How to Treat Muscle Cramps and Spasms Naturally

muscle cramps treatment

Best Home Remedies for Muscle Cramps and Spasms Relief

1. Try Stretching

stretching body

Regular stretching is not only effective in offering relief from muscle cramps but can prevent its occurrence in the first place. Lightly stretching your muscles and gently holding the stretch for 10-20 seconds will relax your muscles to a great extent. Make it a habit to stretch your calf and hamstring muscles just before bed every night to keep nocturnal leg cramps at bay. It is also important that you stretch some of the most vulnerable areas, including your quadriceps and ankles before a workout or any physical activity.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water and keeping your body hydrated is known to help with a lot of health complaints, dehydration-induced muscle spasm being one of them. If you are exposed to extreme hot climatic conditions, it is necessary that your body receives appropriate amounts of fluid so that muscle problems caused due to heat exhaustion, intense thirst or heavy sweating can be avoided. Also, in case you have been frequently drinking alcohol or constantly hitting the gym, make sure to recognize your body’s lack of water and increase your liquid intake.

3. Fix Your Posture

Incorrect body posture or walking and exercising with bad posture acts as one of the leading contributing factors for chronic muscle cramps. Continuously being hunched over or overly slouched can have a detrimental impact on your neck and back muscles triggering stiffness in your shoulder blades and upper back. To prevent the muscles from getting too fatigued, pulled or strained while you are working in a professional environment, you can use a posture-correcting chair or visit a professional physical therapist before the crisis turns serious.

4. Regular Exercise

excercise

Following a routine of daily exercise plays a significant role in keeping your body fit, active and cheerful, as well as improves the overall health of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You can opt for specific movements to treat muscle knots forming in various parts of your body or stick to a standard workout schedule to reduce the risk of muscle cramps. Swimming, for example, is known to work as a good exercise for taking care of leg pain and shoulder cramps.

5. Avoid Inflammatory Foods

While suffering from a muscle spasm, the particular area of your body remains in an inflammatory state. Furthermore, it has been observed that treating inflammations can be an effective way to get rid of painful menstrual cramps. Hence, minimizing the consumption of several inflammations triggering food items such as gluten, dairy, margarine, soy, soda, sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, processed meat, and fried foods can help to cut down inflammation induced muscle cramps effectively. (Also read more about the impact of drinking, smoking and fast foods on skin.)

6. Use Ice Packs

ice cube

Cold compress is known to numb sharp pain caused due to sore tissues by acting as a natural anesthetic that can slow down the transmission of pain messages to the nerves in your brain. You can use ice packs to alleviate painful swelling and reduce inflammation as it helps to restrict the blood flow to the area, providing instant relief from joint stiffness and muscle spasm. Even though the effect might be temporary, using cold therapy within 48 hours of any muscle cramp or injury can be very effective to treat a swollen and inflamed muscle.

7. Gentle Massages

As you might already know, muscle spasms occur when your muscle contracts too tightly, which often leads to extreme pain and loss of function. If the discomfort prevails for more than a few seconds, it causes muscle cramping by turning your muscles really hard. In such conditions, massaging the area by applying very gentle pressure on the trigger points can help you to loosen the knots and get rid of the pain much faster. You can also use natural oils to make the process more convenient. (Read about how to use coconut oil for massage.)

8. Wear Comfortable Footwear

Did you know that wearing inappropriate and uncomfortable shoes are one of the leading reasons behind chronic muscle pain in the lower portion of your body! Shoes that are excessively tight, loose or do not support your feet, ankles and lower legs properly can put severe pressure on your joints, contributing to serious discomfort and injuries. Therefore, make sure to avoid wearing high heels or shoes that feel too tight or narrow in the tip as they can block the circulation in the legs and calves along with placing stress on your tendons, resulting into pain and cramping.

9. Rest And Meditation

meditation

Resting the area of the body where aches and pains are experienced is general advice that we all receive, especially if you are suffering from leg pain caused as a result of injury from overwork or sudden muscle pull. This is because resting helps to relax your tender muscles, which is known to improve your condition gradually with time. Similarly, meditation works as a natural painkiller that can reduce stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles to get rid of muscle cramps.

