Night cramps can cause excruciating pain and sleeplessness in the middle of the night. The calf muscles and sometimes the thigh and foot muscles contract abnormally due to increased electrical activity and remain in a cramped and contracted position thereby causing unbearable pain. The involuntary spasms cause the affected calf muscles to become as hard as concrete. Night cramps are usually related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. The risk of night cramps increases with age and pregnant women are more likely to experience them.Sometimes the night cramps are also associated with underlying diseases such as peripheral artery disease in which the blood vessels become narrow and the blood flow is considerably reduced to the limbs. A fluid imbalance, vitamin deficiency, dehydration, a deficiency in potassium, certain drugs, particularly intravenous iron, estrogens and naproxen, spinal stenosis, cirrhosis, restless leg syndrome and hyperthyroidism can also cause night cramps. Night cramps can be easily treated at home with some simple remedies.
Home Remedies For Night Cramps
Mustard oil has a wide range of medicinal benefits. It has been used since time unknown for massaging the body to keep the muscles, tendons and the bones in good health. Warm some mustard oil and massage your legs, thighs and feet with it for ten to twenty minutes before going to bed. Massage with a little pressure so that your skin starts tingling. The massage will stimulate the blood circulation and will increase the flow of blood to the limbs.
Stretch Your Muscles
Lie on your back and lift your legs. Extend them towards the ceiling and point your toes too towards the ceiling. Flex your toes slowly back towards your calf. Repeat this exercise for five to ten minutes every night before going to bed. This exercise will tone up your muscles and will help to keep them in a relaxed state.
Drink plenty of water and freshly squeezed fruit juices throughout the day. Night cramps are often caused by dehydration, vitamin deficiency and fluid imbalance. So it is important to stay well hydrated at all times. Drink ten to twelve glasses of water and two or three glasses of fresh fruit juice to keep your body well supplied with vital vitamins and minerals.
Fill a basin with some hot water and dip a soft cotton towel into it. Wring out the excess water and fold the towel in several folds to form a compress. Place the hot compress on your feet and calves. Dip again into the hot water and repeat the process for twenty minutes. The moist heat will relax the muscles and will also dilate the blood vessels thereby increasing the blood flow.
Bananas are extremely rich in potassium. One of the main causes of night cramps is a deficiency in potassium. It is always a good idea to remove the deficiency from natural sources rather than taking supplements. Eat three or four bananas daily. You can also eat other potassium rich fruits like grapes, nectarines, oranges and grapefruit.