Muscle Cramp Remedies

Last Modified on Sep 13, 2014

Treating muscle cramps requires a multi-tiered approach that includes lifestyle changes, dietary changes and nutritional supplements. Regulating the activity level and eating a balanced diet with plenty of water supports effective functioning and eliminates many symptoms of muscle cramping. Additionally, specific supplements deliver important nutrients to the body and prevent cramps.

What is a Muscle Cramp?

A muscle cramp is defined as the sudden, involuntary contraction of one or more of the muscles. This contraction typically renders the muscle useless and can be quite painful. A hard lump of muscle tissue may also develop beneath the skin following a muscle cramp.

Several factors contribute to muscle cramps. Overuse, dehydration, muscle strain and inactivity are several of the primary causes of cramps. Inadequate blood supply, mineral depletion and nerve compression may also contribute to the condition.

Natural Remedies for Muscle Spasms and Cramping

With a variety of causes, muscle cramps also have a variety of treatments. Effective treatment regimens often incorporate increasing or possibly even decreasing exercise, increasing daily water intake and balancing the diet. Additionally, supplements including potassium, magnesium and sodium are also important for regulating cramps.

Potassium

Potassium is an important factor in the function of the muscles and nerves. Potassium is an electrolyte that aids in the electrical exchanges in the body. Adding additional potassium to the diet reduces the risk of cramping by facilitating the effective functioning of the muscles.

Magnesium

Magnesium functions in much the same way as potassium. Magnesium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate nerve signals in the body. When taken in the appropriate proportion, magnesium helps prevent and even reduce the risk of cramps.

Sodium

Sodium is actually the electrolyte of most concern when it comes to muscle cramps. Sodium helps regulate and promote the balance of the body’s natural fluid levels. Taking sodium or adding sodium to the diet helps maintain an appropriate level of fluids in the body and, in turn, prevents cramping.

Muscle cramps range in intensity and can elevate to a medical emergency fairly quickly. As such, maintaining an effective balance that prevents cramping is important. Natural treatments can help establish and preserve this balance.

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Most Popular Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar16 YEAS
Pickle Juice6 YEAS

User Reviews



A Bar of Soap   1  0   

Posted by Judy Mc (Springfield, Oregon) on 02/04/2013

[YEA]  I use a bar of soap to help from getting woken up by leg cramps, works great for that. Put it directly under bottom sheet and change every month or so.

I am still looking for something for my constant RLS. Will be trying a couple of things from this site.

Posted by Jarmysc
South Carolina, US
09/13/2014
Okay, I'm willing to try a bar of soap. Need a little more information, please. Any particular type and where do you place the soap. Doesn't a big bar of soap under your sheets interfere with sleep?

Thanks!

Acupressure Points   3  0   

Posted by Alfred (Bangkok, Thailand) on 04/05/2010

[YEA]  Cramps in your legs

Crazy time to get cramps.. Usually when I am sleeping..Middle of night or just before dauwn,, thats when I stretch.. Most of the time if i stand up, right away.. they stop. BUT IF I do not. O sh_ _..The Best thing that works is to pinch your upper lip with two fingers, and hold..., Hold for a while even if the lip hurts, You can bite your upper lip that will work also..

I am told another remedy, but never tried it.. Pinch the Opening between your Big toe and the one next to it.. Pinch where the toes go into the foot. Pinch hard and hold.

Health #1,
Alfred

Posted by A
Toronto, Canada
06/05/2011
[YEA]   "I tried a energy medicine technique called "one hand near one hand far" on leg cramp - it worked. One hand 5 or so inches from the leg cramp (hand palm facing the cramp) the other hand about 15 inches from and just below the belly button area (palm facing toward but just a few inches below the belly button). Imagine energy flowing from the cramp up the arm and down the other arm to go into just below the belly button area. Keep doing it for a minute or 2 until better.

2 chinese medicine doctors I know use this general technique. I cant say its safe or not for other body issues, but it worked for leg cramp for me.

Posted by Gottasmyl
Dundee, Scotland Uk
10/09/2011
[YEA]   "Acupressure by pressing the bone between your nostrils with your index fingers works to get rid of my leg cramps. I am 27 years old and had never suffered from this problem until about 2 weeks ago when I started a course of antibiotics to get rid of helicobacter pylori. Tried everything I could think of but nothing worked. Someone suggested I press the bone situated between the nostrils with my forefinger and it instantly went away. It's amazing!!!
Posted by Bill
Calgary, Alberta, canada
12/19/2012
Another acupressure technique is to gently bite your lower lip.

ACV, Baking Soda, Aloe, Apple Juice   1  0   

Posted by Stan (Las Vegas, Nv) on 10/18/2013

[YEA]  For muscle cramps, I use 2tbls apple cider vinegar (acv), 1/4 tsp baking soda, 2tbls aloe vera and 8 ounces of fresh pressed apple juice. it works every time for me.

