Muscle cramping is one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen to you, and usually, they can happen at any point and time with no prior warning that they’re about to hit. Have you ever had a serious cramp in your leg that suddenly made you stop and wince in pain? Leg cramps are extremely painful, they can be inconvenient and they can even be extremely dangerous if they happen at the wrong time – you would not suddenly want your leg to go into a spasm when you were driving a car or walking down the stairs, would you?
If you have been experiencing leg cramps, it’s likely that there is something else wrong with their health and the leg cramps themselves are just a symptom of this; here are ten possible causes of leg cramps that can help you if you have been struggling with this as a regular symptom.
1. Mineral Shortages
If you’ve been experiencing regular leg cramps that seem to stop you right in your tracks no matter what it is that you are doing, then you should take a look at your diet first: You should be getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals in your diet if you want to be healthy, and each of these are essential when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. If you aren’t, then your body will start to draw your attention to this shortage in your diet in many possible ways – one of which is experiencing cramps in your muscles and legs.
Repeated muscle cramping can be a sign that your diet is lacking vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium – and often this is more than enough to reduce the frequency of muscle cramping that you might have been struggling with. The cramps can also be caused by a lack of salt in your diet, so you might have to adapt just what you eat and how in addition.
2. Muscle Injury
Have you recently injured a ligament or muscle? If you have been experiencing a sudden and painful cramp in your leg then it could be very likely that you have hurt your muscles without even realizing it – this can happen even while doing very mundane things like crossing the street, or it can happen while you are undergoing serious exercise and push your body just a little bit too far.
Muscle injury is a common cause of muscles cramping, and if it happens when you are exercising then it means that you should take an immediate break from exercise and give the muscle a good massage: This will work out the knot in the muscle. After this, we don’t recommend that you continue exercising – you will be more likely to hurt a muscle, especially if there is another cause to why your muscles are more likely to cramp so easily while you exercise.
3. Diet Deficiencies
Everybody knows that they should be getting a healthy diet – and everybody who is health-conscious tries to do just that. If you aren’t eating healthy now, then we’ll tell you to stop reading this list and go right back to taking a look at your diet first as that will most likely be what’s been causing your muscle cramping – and a whole range of others symptoms that might have been getting on your nerves that are all related to not following a healthy diet.
You should visit a diet expert so that they can take a look at just what your diet needs are and what you could be doing to improve on it – in most cases they will be able to work out a specialized diet plan that will ensure you feel better, and this could take care of the cramping in your legs all at the same time.
A lot of health experts tend to recommend that people should drink at least eight glasses of water per day if they want to keep hydrated – but you should remember that this is only a general number and that the real figure of water that you should consume on a daily basis is a little different for everyone and depends on various factors like their weight and environment.
You don’t want to drink too much water either, as it can lead to other problems like bursting the stomach or a condition that’s called water toxicity – but you do want to drink just enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you’re experiencing muscle cramps, one of the symptoms that could be behind it is simple lack of minerals and dehydration – try drinking some water, or a sports drinking containing the right mineral salts that you need in your diet.
5. Blood Clots
There are several risk factors that will put you at a much higher risk of developing a blood clot: If you are spending a lot of time in one position such as being on a plane or bus for too long – or even being a worker in an office and sitting down for several hours at a time – you are immediately at a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
There are also many types of medications that put you at a higher risk by thickening the blood, and if you have an underlying heart condition or tissue injury then you might be far more prone to blood clots too – surgery can also put you at a high risk, which is why patients post-surgery are always monitored by a doctor and nurses during. If you experience cramps along with a knot, it might not be a knotted muscle but a blood clot instead.
If you are experiencing leg cramps when you exercise, then it might be that you have some of the other symptoms that we’ve already mentioned on this list – and you should immediately start off by making sure that you are staying hydrated throughout your exercise routine, that you are getting in the right minerals and vitamins and that you are following a healthy diet along with your exercise routine.
You could be doing a lot more damage to your health if you don’t, especially if you are exercising for too long without a break – or pushing yourself past the capacity of what your body is able to take. If you experience any pain when you exercise, that’s a sign that you should stop immediately: If you push yourself past the point where you have already started experiencing pain, you could only end up hurting yourself more. If anything hurts then it’s a sign that you should.
Sudden and drastic temperature changes can be one cause of muscle cramps if you haven’t been able to find another point on this list that quite matches why you have been experiencing the problem in the first place. If you are suddenly exposed to cold, especially if you are coming from a place that was warm just a couple of minutes ago, then your muscles are going to react to respond to this change – and this can be a sudden shock to your muscles, which causes them to cramp up and go into spasm – which can include your legs.
This is common for people who find that their muscles and joints hurt on colder mornings, and the only thing you can really do to fix this, in the long run, is to warm up your legs as soon as you can: This should take care of the leg cramp in most cases.
8. Growing Pains
You should not think that growing pains are a symptom that’s just experienced by children – growing pains are something that can happen to a lot of people still into adulthood, especially if they have an underlying connective tissue disorder that they might not have known about just yet. If you are experiencing any kind of muscle pain or internal pain that seems to resemble growing pains, then you should make an appointment with your doctor immediately so that you can find the cause of it – which could very well surprise you.
Treating the pain and cramps that are associated with it are usually easy and simply down to increasing the level of heat – and making sure you’re getting the right minerals so that the cramps and pain doesn’t get any worse at the same time. Growing pains can happen to anyone, but this is usually a sign that you should get something else looked at before the problem and the leg cramps that are associated with it will go away.
Arthritis is a condition that can be treated easily with the right kind of changes to your routine, doing a few things differently in your daily diet and taking the pressure off the affected body part as much as you can: But what does that have to do with your muscles?
You should know that arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, but the body works with everything being connected to everything else – much like an interconnected system of gears – and if one gear in the system happens to be off then the rest of them can be expected to react. If you are suffering from arthritis, you might be walking in a way that compensates and doesn’t cause your hip or legs to hurt – but this in itself might be causing that your muscles are taking more strain, and this can trigger the muscles in the legs to cramp.
This is a much less common symptom of muscle cramps and we can safely assume that most of the people who are reading this article are not currently going through any kind of serious drug withdrawal; but when you remember that common stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can have much of the same effects on the body in terms of developing an addition, then that changes your whole perspective on everything – and you start to see how muscle cramps can very well be a symptom that you are withdrawing from something like caffeine.
This can be treated easily by taking some vitamin and mineral supplements to correct the deficiency in your diet, and remember to hydrate as you cut the offending stimulant out of your diet – most of the symptoms of withdrawal that you will experience will be because of mineral deficiencies in the body and dehydration, including headaches and muscle cramps.