Several methods provide relief from leg spasms, including massaging the affected area, taking a warm bath with salts, applying ice or heat packs and gently stretching. Leg spasms derive from many different sources, including fatigue, dehydration and overexertion. Regardless of the cause, however, using these methods of relief proves effective, say experts at the Mayo Clinic.
Leg spasms, also called Charley horses or muscle cramps, appear at virtually any time, and often without warning. They might wake people at night or come on suddenly after exercise. These cramps feel like hard, tight knots in the muscle. In addition to the legs, they appear in the rib cage, abdomen and arms. Fortunately, although painful, these cramps resolve quickly and easily with several actions.
Applying heat or ice packs to the muscle may provide quick relief. For cramps arising in the back of the leg, performing gentle stretches proves beneficial. A good stretch involves standing on the cramping leg, then bending the knee enough to elicit a gentle pull, say experts at WebMD. Alternatively, lying or sitting with the leg fully extended, then pulling the toes towards the head, helps too. Cramps in the front of the leg resolve by pulling the foot of the affected leg gently back towards the body.