Leg cramps are very common, and everyone will experience one at least some point of their life, especially if you’re living an active lifestyle. These leg cramps generally occur in the calf area, hamstring or foot. Leg cramps are sudden pretty much unpredictable. They cause a lot of discomforts and can be painful. During a leg cramp, your muscle is contracting and expanding. The muscle may become tender, and tight once the episode is over.
What causes leg cramps?
Leg cramps generally occur in the middle of exercising, or not long after. Suffering from leg cramps during exercise is generally a sign of not stretching properly. They may also occur when you are not exercising enough, so if you suffer from leg cramps regularly, you should try to exercise the area where you most commonly receive these cramps. Pregnancy but the exact cause of leg cramps during pregnancy isn’t clear. Certain types of medication for certain medical conditions can lead to leg cramps, especially medicine that is used to help lower your cholesterol. Also, people with a high blood pressure of liver disease are more prone to be affected by leg cramps.
Common Treatments for Cramping Include stretching
Here are a few stretches that can help stimulate and wake your calf muscles and hamstrings muscles. Certain stretches will help the affected muscle or even multiple leg muscles.
For stretching your hamstrings: stand up, and place one of your legs (preferably the one most prone to cramping) out in front of you. Make sure to keep your foot as flat as possible by trying to point your toes in your direction, this may be difficult so it might be best if you try to point your toes up to the sky, or as far back as you can possibly go, without hurting or straining any muscle. Doing this will actually stretch your calf muscle. Once you are in this position, bring your hands down and try to touch your toes, to make this even harder, try to bring your head down to your knee, and feel the stretch!
Another hamstring stretch is to use an exercise band. On the floor, sit down with your legs straight in front of you. Make sure that you are sitting up straight and that your back in align. Grab the exercise band (of if you don’t own one, you can use an old sock or t-shirt) and place it around one of your feet, flat, then grab either side and pull your leg up. Make sure you keep your leg as straight as possible!
For calf stretching, I feel that this is a lot easier and less strenuous. Find a step, whether it’s at your back door, front door, or one of your steps on the staircase (preferably the first step) in case you fall. Place the balls of your feet on the edge of the step, and make sure that you are holding onto something. Your heels should be totally off the step at all times. Now, you’ll start doing what’s called calf raises. You will lower your heel so that it below the level of the step, go as far as you can go, make sure to not slip, then raise your heels back up again. This process should be done slowly.
Preventing Leg Cramps
If you suffer from leg cramps at night, you may not be relaxing your feet when you are sleeping. In order to aid this, if you are lying on your stomach, try and place your feet over the end of the bed as this can help your feet relax.
Try to keep all of your bed sheets as loose as possible as tight sheets might lead to your muscles cramping up.
If you lay on your back, always make sure that your feet are pointing to the sky, as this is their natural placement. If you try to point your toes for too long, you end up putting a lot of strain on your calf muscle.
What is CBD?
Cannabis/Marijuana/Weed whatever you may want to call it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It dates back to being used for clothing (hemp) and was known by Ancient China to hold extremely beneficial medical benefits. However, due to its potent recreational use and tendency to cause addiction, due to the psychoactive component THC, it is a substance that is banned over the majority of the world. While science addresses it as Cannabis, users term it as marijuana.
Cannabidoil known as CBD. Cannabidiol is one of many other compounds found in the cannabis plant, and it is cannabis oil that has shown science, it’s medicinal properties. It has been used to treat many other kinds of ailments like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and so on.
Can CBD help Leg Cramps?
So we know that cannabis has been used to treat other ailments, so how does Cannabis play a role in the treatment of leg cramps? Well, studies have shown the ECS (the endocannabinoid system) to be present in every single physiological system in the human body including our central nervous system (CNS), immune system and even our hormones. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), have stated that the endocannabinoid system is the most important. Studies have shown that medical cannabis can be used as a muscle relaxant.
It’s clear that controlling leg cramps and muscle spasms at the molecular level are just one of the many potential uses of CBD in the medical world.
How to Use CBD or the Treatment of Leg Cramps
Topical creams containing CBD can provide a great amount of relief to those who have chronic pain, and especially muscle aches.
Tinctures are one of the most common forms of ingesting CBD oil, and it is fast working because of the method used in taking it. Place the recommended dose amount under your tongue and leave it for 20 seconds or so, then swallow. Tinctures and this method help the CBD travel straight into the bloodstream giving you almost instant relief. It’s also a great alternative if you don’t smoke, or like the smell or taste of cannabis.
Edibles are a fun and fast way for cannabis to be ingested. It’s a lot more popular for people to eat edible that it is to smoke. When eating edibles, it is fast working, and it also lasts longer in the system, giving you relief for hours.
Leg cramps are a pain! And although stretching can work before, during and after every leg cramp, it does not really suffice. Muscle Relaxants are proven to be extremely effective in relaxing muscles, but they can be dangerous to use, due to the high addiction levels contents in the likes of Xanax and Valium, so it’s important that you follow the rules that your doctor or medical professional gave to you. If you feel that you want to try cannabis as another form of medication for your muscles pains, make sure to inform your doctor or medical professional and ask them for advice. I’d recommend that if you are on medication for your cramps and muscle pain, and are taking CBD and feel that you want to wean off of pharmaceutical drugs, also consult your doctor about it first before doing so.