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Kick Leg Cramps

6 tips for easing the pain of a charley horse

Check your electrolytes

Muscle cramps have been linked with low levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium. Though research has not confirmed that a diet rich in these minerals helps fend off cramps, it may well help. Bananas and oranges, which are often associated with cramp relief, are high in potassium; brown rice, almonds and avocadoes are good sources of magnesium; and spinach contains all three minerals. 

Get enough to drink

Studies have not proven that dehydration causes leg cramps, but it may contribute to them. As we age, we become less sensitive to thirst and often drink less as a result. Remember to drink water during and after a workout.

Loosen the covers

Standing, sitting or lying in certain positions can aggravate muscles and lead to cramps. Sleeping on your back under covers that are tightly tucked in can press down your toes, possibly causing calf and foot muscles to tighten, and cramp. The University of California at Berkeley’s Complete Home Wellness Handbook recommends sleeping on your side with your knees bent or loosening sheets and blankets to keep them from weighing down your feet. 

Wear comfortable shoes

People with flat feet may be more vulnerable to foot and leg cramps, so wearing footwear with good arch supports is important, notes the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Also, try to avoid high heels, which can stress foot and calf muscles by keeping them in a shortened or tightened position for long periods of time.

Also of interest: Think twice before taking these drugs.

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