Q:

What are some remedies for leg and feet cramps?

A:

Quick Answer

Hydration, stretching the muscle if possible and applying heat are common remedies for calf and foot cramps, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are also over-the-counter medicines that can alleviate leg cramps, but they take time to take effect.

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Full Answer

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of foot and calf cramps, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Sweating causes loss of sodium as well as water. Sodium is an electrolyte, or a substance that allows the muscle cells to conduct electrical impulses controlling relaxation. Drinking sports drinks can help alleviate cramps by replenishing electrolytes.

Stretching the muscle is another way to relieve the calf cramp, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. For the leg, the individual stands up and leans against a wall while keeping the heel pressed flat on the floor. For a foot cramp, the individual reaches out, grasps the toes and pulls them toward himself as far as the natural range reaches. This counteracts the contraction of the muscles.

Applying heat from a heating pad or a warm shower can help to expand the muscle tissue so it is not as tense, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Usually, these three methods can stop most cramps. Individuals should seek medical attention if cramps frequently occur or if they last longer than several minutes.

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