This happens when you have been standing for too long or even sitting all day. Your muscles sort of get “frozen” into place. So any sudden movement triggers a surge of blood to our legs and causes them to cramp.
If you have a sedentary job that needs you to sit at a desk all day, make sure you get up and move around every other hour at least. And if you are a sales rep who needs to be on your feet all day, well, that isn’t all that good for you either. It’s time you sit down, literally, and give those frozen muscles a break!
If you are on regular medication, it is time to read the fine print. An increasing number of drugs list muscle cramps as a potential side effect, as they may reduce the total chemicals in the body. They could also interfere with the natural blood flow (like in medicines prescribed for heart-disorders), thereby triggering cramps.
These could include drugs prescribed for pain, Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, Asthma, and other chronic conditions. In rare cases, your doctor may be able to switch to an alternative drug that is free of this side-effect. But mostly, he or she will ask you to expect and avoid cramps by regular stretching and adequate intake of fluids and minerals.
If none of the above triggers seem familiar to you, and yet, you suffer from frequent leg cramps, it is time to seriously take note. A host of long-term diseases can also be causing your cramps. For instance, heart-related disorders such as Peripheral Heart Disease (PDP) interfere with the electrolyte movement in your body, triggering cramps.
Sometimes cramps may even be a result of too much cholesterol, blocking adequate blood circulation. And there are also other diseases unrelated to the heart. Nerve-related disorders (such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis) are especially guilty of this. In rare cases, it could even be a symptom of an inactive thyroid due to which your body lacks an adequate supply of hormones.
Leg cramps are typically caused due to some imbalance in the body. In most cases, they disappear within 10 minutes, although the residual pain can remain as long as 18 to 20 hours. The best solution is to slowly stretch the body, especially the calf muscles, gently easing the cramp out of our body. Drinking a glass of mineral water may help. You could walk on your toes for a few minutes, as this will send blood downwards, to the parts that presently feel the lack of it.
If your lifestyle is such that you hold yourself open to leg cramps, then a good lifestyle practice is to soak in a hot tub every night before bed but this is not practical for most people. Nothing wrong with a hot shower and some pleasant sleep though!Related: 15 Benefits of Epsom Salt Which You Probably Didn’t Know
This will soothe out tired muscles and improve blood circulation, so your muscles are restored and ready for the next day’s stint. And for everybody who has ever suffered from a cramp or two, activity helps. This way your muscles will less often be shocked by movement.