Avoiding Painful Leg Cramps

Your mind has finally stopped racing and you've just nodded off, only to be rudely awakened by a deep knot of sudden pain in your thigh, calf or in the arch of your foot. Athletes and high heel wearers alike are often awakened from sleep by the infamous nocturnal leg cramp or "charley horse." And though these occasional cramps usually are not serious, they are undeniably painful and downright annoying.

Check your H20 levels

The exact cause of leg cramps is not known, however, they are most often associated with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. That said, and you've heard it before, drinking the optimal amount of water - 7 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water per day - is the first line of defense against "charley." Staying hydrated is also important for overall health, so the water speech bears repeating!

Stretch those stems

Also, simple stretches before bed can stave off cramps. Try this simple stretch before you hop into bed each night:

  1. Stand facing the wall, 30 inches away.
  2. While keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward, put your palms on the wall, and slowly move your hands up the wall as far as you can reach comfortably.
  3. Hold the stretched position for 30 seconds. Release.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 two more times.

Just remember, when stretching, to take it slowly. Jolting right into a deep stretch and quick bouncing motions through the stretch are mistakes that can cause injury.

Supplement your regimen

If you're still bothered by occasional cramping, your diet may need slight supplementation. According to Charles Kuntzleman, EdD, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, taking a daily supplement of 400 IU of Vitamin E is usually very helpful. If the cramps persist, your body may be experiencing a lack of calcium and magnesium, found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli. Dr. Kuntzleman suggests supplementing with daily dosages of up to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of calcium.

How can chiropractic help?

Circulation is crucial for rushing nutrients from food and supplements to the areas of the body that need healing most. Chiropractic adjustments can improve circulation and greatly reduce healing time. Remember to inform your chiropractor if you're experiencing muscle cramps.

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "In 2006, I was scheduled by a Cardiologist to have a Heart Catheterization. I had been having constriction and tightness in my chest, so I sought the opinion of Dr. Hicks. He showed me where my neck was subluxated and told me he was sure an adjustment would remedy my situation. He was right! I felt immediate relief and my symptoms have never returned."
    -Jeannine K.
  • "In May 2010 I had been hit in the head with a softball and had a concussion. Soon after I began having severe migranes and headaches. After two MRI studies, the medical doctor prescribed me Sumatriptan which is a painkiller. I suffered from the migranes for 14 months until I met Dr. Hicks. He gave me my first adjustment and my mom and Dr. Hicks noticed that the color in my face went from pale to pink immediately! My migranes have disappeared and I rarely even get a headache. Thank you Dr. Hicks!"
    -Brenna B. age 17, South Lyon
  • "My husband and I were apprehensive about seeing a Chiropractor but Dr. Hicks put us both at ease. The treatments we have received have helped both of us far beyond our expectations. Not only have the adjustments been beneficial but our eating habits and sleep patterns have greatly improved. Dr. Hicks listens to our concerns and keeps finding ways to improve our well being. Both Joanne and Dr. Hicks have made us feel a part of their family."
    -Elizabeth & A.J.
  • "I have had sinus problems for 25 years. It caused me to lose my voice every year and I love to sing at my church. I was also unable to smell or taste food for years. Now, with regular chiropractic care along with nutritional supplements, I have regained my sense of smell and taste. Also, I have not had to miss singing for my church on Sunday mornings thanks to Dr. Hicks!"
    -Barbra R.