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Avoiding Painful Leg Cramps

Your mind has finally stopped racing and you've just nodded off, only to be rudely awakened by a deep knot of sudden pain in your thigh, calf or in the arch of your foot. Athletes and high heel wearers alike are often awakened from sleep by the infamous nocturnal leg cramp or "charley horse." And though these occasional cramps usually are not serious, they are undeniably painful and downright annoying.

Check your H20 levels

The exact cause of leg cramps is not known, however, they are most often associated with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. That said, and you've heard it before, drinking the optimal amount of water - 7 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water per day - is the first line of defense against "charley." Staying hydrated is also important for overall health, so the water speech bears repeating!

Stretch those stems

Also, simple stretches before bed can stave off cramps. Try this simple stretch before you hop into bed each night:

  1. Stand facing the wall, 30 inches away.
  2. While keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward, put your palms on the wall, and slowly move your hands up the wall as far as you can reach comfortably.
  3. Hold the stretched position for 30 seconds. Release.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 two more times.

Just remember, when stretching, to take it slowly. Jolting right into a deep stretch and quick bouncing motions through the stretch are mistakes that can cause injury.

Supplement your regimen

If you're still bothered by occasional cramping, your diet may need slight supplementation. According to Charles Kuntzleman, EdD, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, taking a daily supplement of 400 IU of Vitamin E is usually very helpful. If the cramps persist, your body may be experiencing a lack of calcium and magnesium, found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli. Dr. Kuntzleman suggests supplementing with daily dosages of up to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of calcium.

How can chiropractic help?

Circulation is crucial for rushing nutrients from food and supplements to the areas of the body that need healing most. Chiropractic adjustments can improve circulation and greatly reduce healing time. Remember to inform your chiropractor if you're experiencing muscle cramps.

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I can't believe how professional, efficient, and effective the entire staff is at CHAWC. I am out and on my way to work in a short time, while achieving maximum results."
    Jodie Richmond, VA
  • "Dr. Jo has been such a blessing and resource for my health and my back. I have been doing chiropractic for about 15 years, and Dr. Jo's treatments and home therapies have seriously changed my life and my back and neck in the past year. I am in awe of how much better I feel overall and so appreciate their dedication to my health and well-being!"
    Joy
  • ""I have suffered from lower back and sciatica pain for over two years now. Prior to my visit to this practice, I have been x-rayed, tested, MRI, countless specialists visits and not to mention the costs associated with all of that. I have been in chiropractors' offices before and they usually adjust my back and the pain decrease for a day or two but never goes away. Dr. Cally was thorough, knowledgeable in her specialty, and kind. Although, I was skeptical at first but, Dr. Cally's knowledge put me at ease. Needless to say, now I am pain free. Not only she is good with her patients but once you walk-in that office you will feel the good vibe from her staff (happy employee means happy customer), which tells me she is treating her staff good as well. Thank you, Dr. Cally for all you do. You and your practice are hard to find these days. Keep up the good work.""
    Dr. Beygatt, PhD
  • "I can't say enough good things about Dr. Jo and the rest of the staff. I've never enjoyed a medical treatment so much. Every time I come in, I feel like I'm seeing good friends. Chiropractic Care has changed my life for the better, and I believe the philosophy at CHAWC has been key to my success. I have recommended CHAWC to many and will continue to do so!"
    Sunni
  • ""Dr. Cally Parks has so greatly impacted my overall well being! Her thorough and compassionate care has lead me to feeling my best. I highly recommend her to anyone with any back or hip pain.""
    Megan