10. Heat Therapy

Heat therapy acts as a great alternative to cold compress as it also helps to loosen tense or tight muscles, enhancing blood circulation to cut down inflammation and pain. Rather than applying uncomfortable heat on your skin, use a warm towel, an electric bag or a hot water bottle to offer a warm sensation to the sore area so that it improves the elasticity of connective tissues and relieves muscle spasm. Furthermore, bathing with lukewarm water before going to bed is considered to be beneficial in preventing muscle cramps and soothe hardened muscles.

11. Epsom Salt Bath

epsom salt bath

Taking an Epsom salt bath is a very common method to get rid of muscle soreness as the magnesium component in Epsom salt helps to loosen up the tense muscles, offering instant relief from muscle spasm. The presence of sulfate in the salt is known to alleviate stress, enhance the absorption of nutrients and flush out the toxins from your system so that it can stimulate proper blood flow and detoxify your body, which will eventually soothe your achy muscles.

12. Prevent Electrolyte Deficiencies

Electrolytes are nothing but electrical components such as minerals (sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium) that assist the cells of your body in normal functioning. Therefore, when your body suffers from electrolyte deficiency or imbalance, it often results into the lack of enough fluid in your system, causing severe dehydration and other health complaints like muscle cramping and weakness. Make sure to keep your body’s electrolyte levels in check to avoid the risk of skeletal muscle contraction and leg cramping, especially if you are prone to heavy sweating.

13. Consume Magnesium Rich Foods

An interesting fact about magnesium refers to the significant role it plays in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction, which makes it one of the most hyped-up natural salves for a wide range of muscle-related pain. Consuming a magnesium-rich diet has a relaxing effect on your muscles that helps to reduce muscle tension and treats muscle cramps and muscle weakness effectively. Foods like rice, wheat, oats, dried herbs, green leafy veggies, seeds of pumpkin, squash and watermelon, cocoa powder and dark chocolate are a good source of magnesium.

14. Practice Dancing

dancing

Dancing isn’t just a beautiful art form that attracts your visual senses, rather it is a blessing in disguise that improves your body’s muscular strength, increases aerobic fitness and makes your bones stronger, leading to a reduced risk of osteoporosis and impulsive muscle spasm. Regular dance practice can relax and soothe the nerves of your tired muscles by giving your muscles a good stretch and making them more flexible. This recreational activity not only boosts your stamina but also relieves your body from stress, anxiety and depression.

15. Walk Barefoot in The Sand

Although a bizarre concept, walking barefoot in the sand is perhaps the most natural and easiest way to minimise foot and toe cramps as it gently massages and strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes. When you go barefoot in the soft sand, the internal muscles in your feet and ankles feel active and warmed-up that can help to promote better foot mechanics and treat muscle spasm. Furthermore, sand walking is also good for improving mental health and boosting your cardiovascular system that again has a positive impact on your stressed muscles.

16. Apple Cider Vinegar

Amongst the various benefits of apple cider vinegar, its effectiveness in preventing night-time flare-ups and easing muscle spasms is definitely significant. Apple cider vinegar is enriched with calcium and potassium, the two highly sought-after minerals that are known to treat muscle cramps. Drinking a homemade tonic made from diluted apple cider vinegar and honey before bed can reduce the symptoms of arthritis, back pain, seizures, and cramps to a great extent.

17. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea acts as a traditional cure for muscle spasms, stomach aches and menstrual cramps, thanks to its high flavonoid content that makes it a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Drinking a cup of warm chamomile tea is known to increases the glycine (amino acid) in your system, which helps to relax your sore muscles and offers relief from muscle strain. You can also massage the swollen area of your body with chamomile oil to ease muscle spasms and contractions.

18. Increase Your Potassium and Calcium Intake

Mineral depletion, especially a deficiency of potassium can be a reason behind muscle pain as low levels of potassium in your blood leads to uncontrolled and prolonged muscle contractions. Similarly, lack of calcium in your diet or inadequate calcium absorption due to vitamin D deficit can cause muscle tenderness, cramps and overall discomfort. Hence, consume more potassium and calcium-rich foods like beans, yogurt, soy products, cheese, clam, spinach, kale, radish, broccoli, lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage and banana to prevent and treat chronic muscle spasm.

