To prevent muscle cramps, which occur due to muscle spasms or uncontrolled contractions of one or multiple muscles, drink lots of water to keep the body hydrated, perform stretching exercises before an exercise routine, and consume foods with high amounts of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and calcium, recommends WebMD. To treat muscle cramps, massage the affected area, stretch the muscle, or press an ice pack on it. It also helps to take a bath with Epsom salt.
When exercising or doing rigorous activities, drink water at regular intervals, and continue drinking fluids throughout the day, suggests Mayo Clinic. Muscles contract and relax more easily with sufficient water supply. Additionally, stretch the muscles before and after any prolonged activity. Prevent night-time leg cramps by stretching or doing light exercises before sleeping.
People who are taking over-the-counter medications and experiencing muscle cramps should stop taking the drugs to see if that alleviates the cramping, as WebMD advises. Doctors may prescribe a different drug for a person suffering from muscle cramps caused by prescription medication. People who have chronic muscle cramps should consult their doctors to rule out conditions such as restless leg syndrome. Doctors may prescribe muscle relaxers for patients who have persistent muscles cramps that interfere with their ability to sleep.
To relieve muscle cramps, shift your weight toward the painful leg, and bend the knee a little, instructs WebMD. Alternatively, sit or lie on your back, keep your leg straight, and move the end of your foot toward your head. If the cramp occurs in the front of the thigh, grab a chair for support while pulling your foot to your buttocks.
Muscle cramps often resolve within minutes, notes WebMD. However, frequent, unexplained cramps without a clear cause may indicate an underlying condition that requires a doctor's diagnosis.