Apple Cider Vinegar   16  0   

Posted by Ky Mama (Clinton, Ky) on 02/21/2013

[YEA]  My husband gets leg cramps at night sometimes. Usually he takes Blackstrap molasses and that helps immediately. (1 T. ) Well, he was out of town and dind't have any Blackstrap. He woke up with a cramp. He thought... "Well, my wife would tell me to take Apple Cider Vinegar." So, her drank a glass of water with a T. or so of Apple Cider Vinegar in it. It worked! He wasn't surprised as he has seen how well it works for so many things.

Posted by Ruthes (Holland, Ma USA) on 02/01/2013

[YEA]  Actually there is no need for drinking cider vinegar to stop acute muscle cramps. You can simly rub the vinegar on the affected muscle and in 5 minutes the cramping stops. I have used it for years and it works. severe calf cramps repsond well and there is no residual pain or achiness in the calf.

Posted by Ronnie (Oak Island, North Carolina) on 07/07/2011

[YEA]  For leg cramps or back cramps apple cider vinegar will eliminate them within seconds, almost imediately

Posted by Asg01
Ventura, Ca
01/16/2012
After some years of severe leg cramps at night and, occasionally other odd times, I discovered that Pickled Ginger was not a cure for this sleep depriving problem, but actually a cure.

I acually eat about two or three ounces several time each week (three or four portions) and have virtually eliminated all muscle cramping. I now never awaken at night. In the past three years, when I have failed to remember or traveled without access, the problem returns until I can restart the regimen.

Unbelievably, for urgent relief of an acute cramp, a few ounces of Coca Cola work like magic. However, should I need quick relief in the future, I will certainly try ACV or Pickle Juice.

Ginger would probably work in any form. The pickled variety I discovered while eating lots of Sushi and have not bothered to try other forms of the plant. Good luck to all.

Posted by Timh
Louisville, Usa
01/17/2012
1247 Posts
Asg01, please accept my addendum as the phrases "leg cramps" and "sleep deprivation" are flashing light alerts for Magnesium deficiency, as the body very sorely needs this as well as many other minerals. As for the Ginger, it is quite possibly not really a cure but a simply a relief as there are no known Ginger deficiencies in the human body. The Coca Cola fix is another sign of mineral deficiency as Cola is loaded with phosphorous, (but causes calcium deficiency).

A few mo ago I started a good Ionic Trace Minerals (72 known bioavailable mins) from the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and immediately (within hrs) felt profoundly better. There are tons of studies and ongoing on the importance of Minerals alone in human and animal health. In Livestock Agriculture, almost all animals in the developed world are supplemented with Minerals as a rule because intensive productivity depraves the soil and foods.

Posted by Veropie13
Reche Canyon, California
11/11/2013
I agree with Timh, after taking trace minerals as well, I feel profoundly better. I haven't had consistant bed vacating episodes in weeks. When I do get one it isn't as painful and diminishes quickly. I have tried ACV in these times and it works too.

Posted by Kortni (Sonora, Ca) on 05/09/2011

[YEA]  My grandma taught me this trick. Both she, my dad and I get horrible cramps (doubling over) and within minutes of taking a shot (or making a hot lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey tea) the cramps usually go away. Sometimes I have to do it every 30 min but my body is pretty out of whack because I have lyme and cirrhosis so I am just thankful to have relief. It helps my dad, he only needs to take it one time.

Posted by Housemouse (Dover, Oh, Usa) on 02/25/2011

[YEA]  I noticed in the uses you list you omitted the fact it will take away leg cramps! Drink a shot of it straight.. Major leg cramps are gone pronto

Posted by Crampless
Pittsburgh, Pa
04/08/2011
[YEA]   "The vinegar works. I knew of this remedy from a friend whose son used get leg cramps. I got a Charlie horse last night. My husband massaged it out but everytime he stopped massaging, it would knot back up. He could feel the muscle knot up like a brick. I told him to get the vinegar. I was in so much pain I drank it straight and the muscle relaxed immediately. My husband could even feel it relax. Caution - stick to a tablespoon or 2. I gulped down so much, the vinegar messed up my stomach, but it was worth not having that pain.

Posted by Harriet (Federal Way, Wa) on 10/15/2009

[YEA]  I am 55 and battle fibromyalgia. One of the problems is muscle cramps, mostly in legs and feet, that approximate the hard, long cramps common in the 9th month of pregnancy. I can cramp up at any time depending upon the position I get myself into, but it is common for me to get bad leg cramps maybe every 2-3 months. Those keep me up at night loading on Vit C, Magnesium and Potassium, slapping hot towels on one leg then the other as I hop around crying in pain.

Last week it happened again, but because ACV was on my countertop (due to this site) I swilled down 2 TBSP straight (when you are in that kind of pain you don't care what it tastes like) then chased with maybe 6 oz water. WITHIN 2 MINUTES THE CRAMP WAS GONE AND DID NOT RETURN! This is amazing. On nights when this happens I generally attempt to sleep on the couch so I don't wake my husband because IF I get any sleep at all it is in between spasms that wake me up violently.

