Leg cramps are painful and sometimes scary since it can feel like your body is literally trying to rip its own muscles. If you do enough research you will find that the cause of leg cramps is not precisely known. The good news is that so many people are affected by this condition that practically everything has been tried and some treatments and therapies seem to work better than others.
During the Day
If you are not already drinking an above average amount of water, this is definitely the place to start. To achieve real hydration you will need to drink more water than you think you need. You will certainly need to drink when you are not thirsty. Merely satisfying your thirst will not give your body enough extra fluid to ward off leg cramps. Although it is a good idea to drink before going to bed, you will really need to increase water consumption throughout the day to make a noticeable difference. Don’t despair – it gets easier to drink more after you get into the habit. In fact, your body will begin to enjoy and crave fluids after you have developed the habit.
Potassium deficiency may also be the cause of your cramps. Try eating a banana a day and see whether the frequency of cramps decreases. A little extra potassium may take you a long way. Look here to find other mineral deficiencies that might be causing leg cramps.
Before Going to Bed
You may not need to do anything additional at all if you find that water intake and extra potassium are doing the trick for you.
Increasing blood flow to your calf muscles should be part of the strategy. Stretch the leg muscles by facing the wall, planting the foot of leg firmly and flatly against the floor and then leaning forward to stretch the hamstring and calf muscles. Make sure to keep your leg straight and knee locked. Do this for each leg.
If you routinely exercise you might try scheduling the exercise during an evening time slot and following it up with a stretching routine that emphasizes muscles prone to cramping.
Another good technique is to gently massage the muscles that are most often involved in the cramps. Some doctors recommend a warm bath with dissolved epsom salt.
Leg position can be difficult to control after you go to sleep. But starting out in a position that does not contort or stress any part of the leg can be important. Sometimes cramps come on when you wake in the night and stretch your legs just a bit farther than your body is comfortable with. Your legs may respond with a painful contraction.