Having a remedy handy and ready is the number one key to eliminating painful cramps as soon as possible.
Regardless of your age you have or will experience cramps in your lifetime. From growing cramps, you get as a child, to cramps you get while playing sports or working out.
Here is how Merriam Webster describes a cramp:
What are nocturnal leg cramps?
“Nocturnal leg cramps are pains that occur in the legs during the night. They usually cause awakenings from sleep, but they may also occur while awake at night during periods of inactivity. These cramps mostly happen in the calf muscles but can also occur in the thighs or feet. Nocturnal leg cramps are quite painful and cause the affected muscles to feel tight or knotted. Symptoms may last from several seconds up to several minutes. There might also be muscle soreness after the cramp goes away. Nocturnal leg cramps are more common in adults over age 50, but they also do occur in younger adults and children. Both men and women seem to be equally affected.”
As I’ve stated there are cramps that involve younger children and teens known as “Growing Pains.” Here is what WebMD says about those:
What are growing pains?
“Growing pains are cramping, achy muscle pains that some preschoolers and preteens feel in both legs. The pain usually occurs in the late afternoon or evenings. But it may cause your child to wake up in the middle of the night.
Growing pains usually start in early childhood, around age 3 or 4.”
Why do we get cramps during sports and other physical activities?
Muscle cramps may occur when the concentration of sodium in the blood decreases. When we work out or do other physical activities such as sports or labor-intensive work throughout the day, our bodies sweat. This produces the loss of sodium and water that our bodies need.
To prevent muscle cramps, sodium should be consumed with fluids. This is extremely useful for cramp-prone individuals. High sodium sports drinks or tonic water can delay muscle cramps in those who cramp often. Sodium may be consumed from salty foods or drinks.
Active.com had this to say about cramping and fluids:
How would dehydration cause muscle cramps?
“Fluids in the body are either inside the cell or outside of the cell. When we become dehydrated, the fluid outside of the cells decreases. Reductions in fluids cause nerve endings to be squished together, overexcited and spontaneously discharge. That spontaneous discharge is a muscle twitch, which can lead to a muscle cramp. By maintaining proper hydration, you can prevent dramatic shifts in fluids that contribute to abnormal muscle contractions.”
Are you getting enough fluids?
Studies on fluids and cramps have produced mixed results. Some studies find no associations, while others show that consuming fluids and electrolytes to avoid dehydration will prevent, or at least delay, muscle cramps. The benefits of avoiding dehydration are widespread, so even if it’s not 100 percent guaranteed that you won’t cramp, consuming adequate fluids during exercise will still improve performance.”
Prevention and Cures
Essential oil mixture
Although this oil mixture works for anyone and their cramps, I use it when my younger children and teens get growing pains.
- In a glass bowl mix 4 Tablespoons of olive oil and 8-10 drops of young livings PanAway essential oil.
- Mix and apply with fingers to the area that’s cramping. If your child or teen is old enough, leave the bowl by their bed at night and have them apply as needed.
By adding heat to an area that’s cramping it can help relax the tense muscles. If you are using the oil mixture you can apply a rice pack over a cloth you don’t mind getting oil on and let the oils and heat soothe your pains.
Taking a warm shower or bath
You can help ease sports or workout cramps by taking a warm shower or bath. I recommend putting the oil mixture on after this because your pores will be open allowing penetration of the oils.
Adding Sodium to your water
When you head out to a sport or the gym and expect to sweat a ton, add a mixture of club soda or other drink with sodium to help prevent dehydration and cramping.
Potassium and Magnesium
Certain minerals and vitamins impact muscle function. By adding foods high in potassium to your diet you will help prevent cramping.
- Potatoes are one of the highest foods with potassium and do wonders to help prevent cramping.
- Other fruits and vegetables to include are apricots, honeydew, grapefruit, cucumbers, peas, cooked broccoli and cooked spinach.
- You can also take supplements .
Foods high in Magnesium.
- Spinach and other dark leafy greens.
- You can also take supplements .
This is my number one cramp eliminator. It works within seconds and you can keep it right next to your bed. The secret is the ingredient, quinine.
- If you are prone to cramping in the middle of the night, have a bottle of tonic water sitting by your bed.
- When a cramp hits you, guzzle down the tonic water until you feel your cramp subsiding. That’s all it takes and the pain and cramping will go away in seconds.
Quinine was first used to cure Malaria during World War I. It has also been used as a remedy to prevent and treat leg cramps and for use with fever and pain.
Warning: Prolonged administration of quinine may produce toxic symptoms and is not advisable.
With the help of these preventions and cures, you can now rest at ease.