Cramps are painful but they also play an important role. Muscular cramps are your body’s way of telling you that your muscles need nutrition. Women usually suffer from cramps during periods-an indication that the uterus is contracting in order to throw out its lining. So today we are going to study some home remedies to help you get rid of cramps fast.
1. Get electrolytes
Cramps are an indication that you need electrolytes. When you work out, you lose electrolytes through sweat. So replenish the lost ones by drinking plenty of sports drinks which contain minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium.
2. Change medication
Certain diuretic medicines could lead to pain as they deplete electrolytes from the body. So talk to your doctor about changing the drug or its dosage.
3. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol exacerbates the condition by depleting important minerals from the body. Avoid drinking 3 hours before bed if you tend to wake up with nocturnal cramps.
4. Drink more water
Dehydration is known to increase nocturnal cramping. So drink at least 10-12 tall glasses of water on a daily basis.
5. Eat right
Eat foods rich in magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium. These minerals are all linked with contraction and relaxation of muscles. Dark leafy vegetables, nuts and beans are rich in magnesium. Eat lots of papaya and also drink milk as these foods reduce muscle cramping.
6. Avoid prolonged sitting
If you sit for long periods of time during the day, chances of you getting nocturnal pain in the legs increase. So try to walk around in your break. If possible, get standing desks. These simple tips can help you stop cramps at school or work.
7. Use a hot pack
Apply a hot pack or warm compress to the painful area. This is the easiest way to get rid of period cramps fast without medicine. Use a heated towel for 20 minutes on the aching muscles.
8. Take warm bath
You can also take a hot shower or soak for a few minutes in warm tub bath. Add some essential oils or bath salts to the bath water for spa like atmosphere. Epsom salts work well as they contain magnesium which is easily absorbed by the skin to stop pain and inflammation quickly.
Stretches before and after workout can help prepare and relax your muscles.
10. Take NSAIDs
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are highly effective and help stop menstrual cramps at school or work. Take up to 400 mg or as needed. Mefenamic acid tablets also work well and are particularly recommended to help stop period pain at night.
11. Avoid excess exercise
Moderate exercise is always beneficial for us but anything in excess always does more harm than good. During exercise, the arteries that supply blood to the legs tend to narrow. This can produce pain in the legs. Usually, such cramps go away when you stop exercising. Also avoid exercising in extreme heat.
12. Moderate exercise is a must
Moderate amount of exercise is must to alleviate cramps, especially those that accompany menstruation. Yoga, walking, swimming and jogging are ideal ways to alleviate cramping.
13. Treat underlying diseases
Certain health conditions like those of the nerves, kidneys, thyroid or hormonal imbalance can all lead to pain and inflammation. Talk to your doctor to rule these out.
14. Keep your feet elevated
Placing a pillow or two in between the thighs or under the feet can stop leg cramps at night. This easy method works by preventing blood from pooling in the legs. You can also elevate the end of your bed a few inches by placing bricks or books underneath.
15. Take herbs
Many herbal menstrual cramps remedies help stop cramps immediately. Peppermint, Bilberry, Red Raspberry leaf and Ginger are some of the best herbs for cramps. Make a tea by steeping any of the above herbs in boiling water for 4-5 minutes and drink it 2-3 times a day to stop menstrual cramps immediately. Lobelia is another herb that can alleviate coughs, spasms and even angina. It is available in the form of tinctures, tea and pills. Black cohosh is another powerful anti-spasmodic remedy for arthritis pain, high BP, tension headaches and muscle tensions. Wild yam and cramp bark are relaxing remedies for muscle cramps, intestinal cramps and menstrual cramps. Boiled fennel seeds, bishop’s weed seeds etc are recommended to stop stomach cramps caused by gas and indigestion.
16. Banana flower
This is a powerful folk remedy for easing menstrual pain. Cook the flower and mix it up with curd. Eat the mixture for relieving pain of menstruation and also stopping heavy flow.
17. Up your vitamin D intake
Vitamin D may be able to prevent or lessen menstrual cramps. In a study conducted in Italy, women who took vitamin D supplements 5 days before their menstrual period had fewer cramps during menstruation than those who were given a placebo. Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory and it inhibits prostaglandin which is a hormone responsible for menstrual pain. The recommended dosage for the sunshine vitamin is 600 IU per day.
18. Omega 3 essential fatty acids
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are a natural remedy for menstruation pain. You can get them through fish, flax seeds and walnuts or take supplements.
19. Take Blackstrap molasses
This is another natural remedy for menstrual cramps. BSM or blackstrap molasses are rich in potassium, magnesium and iron and cam prevent menstrual pain as well as heavy bleeding.
20. Give up tea and coffee
Caffeine and bergapten in tea can interfere with potassium absorption. So avoid or at least limit their consumption.
If your muscle/menstrual cramps are interfering with your activities, see a doctor.