Muscle cramps are a rather common condition occurring frequently in both men and women, among all age groups. It refers to an abrupt and involuntary contraction of a specific set of muscle groups in the body, invariably resulting in constant pain until the connective tissues are able to expand again and attain a relaxed state.
Although muscle cramps can arise in the arms, hands, feet and abdomen, they most often present in the region below the hips – in the front and back of the thighs, as well as the lower legs and calves.
The primary causes of muscle cramps include dehydration, reduced blood supply to the legs, mineral deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, potassium and/or sodium.
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Only in rare instances are they prompted due to spinal nerve compression or a localized blood clot and thereby require proper medical care to treat the underlying health anomalies in such situations.
Most cases of muscle cramps can be treated with some simple self-care measures such as applying a hot/cold compress to the sore legs, consuming adequate water, fluids, nutritious foods and resting the body, in addition to taking mineral supplements. Also Check out: 5 Amazing Foods To Cure Muscle Cramps - Infographic
However, quite often, the tenderness and inflammation in the cramped legs persist despite these comforting techniques and affects daily productivity, be it at work or at home. Strained leg muscles also give rise to much discomfort while performing routine tasks such as walking, standing for a long time, jogging or working out, climbing flights of stairs and bending the body.
Ayurvedic Approach Towards Hurting Leg Muscles:
To help extend the tightened muscles and provide instant pain relief, Ayurveda, the time-tested practice of Indian medicine, recommends some highly effective natural therapies and herbal concoctions.
In the traditional ayurvedic texts, muscle cramps are known as “Mamsa Gata Vata”. This term literally translates to an aggravated “vata dosha” or the air, ether bodily energy associated with movement, in the “mamsa” or muscles. The curative strategies outlined for the same, are hence, targeted towards reducing the intensity of leg pain and restoring the vata balance in the system.
Guaranteed, these marvellous organic cures will work wonders in lessening sensitivity, rigidity in the leg muscles and aid in a fast recovery.
Astounding Ayurvedic Solutions For Easing Muscle Cramps:
Shunthi (Dry Ginger Powder)
Ginger is packed with numerous flavonoid antioxidants and potent anti-inflammatory components, which efficiently relax the restricted muscles in the lower legs. Drinking a glass of warm water with 2 teaspoons of shunthi i.e. dry ginger powder and a dash of honey offers instantaneous relief from muscle cramps.
Snehana (Oil Therapy)
The external remedy of a soothing oil massage i.e. snehana is one of the best methods to cure muscular strain in the thighs and legs. Applying ashwagandha or chandana infused taila or oils and rubbing it into the sore muscles unwinds the knots and diminishes tenderness in the area.
Nirgundi (Five-Leaved Chaste Tree)
This herbal panacea is a superb solution for alleviating extreme pain and cramping in the muscles of the lower legs, thanks to the root extracts, which contain profuse amounts of the alkaloid nishindine. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of nirgundi powder or paste preparations in water along with some jaggery and drink this decoction once daily. Also Read: Nirgundi: Incredible Health Benefits Of This Powerful Medicinal Herb
Swedana (Heat Induction)
Administering a gentle steam therapy in the vicinity of the muscle cramps, with some aromatic herbal infusions such as eucalyptus or neem, stimulates the tissues in the thighs and legs to sweat. This profuse formation of agni or heat pacifies twisted muscles and rectifies any imbalance in the vata dosha.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
A glass of amla juice abounds in essential trace minerals of sodium, potassium, which promote flexibility and strength of thigh and calf muscles. Moreover, being rich in a host of powerful antioxidants, alma boosts metabolism and averts fat accumulation in muscle tissues, helping to alleviate soreness in the legs.
Apart from the myriad excellent herbal antidotes from the time-honoured practice of Ayurveda, certain simple home remedies also help pacify inflamed leg muscles and mitigate stiffness, cramps.
Massage the areas in the legs where there is rigidity and spasms, by gently pressing and dabbing on some pain-relieving balms/oils. Then, stretch the muscles and hold it in that position for up to 1 minute, before releasing it slowly. Doing this basic stretching movement daily two to three times helps to relax stiff muscles and ease leg pain.
Magnesium is a pivotal mineral that is required by the body to carry out neuromuscular activities and ensure smooth muscle contraction. A deficiency in magnesium tends to induce muscle cramps and hence intake of supplements is an effective way to boost levels of this key nutrient in the system. It is advised to consult with a doctor to ensure taking the right dose of magnesium supplements.
Taking A Walk
The leg muscles invariably undergo stress and tissue damage in instances of cramping. One of the best solutions to enhance blood circulation to the muscles and aid in their repair, recovery is walking. Going for a leisurely stroll in the morning or evening for just 20 – 30 minutes provides significant relief from aching, soreness in the legs.