Natural News Blog.17- “Wellnessman” Endorses Natural Treatments for Leg Cramps
Leg “cramps” are a common occurrence that happens due to a variety of reasons. “Wellnessman” likes to recommend natural holistic treatments for them due to their safety profile. Here are a few things to know:
The first area that needs to be addressed is foot function. There are two main foot types: “flat” and “rigid”. It is the flatfoot that will cause more potential leg cramp issues. So after getting evaluated by a holistic podiatrist and having your foot type identified, a “customized orthotic” (prescription arch support) can be made to reduce the flattening forces which lead to overuse of the muscles. This can be one of the reasons for a leg cramp later in the day or in the evening.
Not drinking enough water leads to dehydration, which is another condition that can cause a leg cramp. Notice the color of your urine before you flush to determine if this might be a factor. A deep yellow color indicates a lack of adequate water and means that it is time to “drink up”. To determine how much you need to drink, take your body weight and then divide by two. This will tell you the amount of ounces you need to consume per day.
Taking a “diuretic” (“water pill”) for high blood pressure commonly causes a loss of potassium which can also lead to a leg cramp. Potassium supplements prescribed by a doctor or a daily banana can address this issue.
Sometimes a cramp is due to low Magnesium levels. The majority of people are deficient in Magnesium. A good supplement that is easily absorbed is called “Magnesium malate”. A good starting dose is 400-600 mg at bedtime, although you can increase the dose if necessary. If you start to get a “loose stool”(not likely with the “malate” form), that means the dose needs to be lowered.
Tonic water, minus the gin, can be very helpful as well (add lime/lemon juice for better taste and alkalinity). The active ingredient in it is “quinine” which directly helps to ease muscle cramping.
One overlooked daily routine that can help a leg cramp is Achilles tendon stretching exercises. The Achilles tendon shortens as we age and we can also shorten it by regularly using high-heeled shoes. What you want to do to counteract this is an exercise called a “Wall push-up”: you stand an arms- length from the wall, place your feet in line with one another and bring your face to the wall without lifting your back heel. Hold this position for about 20 seconds doing both legs 3 to 4 times per day preferably in the evening.
As you can see, there are many different causes of leg cramps. Another possibility is the result of lower back pathology leading to a disc problem or spinal stenosis which can affect the nerves in the legs and feet. Using a heating pad to the lower back in the evening may help prevent a leg cramp coming from this location. Ice can be tried if the heat is not helpful. First place a towel on the skin and apply the ice through the towel. Do not use it for more than 10 minutes without taking it off for a 10 minute recovery period. Lower back issues are quite difficult to treat so do not hesitate to seek professional care if necessary.
“Wellnessman” invites you to climb aboard the “Wellness Wagon” by using natural remedies to treat painful leg cramps. Walk strong… with orthotics.
1-Carey, Elea, and Peggy Pletcher. “How to Stop Leg Muscle Cramps.”Healthline. Health On The Net, 7 July 2015. Web. 03 May 2016.
2-Hutchinson, Alex. “Achilles Tendinitis.” Runner’s World. N.p., 13 Feb. 2016. Web. 03 May 2016.
3- Williams, Dr. David. “How to Stop Muscle Cramps Naturally.” Dr. David Williams. N.p., 30 June 2015. Web. 03 May 2016.