Taking Cramp Seriously
We are experiencing supply issues on Crampex tablets. We hope to regain supply in 2019.
Please contact your GP or Pharmacist for alternative treatment options for night cramps.
Here are a few lifestyle and nutrition tips that can help, if you suffer from night cramp.
Nutrition - Getting your vitamins & minerals
Low calcium, magnesium and potassium levels are believed to contribute to night cramp, so make sure you include dairy produce, dark leafy greens or nuts and seeds (magnesium-rich foods), bananas (or other potassium-rich foods) or supplementation in your diet. Low vitamin B and E are also believed to affect cramp1.
Low sodium levels can trigger symptoms, so make sure you have plenty of suitable electrolytes such as salt or oranges and other citrus fruits in your diet during hot weather, or when exercising, as significant amounts of sodium can be lost through sweat.
Alcohol can exacerbate the problem for many, so cut back especially if you tend to drink a lot in the evenings.
What should I do when I get cramp?
When you get cramp, massage the affected muscle vigorously, stretching it gently. This will help bring relief.
Try placing a hot wet towel over the area affected as soon as the cramp has eased, or while it is still easing. Repeat this every five minutes, for about four or five times in total, and then gently move the affected muscle, by walking or stretching.
Crampex tablets taken before going to bed at night can help to both treat and actually prevent nocturnal cramp.
Why do I cramp after exercise?
That's probably because you're dehydrated. Dehydration, especially after exercise, can also cause cramp, when a chemical imbalance in the muscle makes it suddenly contract.
Make sure you...
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
- Don't wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking. Thirst is a sign that you have already become dehydrated!
- Warm up, gently stretching your muscles before exercise
- Warm DOWN after exercise by doing five to ten minutes of stretching exercises.
Here are the exercises we recommend that can help...
Hamstring Muscle Stretch
Sit with one leg folded in and the other leg straight out, foot upright with toes and ankles relaxed. Lean forward slightly and touch your foot of your straightened leg. Repeat with your opposite leg.
Calf Muscle Stretch
Start with a standing lunge with both your feet pointed forward, then straighten your rear leg out behind you. Repeat with your opposite leg.
Quadriceps Muscle Stretch
While standing, hold the top of your foot with your opposite hand and gently pull your heel towards your buttocks. Repeat with your opposite leg.
TIP: Hold each stretch briefly for a few seconds, then release.
Never stretch to the point of pain.
Is there anything I can do to prevent night cramps?
Try our top tips...
- Gently stretch your calf muscles. Stand about two feet away from a wall, keeping your heels flat and your legs straight. Lean towards the wall as you support yourself with your hands. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat ten times
- Massage your calves by rubbing from the ankle upwards - five minutes on each leg
- Use an electric blanket on cold winter nights. This can keep the calf muscles warm and pain free
- Sleep on your side with knees bent and a pillow between them. Sleeping on your stomach with your legs straight out makes the calves more prone to cramping
- Loosen your night covers and wear roomy pyjamas. The presence of heavy blankets and tight pyjamas could be partly to blame for muscle cramps
- Take regular exercise. Walking, swimming and cycling are excellent
- Yoga and Pilates are also a good way of learning to relax and gently stretch your muscles