Almost every one of us has experienced a sudden sharp pain in our legs when our muscles start to contract involuntary. These violent muscle contractions are actually leg cramps and may occur in any muscle of the legs, but in most cases, the muscles in the claves and the feet cause the cramps. The leg cramps may be induced by various reasons, starting from dehydration, obesity, fatigue and the muscle overuse all the way to the consummation of certain types of medications.
Prevention of leg cramps
The pain that comes with a leg cramp is almost unbearable since it is intense and sharp. Furthermore, it tends to last from half a minute to a few minutes, and when one experiences the pain, he/she has the sensation that it lasts even more than a couple of minutes. It is always better to prevent it than to treat it later.One of the simplest ways to prevent a leg cramp is regular stretching of the legs and the whole body as well. The muscle cramps are thus avoided since the fibers in the muscles are being relaxed when we are stretching. Furthermore, since dehydration is one of the causes for the incidence of the leg cramps, it is essential to maintain our body well hydrated, particularly if we are performing some strenuous activity. Sometimes the cramps in the legs may appear due to the low levels of certain minerals in our body, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, and if we want to prevent that, it is important to increase the levels of these minerals through the consummation of the healthy foods high in these minerals (bananas and broccoli, for instance). Night leg cramps or nocturnal leg cramps are usually prevented by the regular stretching before going to the bed, or by applying heat before going to sleep. Even though the main culprit for the cramping in pregnancy is not known, there are several things that an expectant mother can do to prevent the occurrence of the leg cramps during these nine months. Every expectant woman should try to avoid being in the same sitting or standing position for a long time. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water, walking, or doing some simple exercises are the things that should be done in pregnancy if the woman wants to prevent the incidence of the leg cramps.