Author Topic: Cures for leg cramps  (Read 2454 times)

koshtra

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2017, 01:27:30 PM »
For a few weeks I had some restless leg syndrome. The ickiest sensation I've ever known.

I found that hopping out of bed and doing squats fixed it about a third of the time. Which is a pretty crappy success rate, except that nothing else seemed to have any effect at all.

Then it went away, as inexplicably as it arrived. As my doctor earnestly says, "Bodies are weird."

tralfamadorian

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2017, 01:34:56 PM »
I've lived with someone with restless leg syndrome.  For him the best treatment/preventative was exercise in the evenings and a hot shower.
Cardio? Strength training? Stretching?

Thanks for sharing :)

Just a simple walk/run. 

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2017, 04:28:35 PM »
My husband dug up this info off of uptodate:

Stretching exercises – Posterior leg muscle stretching exercises are usually performed in the weightbearing position. The posterior leg muscles are stretched by leaning forward with the legs kept straight and the feet kept flat on the floor; the position is held for 10 to 20 seconds and stretches are repeated three to five times in succession, four times daily for the first week, then twice daily in the evening, and again before retiring thereafter (picture 1 <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/image?imageKey=RHEUM%2F70744&topicKey=RHEUM%2F5177&rank=1%7E150&source=see_link&search=leg+cramps>) [https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nocturnal-leg-cramps/abstract/28]. Stretching before going to bed at night may be sufficient for some patients.

Evidence supporting the efficacy of stretching was provided by a randomized trial, involving 80 patients over 55 years of age with a mean of 3.2 to 3.4 cramps nightly [https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nocturnal-leg-cramps/abstract/29]. In the trial, a six-week program of calf and hamstring muscle stretching before sleep significantly decreased the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps compared with not stretching (mean difference of -1.2 cramps nightly, 95% CI -0.6 to -1.8). Additionally, cramp severity was decreased in the treatment group but not in the controls. Another clinical trial failed to confirm the benefit of this approach, although all of the trial patients were on quinine <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/quinine-drug-information?source=see_link> at baseline, and many continued the drug during the trial [https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nocturnal-leg-cramps/abstract/28,30].

Other preventive measures that may be beneficial include nonpharmacologic physical measures and avoidance of potential triggers:

In generally sedentary patients, riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before retiring.

Using long-countered shoes and other proper foot gear. (See "Joint protection program for the lower limb" <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/joint-protection-program-for-the-lower-limb?source=see_link>.)

Keeping the bed covers at the foot of the bed loose and not tucked in.

Patients may benefit from avoiding dehydration, particularly older adults and patients on diuretics; avoidance of drugs known to cause cramping (see 'Causes and pathogenesis' <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nocturnal-leg-cramps?source=search_result&search=leg%20cramps&selectedTitle=1~150#H3> above) and of alcohol and caffeine; and should avoid exercising in extreme heat.

teddyjimbo

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2017, 04:50:57 PM »
Not a doctor but I used to suffer from multiple leg cramps when I was in high school and the only real solution that worked for me was to stay hydrated throughout the day.  Not going to give you the number of cups per day you should drink since everyone is different, just don't get water logged :)

Laura33

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2017, 12:16:20 PM »
I had "growing pains" too, so bad sometimes they'd wake me up at night.  I don't know if they are really "cramps," because they feel so different from any other cramp I've ever had, but then again, I don't know any other name for them.  The only thing I ever heard that seemed helpful was potassium (I ate SO many bananas!!!). 

I'd be careful about just adding salt to balance electrolytes, or about using high-sodium drinks/supplements.  Sodium and potassium tend to have opposite effects in the body (sodium raises BP, potassium helps the body excrete sodium and so lowers BP).  The key is to have the right balance in the body between sodium and potassium.  But, of course, most Americans eat a lot more sodium than potassium.  So if you suspect more potassium might help the growing pains, you might want to look for options that are high in potassium and low in sodium.
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Milizard

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2017, 12:30:10 PM »
I had the leg cramps, too, when I was pregnant.  I'd accidentally stretch my leg and start pointing my toe, and the cramps would come one from one end of the calf muscle to the other.  It was very painful.  A little extra potassium helped me with this.  I also have a bit of restless legs syndrome when I'm falling asleep at night.  It happens when I'm tired, but I subconsciously feel like I need to be alert for some reason (due to stress or anxiety, mostly).

Your description of pins and needles, though, sounds more like what happens when your leg falls asleep due to some of the circulation being cut off.