19. Perform Warm-Ups Before Swimming

While swimming and water training may act as a great remedy to cut down muscle ache and spasms, did you know that entering the water without stretching for at least 10 to 15 minutes can lead to the occurrence of severe muscle pain? This is because warm-ups help to regulate the swimming movements when you are swimming so that your body adapts to the underwater environment with ease and doesn’t consume too much energy at once. So, it is advised to perform short runs and light exercises to stretch your muscles and joints before going for a swim to avoid muscle-related complaints.

20. Essential Oils

essential oils

Benefits of essential oils have taken the market by storm. They’ve been used for their several beauty, health and wellness benefits since ages, and are finding their use as ingredients in modern-day beauty products too. Certain essential oils are blessed with unique properties that can not only reduce muscle swellings and inflammations but can also help to lessen the unbearable pain and discomfort. You can gently massage your affected area with the diluted essential oils of clove, thyme, ginger, peppermint or eucalyptus to treat muscle cramping and soothe muscle tension.

21. Goldenrod

Goldenrods are usually perennial herbs with clusters of bright yellow flowers, well-known for their healing properties. Other than an exceptional therapeutic agent, it also contains potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can be effective in the treatment of for gout, arthritis, kidney stones, muscle cramps, inflammations, and high blood pressure. Topical use of goldenrod oil against sore, sprained and pulled muscles can help to reduce pain and swelling.

22. Rosemary

Rosemary, a common cooking spice is known to calm muscle tension and reduce spasms along with treating indigestion, joint pain and hair loss. Thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory qualities, topical application of rosemary essential oil on your tender areas acts as an effective way to address pain obtained from sprains and joint aches. Additionally, rosemary oil helps to alleviate muscle pain and cramps by improving circulation, relaxing your muscle fibres, and suppressing muscle spasms.

23. Yellow Mustard

mustard

Did you know that ingesting yellow mustard can be one of the most inexpensive and safest attempts at managing cramps, especially those that take place in the lower areas of your body! This is possible because yellow mustard and pickle juice contain acetic acid that encourages the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that prompts the muscles to function normally. Hence, yellow mustard is often associated with providing quick recovery from muscle tenderness and chronic pain.

24. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is considered as a great remedy for the treatment of calcium/potassium deficiency induced muscle cramps as it is an excellent source of these two minerals. It not only inhibits the occurrence of muscle spasms and cramps but also helps to enhance your muscle strength to keep muscle-related ailments at bay. Mix a tablespoon of this molasses in a glass of warm water or milk and drink it every day to experience the benefits of blackstrap molasses in improving your overall muscle health.

25. Cannabis Oil

cannabis oil

Cannabis oil is basically derived from the marijuana plant from states that have legalised the use of medical marijuana. Research done on the CBD (the non-psychoactive component of marijuana) observes that cannabis oil can have a tremendously positive impact in infants and young children who suffer from seizure, pain, inflammations and muscle spasms.

Also, read:

One of the popular essential oils, also used for its muscle pain relieving effect, is the Peppermint oil. Read all about the benefits and ways to use Peppermint Oil for beauty and health.

Castor oil is one of the natural oils which is great for massage. Read about how best to use Castor Oil for massage.

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Shreoshi Mitra
Hello everyone, this is Shreoshi from the cultural capital of India, Kolkata. Well, I have been associated with the content and creative writing for more than a year now after I completed my post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication last year (2018). While doing my graduation as an English honour’s student, I fell in love with the subject both literally and metaphorically. As a matter of fact, I recently started teaching a bunch of kids as well, because why not! There’s no harm in spreading a little knowledge right! Writing started as hobby-cum-passion which should become a profession for me. It gives me an immense sense of freedom and helps to channelize my thoughts well. Writing for Anveya has opened up new horizons for me as I realised my articles regarding personal care, home care, and wellness can influence someone’s perception and way of thinking. While a lot of people wanted me to take up political science as my major because I was one of the top scorers in the city, I always believed that creativity and art is where my heart belongs… and it really feels good to know that I was right from the beginning.

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