Have you ever waked up at night because of leg cramps? If yes, than you are among the 60 percent of adults who have experienced leg cramps at night.
This untimely sudden contraction of leg muscles is also known as Charley horse. It usually affects the calf and foot and can also hit your hamstring.
Here are the following possible causes of leg cramps:
1. Not stretching certain muscles:
Some researchers are blaming the modern lifestyle for the leg cramps. Our ancestors were spending there lots of time in squatting (Position that stretches leg tendons and muscles) but modern life style has removed the need of it. There is evidence that spending time in sitting decreases muscle and tendon length and limberness, which may cause cramps.
2. Sleeping Position:
If you have a habit of sleeping in planter flexion position (Toe pointing away from you) then you are at a risk of shortening of calf muscles. When your foot rests in this position for long than a small movement could start a cramp.
3. Change of Season:
According to Dr. Garrison’s research nocturnal leg cramps is more frequent in summer than in winter. He has also stated that this may differ from individual to individual; the frequency of leg cramps is at peak in mid-July and at its low in mid-January. It is also important to understand that muscles cramps are due to nerves issue not due to muscles disorder.
According to him the nerve growth and repair might be more in summer because of high Vitamin-D levels. He justified his statement with, “Body produces vitamin-D when it is exposed to sun due to which the body may engage in neural repair and it could trigger the cramps”.
There are some studies which show that dehydration can trigger leg cramps. As we are now aware that the frequency of cramps is higher in summer and lower in winters. This shows that heat and fluid imbalance has the impact on leg cramps.
According to American pregnancy association, pregnant women can get leg cramps. This is due the weight gain and the disrupted circulation. It is also possible that growing fetus puts pressure on mother’s blood vessels and nerves that can cause cramps.
6. Certain health Conditions:
Certain health condition like Diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, neurological disease, and depression are associated with leg cramps. In some of the condition the medication are the reason but in the conditions like diabetes and neurological disorder your nerves may get damaged, which may cause cramps.
How to prevent and treat leg cramps?
Here are few remedies which you can follow for your cramps:
1. Stretch your body
It is found that hamstring and calf stretch before bed can drop cramps frequency.
If you have cramp in lower foot than calf stretch can help and if you have cramp in upper leg then hamstring stretches may help
2. Stay Hydrated
You should drink more water during the days. The color of urine is the best indicator of hydration level in the body. If your urine is pale yellow or clear then you are drinking enough water else you need to increase the intake of water.
Taking tocotrienol supplements can help in getting rid from leg cramps. It supports the blood circulation by vasodilation. It also increases the Ca and Mg content, leads to improve glycogen storage in the blood.