Causes and treatment of an unpleasant cramp in the legs

Many people know this acute and intolerable pain, which occurs suddenly, and after it there is still a dull muscular pain for a long time, sometimes it can drag on for several days. If this happens rarely, you can not worry, you just need to know how to help yourself in this situation, but if the pain is systematic, then you need to pay attention to such signals of your body, as well as learn how to deal with them, it is possible that the problem is very far from your feet.

Cramps in the legs - one of the most painful types of spasm, most often they occur suddenly, only a moment before the spasm, you can notice a weak squeezing in the muscle.

The cramp itself can capture one or several muscles at once, and the reasons why this happens quite a lot. But there is also good news, convulsions are treatable, it is possible to prevent them and reduce the frequency of occurrence, for this a lot of means have been invented for a long time.

The main symptoms of gastrocnemius convulsions are sharp pain, which is accompanied by strong tension and inability to stand upright on the foot, and the muscle itself becomes very dense and elastic.


  • One of the most common causes is the lack of any mineral substances or vitamins in the body. Most often, the problem is expressed in a lack of calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin D. This is easily explained, because these substances help control nerve impulses, as well as regulate muscle activity, and the lack of these nutrients can literally block the oxygen to your muscles.
  • Another common cause of gastrocnemia is dehydration. This can happen even with minor losses of moisture, this is because our body along with the water loses electrolytes and important trace elements, and does not replenish them in time. For example, spasms often disturb athletes, because during physical exertion, water is removed from the sweat, the body has a lack of electrolytes, which in turn leads to a decrease in muscular ability to be cleansed and restored, which leads to convulsions.
  • Cramps in the legs can be frequent guests during pregnancy.This may be due to an increase in the weight of the woman, the uterus increases in size, putting additional pressure on the nerves of the legs and blood vessels, all this prevents the normal circulation of blood. In addition, pregnant mothers need to know that during this period the body needs twice as much calcium, magnesium and potassium, we must not forget what their deficiencies can cause, and cramps in the legs are not the worst.
  • The occurrence of cramps in the legs can be caused by taking certain medications that have the ability to prevent the body from absorbing magnesium. The same applies to drugs that have a diuretic and hormonal effect.
  • They can be the result of serious diseases, especially for middle-aged and older people. These diseases include various kinds of inflammatory processes, hidden injuries, diabetes, thyroid disease, and others. Therefore, if there are suspicions of such diseases, it is better to be examined by doctors.
  • Cramps in the legs that occur at night are common. After such a nocturnal event, you suddenly wake up, and then it is hard to fall asleep because of the pulling pain.The main causes of night cramps are problems in the nervous system and increased muscular fatigue. Most often, night "guests" occur in pregnant women, in rare cases, such problems may be associated with any diseases, such as diabetes or spinal canal stenosis.

What to do?

There are special techniques, the so-called first aid, if a spasm abruptly grabbed. So, how to help yourself?

  • If the cramp started at night, then you need to sit down in bed, then lower your legs down and try to get up carefully, preferably not on the carpet, but on the cool bare floor. The body should be in the maximum vertical stress, legs together. Usually after a few minutes the blood circulation is restored, and with it the muscle tone normalizes.
  • Another method is also very effective, albeit a bit painful. For this it is necessary to take a deep breath, to wrap the foot with both hands, and then, holding the toes, pull the foot over yourself, regardless of the pain. The leg that the spasm has overcome must be stretched well.At the same time do not forget to make swinging movements of the legs. When the spasm is almost gone, do a gentle massage of the affected muscle.
  • If the above actions do not help, then you can try to pinch the affected muscle several times, and then gently massage and pat, moving from the fingertips to the heel, and from it to the knee. Then you can lie down, and put your sore leg on a hill - a pillow or a rolled up towel - so you will ensure the outflow of blood, which will help prevent repeated convulsions.
  • You can relax the increased muscle tone with a hot bath or warm moist compresses. Such procedures reduce nervous sensitivity and relax muscles.
  • If such problems arise constantly, then it is necessary to move to a more serious treatment of cramps in the legs. To do this, first of all, you need to fill the lack of nutrients and minerals in the body.
  • This is achieved by changing the diet, dieting, and the implementation of drug therapy. It is necessary to draw up a nutrition plan that will be rich in foods containing calcium, magnesium and other vitamin.

What foods can be included in the diet?

If you want to enrich your body with magnesium, this can be done with the help of fresh vegetables, parsley and dill, cereals and legumes, seaweed and dates, prunes and dried apricots will do. In order for magnesium to be well absorbed, it must enter the body in combination with vitamin B6, which is contained in fish and meat, walnuts and peanuts. Calcium can be found in dairy products, different types of cabbage and sesame, it can be retained in the body due to honey.

What drugs can help?

It is best to take advantage of the secrets of traditional medicine, which, as always, come to the rescue. For example, the most popular remedy for leg cramps is lemon treatment. To do this, the juice is squeezed out of it, which must be lubricated with soles, and after drying the juice on the feet, cotton socks are worn.

You can also use infusion of chamomile or dry birch buds, can also help boiled potatoes in a uniform that is applied at night to the calves of the legs. Of course, there are also specialized drugs that can be purchased at the pharmacy, but before that it is better to consult with your doctor.

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