Leg cramps can be managed through home remedies, such as stretching the leg, massaging the muscle, icing and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as stated by MedlinePlus. Medication is necessary, especially for those leg cramps that are recurrent to help in relaxation. Other medications may also be given depending on the severity of the cramps.
Leg cramps can be prevented by taking plenty of fluids, doing different exercise activities, warming up before an exercise and stretching. Most cases of leg cramps that occur during sports are usually due to not drinking sufficient fluids, states Mayo Clinic. Apart from water, athletes can also take sport drinks and salt tablets to prevent muscle cramping.
A person may need to contact a doctor if the cramps last for a long time, keep recurring, do not clear up and are severe. The doctor checks the medical history of a patient and examines the symptoms. A blood test may be recommended to check for thyroid function and kidney function, states Mayo Clinic.
Leg cramps tend to occur when the leg is overused or injured. Working out while dehydrated or when potassium or calcium levels are low increases the risk of getting cramps, as stated by MedlinePlus. They can also be triggered by certain medications, alcoholism, kidney failure, underactive thyroid and pregnancy.