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Best Treatment for Cramps in the Legs (Charley horses)

Best Treatment for Cramps in the Legs (Charley horses)

Last Reviewed : 12/18/2020
Best Treatment for Cramps in the Legs (Charley horses)

Muscle cramps may occur due to a variety of reasons, mostly benign causes, but some serious underlying conditions can also cause muscle cramps. Any major muscle in the body can have cramps, but it is more common in the legs. When the cramps are frequently occurring or if they are causing severe pain, a healthcare provider should be contacted.

Causes:

  • Poor circulation
  • Dehydration
  • Magnesium and potassium deficiency
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Drugs like Statins, Tolcapone, Lasix, Nifedipine, Neostigmine, Donepezil, etc. Alsocan be a cause of cramps.

 

Treatment:

Mostly includes lifestyle modifications and home remedies.

  • Stretch the cramped muscle and gently rub it to relax it
  • Apply heat or cold. Warm towel/heating pad/warm bath/stream of hot water will provide ease
  • Massaging with ice will help to relieve the pain
  • B complex supplements may help
  • Magnesium supplements, especially during pregnancy, will help
  • Stay hydrated
  • Always keep moving as it ensures relaxation after contraction
  • Identify and treat the cause

 

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests the following measures for treatment of cramps:

a) Stopping the activity that's causing the cramp.

b) Stretching and massaging the muscle

c) Holding the leg in the stretched position until the cramp stops

d) Applying heat to muscles that are tight or tense

e) Using cold packs on tender muscles

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