Painful Cramps

Philippines
February 1, 2007 7:11am CST
Do you get cramps? Very early this morning I had the most painful and longest episode of cramps on my right leg. It was a very unusual one, as it was on my ankle going upwards, and it was like my leg bone wanted out of my leg. It was very very painful and repetitive. It lasted about 20 minutes or more (I actually lost track of time). I almost wanted to wake up people in the house but I could hardly move so I just prayed. Anyone knows what causes cramps, is there medicine that would help and what to do when you have one?
17 people like this
63 responses
• United States
1 Feb 07
As there are many reasons for cramps and if they persist you should have the problem check by a doctor. Could be a pinched nerve controling the muscle, etc. Here are some tips. To prevent cramping consider the regular use of supplements, especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium (only if your sodium intake is low or if you sweat a lot). Stretching your calves regularly during the day and at night will help. You can often prevent night cramps by exhausting the stretch reflex before you go to bed by stretching your calf muscles with wall pushups and applying a heating pad for 10 minutes before going to bed. Keeping blankets loose at the foot of the bed will help prevent unnatural positioning of your feet and toes which can cause night time cramping
4 people like this
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
I think you are right, because I have sciatica caused by a slipped disc. I am almost due to get my check up maybe I should do it sooner than planned. Thank you very much for taking time to give me suggestions. I really appreciate it and will try them.
3 people like this
• Philippines
10 Apr 07
thats' the best thing to do. have your self checked up by your doctor so it would be sure if it's really cramps or not. personally i avoid giving information to someone like you unless the doctor says that you really had cramps. it's unethical to giving misleading information specially heath cases like yours.
• Philippines
8 Feb 07
i got cramps too... and am so thankful from the tips i had discovered, and you know what? it is so cheap since it's made from our own coconut farm which my neighbor extracts from the coco saps. yeh, really!! you must always got to have a WHITE VINEGAR in your beside always. when u have cramps, just pour the white vinegar to the folded cloth and wipe it on the affected area, after a few minutes, affected area can now hold body weight. Hope this will help for you too.
3 people like this
• Canada
8 Feb 07
ok i will try that
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Sounds like you need more calcium in your diet. Spinach, cheese, milk, yogurt, dark greens, collards, kale, turnip, parsley, mustard, beans,Calcium fortified orange juice, Total cereal. If you would take a calcium tablet it could lead to health problems. Best to let the body work like it should. Give it the building blocks to do so. Good luck, when I get to working alot, my legs will begin to cramp, I up my milk, cheese, and greens. It helps me!
3 people like this
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
Thanks. I think I'll up my milk intake. I am diabetic and have high cholesterol so beans I have to avoid. Thank you very much!
2 people like this
@hopefoo (1145)
• Malaysia
2 Feb 07
I don't usually get cramps but my sister does. She'd get cramps on her legs so bad that she's wake up and we'd have to use one of those cream to rub it all over her legs til the pain subsides before she can go to sleep. We don't really know what's wrong since her sodium levels are okay. But she is a state tennis player and her training requires a lot of legwork. She has since stopped playing tennis and the cramps are gone (I think. we dont live togehter anymore).
3 people like this
@Island_Geko (3760)
• Canada
2 Feb 07
The skeletal muscles (those over which we have voluntary control) are most prone to cramping. The skeletal muscles in the calf, thigh, and arch of the foot are most notorious sites of cramps. I get cramps almost everywhere including my eyes and chest....Cramps can occur when you are resting, sleeping, or participating in sports or other daily activities. Anyone can develop a muscle cramp but infants, the elderly, the overweight, and athletes are at greatest risk for muscle cramps. Though people most often get cramps in their calves, you can also get them in your thighs or feet--or just about any muscle. But women doctors say that wherever the knotting up and whatever the cause, most cramps can be eased by a few simple measures. Massage gently. To relax the tightened area, Dr. Zillmer suggests gently massaging the area that's cramped--whether it's a crick in your calf from overexercising or a spasm in your feet from wearing high heels all day. S-t-r-e-t-c-h. "Next, stretch the muscle out slowly and gently, as long as you don't feel pain," says Dr. Zillmer. For calf cramps, do a wall stretch. Stand about three feet away from the wall, with your knees straight and your heels on the floor. Lean into the wall, supporting yourself with your hands. You will feel the stretch of your calf muscles. Hold for 60 seconds and repeat three times, says Dr. Zillmer. Slurp fluids. "If you get muscle cramps after golf or other forms of exertion, drink water or a sports drink or juice to rehydrate and restore your electrolyte balance," says Dr. Zillmer. Most of the time water will be sufficient to rehydrate you. The exception is if you have spent several hours exercising in extreme heat. You are then better off choosing a sports drink containing electrolytes, she adds When To See A Doctor Muscle cramps usually go away on their own, even if you do nothing, says Margot Putukian, M.D., team physician at Pennsylvania State University in University Park and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and internal medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey. But if you're drinking plenty of fluids and eating a balanced diet (plenty of grains, cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables and few sources of animal fat or sugar) and keep getting cramps, see a doctor. Frequent, intense muscle cramping may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a blood clot or electrolyte problems. Focus on calcium, potassium and general hydration. The electrolyte imbalance that causes muscle cramps can also be caused by deficiencies of calcium and potassium in the diet, says Margot Putukian, M.D., team physician at Pennsylvania State University in University Park and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and internal medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey. To beef up your calcium levels, she suggests low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and skim milk. For potassium, focus on sweet potatoes, turkey, bananas and orange juice. Undo a cramp with ice. "Ice is both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory," says Judith C. Stern, a physical therapist in private practice in Westchester, New York. Stern suggests you keep a paper cup of ice in the freezer for just such emergencies, then massage the area on and around your cramp as needed. "Tear down the edge of the cup and, holding the paper end, rub the ice over the cramped muscle. This way, it won't be too cold to hold," says Stern. Massage the area with ice for no more than ten minutes or until the area is bright red, which indicates that blood cells have returned to heat the cramped muscle. Or use an ice pack or if nothing else is handy a bag of frozen vegetables. Heat is another option. Heat improves superficial blood circulation and makes muscles more flexible, so some people find that heat is more soothing for muscle cramps than ice, says Stern. Try a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time, or even a warm shower or bath. Massage the muscle with your hands following ice or heat. Move around. "Inactivity also is a cause of cramps," says Valery Lanyi, M.D., physiatrist at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center in New York City. So if you've been on the road for an hour, get out and walk around for five minutes.
3 people like this
@budsr03 (2354)
• Canada
2 Feb 07
My wife would get cramps so i asked her to drink more water through-out the day. It has helped her. I hope for you it is something as simple as this? Take care Emilieespino.
• United States
2 Feb 07
I get cramps all of the time. In my legs and feet, and menstral cramps. Not much can be done. Walking it off helps.
3 people like this
@Finale (54)
• United States
1 Feb 07
You get cramps from a lack of potassium. Try eating more bananas or if you can't eat bananas drink Tropicana Orange Juice. I always use to get cramps in my calfs and thighs all the time from weight lifting. I talked to my trainer and she said I needed to consume more potassium.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Feb 07
maybe its a "charlie horse". when i get those, i just take my foot and pull my toes in towards me with my leg straight, dont point your toes, that will definately not help and will give you a charlie horse if you dont have one! i would wake up with them all the time when i was pregnant and my muscles would be sore for a couple days sometimes, so i asked the doctor and thats what he said to do and it works!
2 people like this
@zuri25 (2127)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Yeah, I agree, it sounds like a charlie horse. I get them in my feet sometimes when I sit on them wrong or otherwise positiion them in a way that's unnatural. Tensing up is the worst thing you can do. I know it's hard, but try to relax your body and the muscle that hurts. Massage it and move your leg or ankle around until it loosens up and stops hurting. Amber's suggestion sounds like a good one too.
• United States
2 Feb 07
ill get a charlie horse sometimes if i stretch too hard in my legs, so when i pull my toes back towards me, it immediately goes away. wish i had known that years ago when i was active in sports and i would get them!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
8 Feb 07
Cramps are a result of low potassium content in the body. If one's body is sufficient in potassium, cramps rarely occured. Bananas are one of the highest sources of potassium. Intake of food with high potassium content is the best answers in the long run for people experiencing cramps. For a specific, it is usually called as charlie's horse. This is only one quick way of overcoming all that cramping problems. Or i might say, just a temporary remedy when cramps occur on your body parts. WHITE VINEGAR will be very effective. Pour an amount of white vinegar into the piece of cloth and wiped it on the affected areas. After a few minutes you can now transfer your body weight on the affected areas without pain.
1 person likes this
@Thomas73 (1467)
• Switzerland
1 Feb 07
Instead of praying, you should have a bit more magnesium in your diet --- it's much more efficient! :D Try adding garlic to your dishes.
2 people like this
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
Thanks. I've heard about magnesium but didn't know garlic could help? I love garlic and I use it regularly when I cook.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Feb 07
Garlic is not a good source of magnesium. I use it in cooking, too. Garlic is an herb. It can be an effective blood thinner, may have some antibiotic properties, and will reduce blood clottting properties. Be careful with using it for any condition, please. Good luck with your cramps.
• Philippines
6 Feb 07
Thanks. I've noticed bananas have helped. I also took some Zinc tablets and exercised daily and all these things together have been effective. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to give me advice.
