solve it!

There is a kind of needle-like pain called cramp,

Almost everyone has experienced this kind of pain,

Sudden calf cramps when sleeping at night often…

What has actually happened?

Source: pexels Author: ivan oboleninov

According to Beijing Youth Daily, the website of a professional journal of prevention in the United States recently invited Dr. Scott Garrison, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada, to analyze various possible causes of nighttime leg cramps.


failure to stretch certain muscles

Researchers at Loyola University School of Medicine believe that modern lifestyles are the culprit behind leg cramps. Evidence shows that a sedentary lifestyle reduces the length and flexibility of muscles and tendons, which can lead to cramps.

Source: pexels Author: ketut subiyanto

✦ +


Awkward sleeping position at night

Some experts have observed that when lying face down in bed, the feet are usually in a “plantar flexion (also known as plantar flexion)” position, which means the toes are away from us, shortening the calf muscles. Even small movements of the foot can cause cramps when the foot remains in this position for an extended period of time. Lying on your side, getting your feet out of bed, or using other positions to keep your toes neutral can help avoid this cramp.

Source: pexels Author: andrea piacquadio

✦ +


happens when the seasons change

Nighttime leg cramps are more common in summer than in winter. While not for everyone, cramp frequency tends to peak in mid-July and dip in mid-January. This cramping is caused by a nerve problem, not a muscle dysfunction. EMG tests show that nerve dysfunction from the spine to the lower legs can trigger the cramps.

Why are attacks more frequent in summer? This is due to increased vitamin D levels, and nerve growth and repair may be more active in summer. The body produces more vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.

✦ +


Occurs when the body is dehydrated

There is some evidence that dehydration can cause nighttime cramps. Michael Bellinger, professor of sports science at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, found that the frequency of muscle cramps has a clear seasonal pattern, with more in summer and less in winter. This suggests that heat and fluid balance play a role in the onset of spasticity. Dehydration can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the blood, which can be one of the triggers for cramps.

Source: pexels Author: denys gromov

✦ +


very hard when exercising

Hard training has long been associated with muscle cramps. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Sports Medicine Reports by researchers at Stanford University in the United States shows that overburdened and fatigued skeletal muscles can lead to overworked local muscle fibers, which can lead to cramps. This happens even in well-trained professional athletes.

Source: pexels by william choquette

✦ +


nutritional deficiencies in the body

An imbalance of calcium, magnesium, and potassium plays a role in muscle cramps. Each of these electrolytes helps maintain fluid balance in the blood and muscles, so a lack of these electrolytes can lead to cramps.

✦ +


Standing all day is not good

Research from Seoul National University shows that people who spend a lot of time standing are more likely to experience leg cramps than those who sit. The reason is this, when you are standing but not exercising, blood and water tend to concentrate in your lower body. This can lead to fluid imbalances and shortening of muscles and tendons, all of which can lead to cramps.

✦ +


taking certain medicines

People who take diuretics (such as clonidine and chlorthalidone tablets) and asthma medications (such as long-acting adrenergic beta receptors) are at higher risk for nighttime cramps. These drugs may have a “stimulating” effect on motor neurons and receptors, causing cramps.

Source: pexels Author: lucas guimarães bueno

✦ +


while pregnant

Pregnancy is actually associated with more frequent leg cramps. This can be caused by weight gain and disruption of blood circulation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the pressure that fetal growth puts on the mother’s blood vessels and nerves can also cause cramps.


certain health hazards

Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada found that diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, neurological disorders and depression are all associated with leg cramps. In some cases, taking medicines for the above conditions may be the culprit behind leg cramps. And some of these diseases, like diabetes and neurological disorders, can disrupt or even kill nerves, which can lead to cramps.


getting older

The number of motor neurons begins to decrease with age. At this age, cramps at rest are more and more common. Both strength and balance training help maintain muscle and nervous system function, thereby preventing cramps.

Source: pexels Author: locrifa


One solution to leg cramps

When a cramp occurs, as long as you “do the opposite”, that is, pull your toes in the opposite direction of the force and hold for more than 1 to 2 minutes, you can achieve results.

Specifically, if the muscles in the back of the calf are cramping, on the one hand, you can pull the foot to lift the foot, and on the other hand, try to straighten the knee joint; when the muscle in the front of the calf cramps, you can press the foot and bend the toes.

When cramping in other parts, such as toe cramps, flex the leg immediately, and forcefully pull the toes apart and straighten;

When the fingers cramp, clench your hand into a fist, then open it with force, and repeat this way;

When the upper arm cramps, make a fist, bend the elbow, bend as much as possible, and then straighten the arm forcefully, and repeat this many times;

When the palm cramps, use the other palm to press the cramping palm firmly to the back and make a vibrating motion.


How to Prevent Cramps

1. Dispel the cold and keep warm: hot water scalding the feet before going to bed, massage the calf muscles, and promote local blood circulation.

2. Insist on exercising: usually strengthen exercise, pay attention to warm-up before activities, improve blood circulation, and enhance muscle contraction ability.

3. Proper calcium supplementation: calcium-rich foods such as milk, green leafy vegetables, sesame paste, kelp, tofu, etc.

4. Pay attention to sleeping position: try not to lie on your back or prone for a long time, you can avoid muscle contracture caused by long-term relaxation of calf muscles.

5. Reasonable diet: The focus of the diet is to supplement electrolytes (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium).

Reminder: If the leg cramps are frequent and the treatment is not relieved by the above methods, it is recommended to go to the hospital for examination to avoid delaying the treatment.


Beijing Youth Daily “Leg cramps at night? Tell you about 11 reasons”