Annoying Leg Cramps and How to Stop the Pain

Woman About to Race With Leg Cramps
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Jordan Bergendahl

How many of us have had a leg cramp that felt like someone twisting the calf muscles enough to wake us out of a sound sleep? Yet, the pain from this charley horse made it impossible from how it tightened the muscles. For some reason, leg cramps do have a tendency to occur more often at night. If you have experienced leg cramps, then you might be wondering what brought this suffering on and how to stop the pain. These tips can help give you more clarity.

Some Common Causes of Leg Cramps

You are at risk for leg cramps when you overexert yourself physically. Attempting too many household chores at one time just to save yourself from dividing the tasks into a second day when moving furniture, washing walls before painting such as during spring cleaning can cost you later with pain as the price. Leg cramps are not just limited to abusing muscles for too long with household drudgery. You could be having fun running and playing too hard in some form of sports, dance or exercising to get in shape and have that happen as well.

Certain occupations like sales that require standing in the same position for a long period to nurses, stylists, etc. that are constantly on their feet can be prone to leg cramps.  To stop the pain, changing positions or taking a break sitting may lower the risk of developing leg cramps.

Another cause of leg cramps can be diet related like missing certain minerals, mainly potassium, calcium and magnesium. You may be eating a healthy diet, but each of us is different in how our bodies process nutrients, which can lead to a deficiency. The problem can be complicated if you’re taking prescription medications or regularly use over the counter pain relievers.

Though many of us assume bananas are the king of potassium, there are richer sources if that daily banana hasn’t been helping your leg cramps. What you may want to eat more of is sweet potatoes, beans, beets, spinach, and Swiss chard that has double the amount.

You can find sources of magnesium to help with leg cramps in foods like nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains. If you want to simplify with the most magnesium and potassium levels, make it a point to eat a serving of white beans or lentils, which also have calcium. You may find all the extra fiber solving another problem like constipation at the same time.

If you’re not fond of dairy products such as milk, you can also try cheese or yogurt. You can get calcium from leafy greens, beans, seeds, rhubarb, almonds, and canned salmon.

You may want to increase your daily intake or use a dietary supplement. Please look for some quality industry seal because the vitamin industry is not regulated as strictly as it should be in my honest opinion. I take one with calcium, magnesium and zinc in one tablet instead of swallowing several pills.

Another cause of leg cramps can be from your prescription medications. One in particular to blame is if you take a statin medication for lowering cholesterol. If you’re on a statin and have been noticing more leg cramps, then tell your physician. Other prescriptions that could be contributing are diuretics, drugs to treat osteoporosis and asthma, etc. He may want to switch the medication or lower your dosage.

Underlying Medical Conditions Can Also Be Responsible

Legs cramps usually are temporary, if they keep happening then it’s time for you to see your physician. Your doctor will want to test how the blood is flowing in your legs or send you to a specialist that will test the nerves in the legs for any nerve compression.

You might also want to try a therapeudic soak and my DIY Reviver to Invigorate Tired Legs.  Both can be beneficial for circulation and helping tense muscles relax.

Leg cramps are no fun so please try these suggestions for how to stop the pain provided here or make an appointment with your doctor. Life is too precious to waste time suffering in pain.



  1. Lynne B
    November 12, 2018 / 5:29 pm

    I find this post very interesting and informative. My husband goes for the bananas when he gets leg cramps. I’ll have to tell him about your other suggestions.

  2. ellen beck
    February 17, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    I dont know what I am missing when I get leg cramps/foot cramps. I usually ge them at night and they hurt like mad. I mean they will wake me up. I wont have them for months and then they hit like crazy!!

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