The effectiveness of treatment for leg cramps depends on the underlying cause of the cramp, but most cramps respond well to self-treatment, notes WebMD. Many are also easy to prevent by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding over-exertion during exercise, adds MedicineNet.
Dehydration and mild injury are common causes of muscle cramps, notes Everyday Health. Drinking plenty of water is usually enough to help these. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes can also help treat cramps, according to WebMD. Gentle stretching or movement is also usually enough to help the muscles relax, ending the pain. Massage or vigorously rubbing the affected muscles can help stimulate circulation and cause the muscles to relax more quickly. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also help relieve muscle cramps.
Cramps can also be the result of more serious conditions, notes WebMD. Kidney disease, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis are a few of the conditions that can contribute to them. The success of treating these types of cramps may depend on the specific condition. Some medications also cause muscle cramping as a side effect, reports MedicineNet. People who experience this should speak to their doctors, preferably before taking the next dose of the medication. Sometimes the dosage or medication can be changed to avoid future side effects.