There are several factors that can trigger leg cramps which usually occur at night. These include use of diuretic medication, dehydration or overuse of your muscles.
Doctors usually prescribe muscle relaxants for patients that suffer from frequent leg cramps. However, there a few things you can do to prevent and relieve cramps.
Tips to prevent leg cramps
1. Stretch daily
You need to stretch your calves and feet at least three times a day. To stretch, stand about 30 cm from the wall and place your hands on the wall. With your heels on the floor, lean toward the wall and bend one knee. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, straighten your leg, repeat with the other leg and do this stretch three times. Try to stretch in morning, before bedtime and during the day.
2. Drink enough water
You have to drink enough water to help your muscles contract and relax.
Tips to relieve leg cramps
1. Stand up
For a thigh cramp, try to keep both legs straight and lean forward at the waist. You can use a chair to stay steady. For calf cramps, put all your weight on the cramped leg and slightly bend your knee.
2. Stretch and massage
Keep your leg straight and point your toes upward as you gently massage the cramp to help the muscle relax.
3. Apply cold or heat
Try to use a cold pack or ice if you have tenderness and pain. You can use a heating pad or warm towel to relax tense muscles.