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Common conditions including dehydration, muscle overuse, and dietary deficits can all contribute to muscular cramps.
This article will look at several efficient home treatments for muscle cramps that can help relieve the pain and stop further occurrences. These treatments are simple to use and may be done using supplies you already have at home.
You may lessen the frequency and severity of muscle cramps by adopting these natural remedies into your daily routine, leading to a more comfortable and active lifestyle.
How to Relieve Muscle Cramps at Home
Here are some natural ways to ease the discomfort of muscle cramps at home.
1. Keep yourself hydrated
When it comes to home remedies for muscle cramps, hydration is key. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of muscle cramps, so it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day. (1)(2)
Aim for 8–10 glasses of water per day, and increase your intake if you’re sweating a lot or exercising vigorously.
If you’re already experiencing muscle cramps, try drinking a glass of water with a pinch of salt to help replenish electrolytes and minerals. You can also consume sports drinks and fruit juices to amp up your hydration.
2. Use heat therapy
Heat therapy is one of the most effective home remedies for muscle cramps. When applied to the affected area, heat helps to intensify blood flow and relaxes the muscles. (3)
Heat therapy can be applied using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress. For best results, apply heat for 15–20 minutes in one go.
3. Stretching can help avoid cramps
Stretching is a great way to relieve muscle cramps. There are a few different ways to stretch, and each person may find that one method works better for them than another.
If you’re not sure how to stretch, you can check plenty of resources available online or you could consult your physiotherapist. Once you know how to stretch properly, you can do it anytime, anywhere. Just be sure to warm up first so you don’t injure yourself.
Static stretches are the most common type of stretching, and they’re generally considered safe for most people. (4) Dynamic stretches are a bit more advanced, and they should only be attempted if you’re already comfortable with static stretches. (5)
You can ask your orthopedic or physiotherapist for advice on which stretches are best for you.
One method will not work for everyone, and hence, it is important to try and use what works best for you.
4. Get a massage
Massage is one effective home remedy for muscle cramps. By gently massaging the affected muscle, you increase blood flow to the area and decrease tension.
You can also take a warm bath or use a heating pad to relax the muscle.
There are several types of massage, but all aim to relax the muscles and relieve pain.
- Swedish massage involves sweeping, circular strokes to soothe the body. It is a mild style of massage.
- Targeting the deeper levels of muscle and connective tissue, deep tissue massage is a stronger type of massage.
- A form of massage called sports massage is intended to assist athletes in either preparing for or recovering after a demanding workout. (6)
5. Increase your magnesium intake
If your muscle cramps are caused by magnesium deficiency, the following can help:
- Eat foods rich in magnesium, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, dark chocolate, and avocados.
- Take a magnesium supplement, which is available in various forms such as pills, powders, and oils.
- Apply a topical magnesium oil or lotion. It can help to relieve muscle cramps topically.
- Soak in an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is high in magnesium and can be dissolved in warm water to create a soothing bath. Simply dissolve 1–2 cups of Epsom salt in a warm bath and soak for 15–20 minutes. (7)
6. Consume bananas
If you’re looking for a home remedy for muscle cramps, try eating bananas. Bananas are rich in potassium, an electrolyte that helps keep muscles functioning properly. When you don’t have enough potassium in your system, muscles can’t contract properly, which can lead to cramping. (8)
Eat a banana or two before and after exercise to help prevent cramps. You can also try other foods high in potassium, such as oranges, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
Keep in mind not to strain yourself, especially if you have a history of or are predisposed to heart problems.
Hyperkalemia, which is frequently defined as blood potassium levels that are higher than 5.0 mmol/L and can be deadly, should be a worry for patients with heart problems. Potassium levels over 5.0 mmol/L have been associated with greater mortality in patients with heart failure and patients admitted for acute care.
High potassium levels in hyperkalemia (e.g., >6.0 mmol/L) can result in cardiac arrhythmias and even death. (9)
7. Vitamins and minerals can help
There are many different home remedies for muscle cramps, but one of the most effective is to make sure you’re getting enough micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.
Muscle cramps can be caused by a deficiency in magnesium, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this mineral. (7) You can get magnesium from dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Another common cause of muscle cramps is a potassium deficiency. (8)(10) Potassium can be found in bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, and beans. If you’re experiencing muscle cramps, try eating more foods rich in these nutrients and see if it makes a difference.
Do I Have to Take Medication for Life if I Have Cramps?
The duration of the medication you take depends on the kind and severity of cramps you experience. Please do not self-medicate and consult a doctor before consuming any medication.
A proper diagnosis will help you understand the root cause and the appropriate treatment for you.
Muscle cramps are a common occurrence. Identifying the exact reason for cramps will help you in applying the best home remedy for your cramps.
The home remedies mentioned above can be safely practiced at home. In case you have unexplained cramps, please consult a doctor at the earliest.