Using Home Remedies to Treat and Prevent Leg Cramps
Avoid sleeping in tight bedsheets. Tight bedsheets or covers can cause you to unconsciously point your toes downward while sleeping, which can trigger calf cramps. Stick with looser bedsheets to minimize the chance of your feet getting stuck in 1 position for too long and causing cramps.
- You can also avoid distorting your toes by hanging your feet over the end of the bed when you sleep so that your toes are pointing down.
Apply a hot compress to the cramped area of your leg. Applying heat to the cramped area can do a lot to loosen tight muscles and relieve pain. Use an electric heating pad, a warm towel, or even a hot water bottle wrapped in cloth to relax your muscles and ease your cramps.
- If you choose to use an electric heating pad, be sure not to fall asleep while it’s on to avoid the risk of a fire starting. Make sure your heating pad has an automatic shutoff.
- You might also be able to use heat to relax away your cramps by taking a hot bath or directing the stream of a hot shower onto your leg.
- Make sure to check your leg for swelling before you do this. If your leg is swollen and you are also having pain and cramping, then you may have a blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis. In this case, seek medical attention and do not apply a heating pad.
Make sure you’re wearing properly fitted shoes. Leg cramps can sometimes be caused by ill-fitting footwear, especially among people who have flat feet and other structural problems. To avoid leg cramps caused by footwear, be sure to only wear shoes that properly fit you and that are designed to compensate for any structural issues you have with your feet.
- You may need to get shoes specially fitted and made by a podiatrist. These will cost more than store-bought shoes, but they may help to stop your leg cramps. Sole inserts for shoes are unlikely to help.
- People who suffer from nighttime leg cramps should also avoid wearing high heels, as these shoes have been linked to leg cramps.