Here are some things you can try for a leg cramp:
- Walk around, or jiggle your leg.
- Stretch your calf muscles. You can do this stretch while you sit or stand:
- While sitting, straighten your leg and flex your foot up toward your knee. It may help to place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and, while holding the towel at both ends, gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight.
- While standing about 2 ft (0.6 m) from a wall, lean forward against the wall. Keep the knee of the affected leg straight and the heel on the ground. Do this while you bend the knee of the other leg. See a picture of how to do this calf stretch .
If you think a medicine is causing muscle cramps:
- Before you take another dose, call the doctor who prescribed the medicine. The medicine may need to be stopped or changed, or the dose may need to be adjusted.
- If you are taking any medicine not prescribed by a doctor, stop taking it. Talk to your doctor if you think you need to continue taking the medicine.
How can you prevent muscle cramps?
These tips may help prevent muscle cramps:
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
- Limit or avoid drinks with alcohol.
- Make sure you are eating healthy foods (especially if you are pregnant) that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Ride a bike or stationary bike to condition and stretch your muscles.
- Stretch your muscles every day, especially before and after exercise and at bedtime.
- Don't suddenly increase the amount of exercise you get. Increase your exercise a little each week.
- Take a daily multivitamin supplement.
If you are taking medicines that are known to cause leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe different medicines.
What if muscle cramps keep coming back?
Talk with your doctor if you have muscle cramps that keep coming back or are severe. These may be symptoms of another problem, such as restless legs syndrome.
If cramps keep coming back, bother you a lot, or interfere with your sleep, your doctor may prescribe medicine that relaxes your muscles.