I am grateful for this site. Thank you!

Posted by Redhen (Euclid, OH) on 07/10/2009

[YEA]  Thank you so much. I took two tablespoon of ACV and followed it with a cup of hot water.The cramps stopped immediately. The cramps start in my hands and feet and then my legs. I usually use mustard, it works but not as fast as the ACV

Posted by Lori (Victoria, KS) on 06/30/2009

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  My husband has been taking 2 tsp of ACV 2 times a day for a couple of months for leg cramps. He takes the ACV with a medicine spoon and drinks it straight then chases it with water. Today he is experiencing tooth pain, not really sensitivity but pain. We are wondering if this could have anything to do with the ACV. He has been getting relief from his leg cramps so we hate for him to stop taking this. He was having such severe leg cramps that he wasn't able to get more than a couple of hours sleep at a time before being awakened with a cramp. He is carefull not to get the vinegar on his teeth and doesn't think that he can dilute it and drink it with water.

Posted by Connie
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA
08/13/2009
71 Posts
Try mixing the vinegar in some apple juice or tomato/vegetable juice.
Posted by Bobeena
Los Angeles, Ca
08/18/2011
the tooth pain is a result of the acv. Vinegar will strip the enamel from your teeth very fast. you should try drinking it with a straw to minimize tooth contact.
Posted by Palaminolady
The Woodlands,texas
08/21/2013
You don't have to swallow it, rub it where the cramp is and it will go away. Also any kind of vinegar will work.

Posted by Robert (Barnegat, NJ, USA) on 01/11/2009

[YEA]  I take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar dilluted with 4oz. water for leg cramps at nite. Works very well! I used to get leg cramps 3 or 4 times at nite, no more since I've been drinking dilluted APC.

Posted by Sleepless Sac
Sacramento, Ca
09/24/2012
I get arch cramps in my feet, wondering if doing the ACV just before bedtime is effective vs. waiting for the nocturnal cramp to occur and THEN doing the ACV.

Posted by Mary (Grand Forks, North Dakota) on 06/02/2008

[YEA]  I had once read that APV helped Charlie Horses. So when my husband had one after a hard day on his legs, I gave him 2 Tbsp of ACV in a glass of water. I don't know which worked best, the ACV or the shock when he drank it. Since then, we have used it many times with almost immediate relief of the Charlie Horses or cramps in the legs or groin.

Posted by Jamal (Phoenix, AZ) on 02/10/2008

[YEA]  I just tried the Apple Cider Vinegar and glass of hot water. I had overdone a workout and hadn't stretched. My quads and calves were cramping up really bad. (really painful). It really worked! It worked almost immiediately, I couldn't beleive it! I'm still sore, but that's an easy alternative to constant cramping. Thanks!!

Posted by Robbie (Laurel, MS) on 01/15/2008

[YEA]  I have found over the last few years something that has helped me tremendously that I would like to share. I am very susceptible to having cramps in my feet mostly at night but during the day as well. If a medication is prescribed to me and it has a side effect - even a 1% chance - of causing cramps, I will have them severely. I am so sensitive to cramping even by a slightest move at times.

I read somewhere a few years ago about ACV helping with night cramps. So I bought some and decided that the next time I had them, I would try it and see if it worked. It is the best solution I've EVER found. I take 1-2 Tbs. (depends on how often or severe the cramps are) and chase it with a glass of hot water from the faucet. It works every time! I can also attest - and some skeptics are going to think I am crazy, but - it works immediately! If I don't get relief fron 1 Tbs. with hot water within 10 minutes, I repeat this again. I've also found that if I am having trouble with a lot of minor cramping before I go to bed, I will go ahead and take 1-2 Tbs. with hot water. It seems to assure me of an uninterrupted night of cramps. The hot water seems to be the trick as I think it gets into my system quickly. Don't know about that. It also removes the taste from my mouth very fast. I don't know why nor do I care; I just know it works.

All I can say is that I will always keep a bottle on hand. It goes with me even when we go out of town or camping for a few days. I've not found any thing that is as effective and gives me such fast relief.

I've been told by others that I need to eat a banana. And I've also had my potassium checked and it doesn't show a deficiency (so they say). Therefore, doctors seem to toss this aside and take this terrible pain lightly. I got tired of this so I rarely, if ever, mention it to a physician any more. I really believe they do not know what to do. I use to take Q-Vel, which is quinine, vitamin e and lecithin in a capsule, until they took it off the market because of the quinine. It worked well but lost access to it. Since then, I've tried this and have found this is a quicker relief anyway. I'm telling you this is the best "drug" you can buy. Oh yeah, I forgot to say, I use the cheapest there is in my area. Therefore, I am not relying on an organic product or high-priced brand name ACV.

Thanks for letting me share and I hope this will help someone else. I've suffered all my adult life with this and am finally finding relief!


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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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