1 person likes this
@patootie (3593)
2 Feb 07
I do get a lot of cramping .. especially those big muscles around my thighs and the 'girdle' muscles that are at the top of your bottom .. they get so tense it's very hard to relax them sometimes .. and I have medications I can take if I keep getting bad or persistent cramps .. but these are the muscle cramps associated with my fibro ... When I get 'ordinary' but no less painful leg cramps I try to force my toes upwards and inch out of bed .. then I find walking on the leg the very best way to relax the muscls .. obviously you can't just walk away .. but going through the motions of trying to make the leg walk seems to release the tension a little and make the muscles behave more naturally .. But for goodness sakes hang onto something as you try to walk or you're likely to go flat on your face as the leg gives way ...
2 people like this
• Philippines
6 Feb 07
Thank you for your advice/tips. They are all effective, mixed with our other friends' tips like eating more bananas and adding on my milk intake. I am lucky bananas are abundant and very cheap in my country. I wish I could thank everyone individually, but if I sit down too long to do that, I will surely have cramps again in the morning. So what I'll do is just offer a prayer of thanks to all who have sincerely posted very useful suggestions.
1 person likes this
• Italy
2 Feb 07
I usually get cramps when I'm in holiday at sea and I swim.. I don't know why.,.
2 people like this
• Philippines
8 Feb 07
Cramps are usually occurs to the anybody who has poor in potassium content in their bodies. Eat a lot of banana always or u may eat banana once every after ur meal. This is one of the highest source of potassium for your body to provide. U may take some other alternative source too.
2 people like this
@shywolf (4520)
• United States
1 Feb 07
So far, I have only ever had bad leg cramps in the biggest muscle at the back of my leg. I used to get those probably once a month or so, in the middle of the night, and some of them were pretty awful and were bad enough to keep me home from school for a day at times, back when I was in school. Then my father finally taught me to stand up before the cramp gets too bad that you can't get up, and stand as straight on your foot as you can. this will force the cramp to go away. It honestly works, at least for me, every time. The problem is that lately when I get the cramps, I try really hard to force my foot flat onto the floor, and sometimes it doesn't want to go flat! *laugh* But usually I can get it there after a bit, and keep the cramp from getting worse. ^_^
2 people like this
@patootie (3593)
2 Feb 07
That's what I find .. my leg even looks odd as the nuscles are all stretch way beyond the position they should be in .. and trying to move the leg can be very painful .. but not as painful as the result of not trying to move around .. If I feel I am 'stuck' in bed I even use my other leg or foot to hook the cramped leg and make it move around .. or at least to get as far as out of bed ...
1 person likes this
@blindedfox (3316)
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
Maybe its because you sleep at an awkward position the night before. Make sure you are in proper position when you sleep. =) Luck y you only got a leg cramp. I once had stiff neck because of improper sleeping position. Ouch. =/
2 people like this
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
Maybe! Thanks for commenting.
@trixyteddy (1072)
• India
15 Feb 07
You'll have to check it up with a doctor. I used to get a lot of pain behind my calves while waking up and it was killing. Calcium was the answer, it worked.
2 people like this
@lisa101 (1362)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Well i really dont know for sure but sometimes i have experienced cramps in my legs of the mornings and i think it is from letting my legs fall asleep during the night and when i get up in the morning, you talk about hurting, it does. So maybe you are sleeping on your legs the wrong way and cutting off the circulation to them which could lead to the cramps of the morning. Try putting a pillow between the knees and see if it helps while you sleep at night.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Feb 07
I get cramps in my feet and calves. The doctor told me to stretch before bed and this helps also adding potassium can help. Mine are worse when its cold.
2 people like this
@DigWeed (225)
• Romania
2 Feb 07
Very early this morning I had that too :( It lasted about 12 min aprox AND me to i`m waiting an answer .. good i think !
2 people like this
@banta78 (4334)
• India
2 Feb 07
Sometimes i do get cramps in morning when i wake up when i donot drink lot of fluids during the day esp. water. So one must drinl lot of water daily it surely helps. Besides drink milk or eat yoghurt it helps in providing calcium to body. Besides sleep comffortably not in any awkward position as leg muscles might get stretched. Besides dont' take too much stress during the day. And don't have stiff muscles by keeping them loose by stretching & do eat healthy nutritous diet that has all nutrients for healthy living. And if your repeatedly getting painful cramps inspite doing all these, do consult your doctor as you can gt right treatment. good luck.
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
2 Feb 07
good idea to go to the dr and let them have a look at it, it could be a result of poor blood circulation. For example is it accompanied by a feeling of pins and needles? does it go off when you get upright? It could also be the result of poor sleeping posture and this can be corrected simply by chaqnging the way you fall asleep
2 people like this