Check Your Cramp Prevention Options
Stretching exercises -
Though not backed by any solid proof, stretching exercises are the most commonly advised preventive option for cramps. In the beginning, do stretching exercises of affected muscles for about five minutes, three times a day. Also try to do the last exercise shortly before bedtime. If the cramps ease off, one can reduce the exercises to once or twice a day to keep the cramps away. For stretching calf muscles, stand about 60-90 cm from a wall and then by keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor, bend forward and lean on the wall. This should make the calf muscles stretch. Doing this a number of times for as long as you can manage and I should be helpful.
Posture of the legs when resting in bed -
One must try to sleep in positions that prevent the calf muscle from shortening. The following are not proven treatments (from research studies), however some experts believe that they help in preventing cramps - using a pillow to prop the feet up in bed while sleeping on the back, hanging the feet over the end of the bed while sleeping on the front and keeping blankets loose at the foot of the bed for preventing toes and feet from pointing downwards during sleep.
Quinine tablets are a common treatment which often reduces the number and severity of leg cramps, but may not stop them altogether. The normal dose is of one tablet at bedtime. A four week course is what is commonly tried at first and can be continued if frequency of leg cramps is reduced. Most people can take quinine, but is a complete no for pregnant ladies. Other conditions where one should avoid quinine are a previous reaction to quinine; a previous haemolytic anaemia; optic neuritis; glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
If one takes steps for leg cramps prevention, in most cases the cramps will soon become a story of the past.
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