YogaAndBackCare - Cramps


Cramp is quite common. The NHS web site has some guidance on leg cramps.

Simple things that may help

Have you drunk enough water?

Have you had enough salt in your diet? In today's society most of us have too much salt since there is so much hidden in the processed food that we buy. However if you cook your own food and hardly ever season your cooking with salt, or if you exercise a lot, you could be short on salt.

Have you enough magnesium in your diet? Spinach and broccoli are good sources of magnesium.

Have you enough potassium in your diet? Bananas may help.

Did read an article a very long time ago that suggested Vit E helps reduce the risk of cramping. Since I was being plagued with leg cramps at the time, I started taking Vit E as a daily supplement and went many years without getting cramp.

If you have tried these, then the old colonial remedy was gin and tonic just before bed and just one! The gin enabling you to drink the tonic water which contains quinine. You could try just drinking tonic water but it is an acquired taste.

Are you too tired? For me, being tired often triggers cramp.

The NHS site advocates stretching and for this yoga is perfect. Some stretches are shown below.

The stretch with the leg on the chair, helps if the cramp is in the back of the thigh.

Use a block rather than a chair if the chair is too high to help you stretch your hamstring

If the cramp is in the back of your calf this stretch may work Gastrocnemius stretch

Do experiment with yoga poses when you haven't cramp, to work out which poses stretch the areas of the body you tend to have cramp in so that you know what stretches to do when ( if ) you have another cramp attack.

Please, please note that there can be other things causing your cramp and you should always consult a doctor if you are at all worried about the cramp.