Leg cramp is an episode of sudden and severe pain in the muscles of the leg. It is usually harmless condition. This is caused by shortening of the leg muscle. This is often involuntary (mean without of person’s will). This muscle cramp can occur in any part of body, but most leg cramps occur in the calf muscles. It can also occur in feet and thighs, but more common in calf muscles. These muscle cramps mostly occur at night during sleep.
Causes of leg cramps
It can occur without any reason. This is known as idiopathic leg cramps. It can occur as a result of complication to any health condition. This condition is known as secondary leg cramps. Various causes of this secondary leg cramps may be pregnancy, exercise, dehydration, medicines like statins (which help to lower cholesterol levels).
- Long periods of exercise or physical labour, in hot weather.
- Overuse of a muscle
- Sometimes narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to legs can produce cramp-like pain in legs and feet.
- Compression of nerves in spine also produce cramp-like pain in legs.
- Mineral deficiency, Potassium, calcium or magnesium deficiency can lead to leg cramps.
- Diuretic medications which is prescribed for high blood pressure cause loss of
- potassium can to leg cramp
- Conditions like thyroid or hormone disorders, diabetes, anaemia can lead to muscle
- Liver disease
These medicines can cause muscle cramps-
- Raloxifene- This medicine is used to treat osteoporosis.
- Nifedipine- This medicine treat angina and Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Nicotinic acid- This medicine used to treat high cholesterol.
- varicose vein (condition where valves of legs do not function well and there is pooling of blood)
Symptoms of Leg Cramps
- Tightening of affected muscles
- Pain in legs
- Stiff feet and toes
- Main feature of this cramp is that it last from a few seconds up to 10 minutes. It is said that
- thigh muscle cramps last to longest. Patient can also have pain and tenderness in legs for several hours.
Trigger Factors of Leg Cramps
- Fractured bone
- Full bladder
- Incorrect posture
- Skin irritation
- Tight clothing
Homeopathic Medicines for Leg Cramps
Dryness is associated with remedy. There is particular dryness of skin. Well suited for old people, who have tendency to take cold air, and lack of vital heat. There is particular weakness of people, with heaviness, numbness. Constipation is well marked in this remedy. It is also suited for infants, and children who take artificial baby foods. . Patient has pain in arms and fingers, as if hot iron had penetrated. Patient feels as that his legs fall asleep, especially when sitting with legs crossed. There is difficulty in walking. Heels feel numb. Soles tender, on stepping, feel soft and swollen. Patient has inability to walk, except when eyes are open or in daytime. There is paralysis of lower limbs.
Worse- in the afternoon, from potatoes, in the morning on waking up, in a warm room.
Better-in open air, from cold washing, in the evening, damp weather.
Dosage– It is slow acting remedy.
30 potency, to be taken 3 times for 7 days, till improvement.
Don’t take this remedy too frequently by patient. Products like strong flavours and aromas, such as coffee, camphor, and heavy perfume, should be avoided for the duration of treatment.
In this remedy patient is sensitive, irritable and thirsty. There is marked over sensitiveness from abuse of coffee and narcotics. Pain is unendurable associated with numbness. There is night sweats. There is violent pains, which drives patient out of bed at night and compelled him to walk around. There is burning of soles at night. Ankles give away in the afternoon. There paralytic loss of power in the feet at night.
Worse-by heat, anger, open air, wind, night
Better– warm wet weather.
Dosage-200 potency , 3 times for 10 days, till improvement.
3- Nux vomica
It is suited for modern life. Patient is thin, quick, active, nervous and irritable. He does a good deal of mental work, leads a sedentary life, found in prolonged office work. over study and always works for business.
Arms and hands feel to go to sleep. There is weakness of arms. Legs numb, feel paralyzed. There is cramps in calves and soles. Paralysis, from over exertion or getting feet wet. Patient drags his feet when walking.
Worse-morning, mental exertion, after eating, touch, spices, stimulants, narcotics, dry weahter, cold.
Better-from a nap, in the evening, wet weather.
Dosage- 200 potency, 2 times a day for 8 days.
Note-It should be taken around time, when body and mind gets rest.
4- Magnesium phosphoricum
It is anti-spasmodic remedy. There is pains along nerves which is relieved by warmth. Patient is generally tired, exhausted subjects. There is involuntary shaking of hands. There is weakness of body. Cramps in calves. There is excessive pain. Weakness in arms and hands, finger tips, stiff and numb.
Worse-Right side, cold, touch, night
Better-warmth, bending double, pressure.
Dosage-6x potency, 3 times a day, for 10 days.
Note-Medicine should be given in hot water.
5- Cuprum metallicum
Spasm is more marked in this remedy. There jerking twitching of muscles. There is coldness of the hands. Cramps in calves and soles. There is clenched thumb.
Worse-Before menses, from vomiting, contact.
Better-during perspiration, drinking cold water.
Dosage- 200 potency, 3 times a day, for 4 days, till improvement
Management of Leg cramps
Muscle relaxants can be used to prevent muscle cramp. Sometimes combination of exercise and painkilling medicines can be used simultaneously.
Exercises which relieve leg cramps
- Exercise during cramps
Stretching and massage can be done. It gives good result.
If cramp is in calf muscle-then first of all straighten your leg and life it upwards, bending it at the ankle so that toes point towards shin. Walk around on heels for a few minutes.
- Exercise to prevent cramps
Stretching the affected muscle three times is very effective method to cure leg cramps
Following exercise is very useful
Stand about a metre away from a wall. Lean forward with your arms outstretched to touch the wall while keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Hold this position for five seconds before releasing. Repeat the exercise for 5 minutes.
Prevention of Leg Cramps
Healthy diet- Eliminate sugar and caffeine from the diet. Increase consumption of fiber and protein. Take calcium, magnesium rich foods, green leafy vegetables, yoghurt, legumes, whole grains, tofu, high potassium foods such bananas, avocados, fish.
- Stretching of muscle before exercise
- Uptake of enough fluids in diet
- Avoid excess sodium and soda
- Avoid chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol
- Improve posture.
- Vitamin E can cure leg cramps.