One-Second Fix for Holiday Leg Cramps!

The next time you have a late-night leg cramp, here’s how to fix it without getting out of bed. Bend your ankle so that your toes come closer to your nose. That’s it. Really.

That’s the tip, and here is the rest of the story. When we run around a lot, like during the holidays, chances are we are getting a bit dehydrated, we are walking a lot on hard concrete floors at places like the mall and we are skipping our usual stretches and workouts. That leads to tight, overworked, dehydrated muscles. Then we go to sleep, and as we relax the calf muscle actually tightens. A sudden movement, often a toe stretch, and the cramp is off and running. Instead of jumping out of bed and doing the cramp dance, try stretching the toes upward in the direction of your nose. “Toes to nose.” This forces the muscle to stretch, eliminating the cramp.

If you can’t avoid getting out of bed to fix the cramp, remember to gently place your foot down flat so the calf stretches. Then get a banana and a glass of water. Chances are you forgot to drink water and the vitamins in bananas are thought to prevent muscle cramps.

Come in and get massaged. Cramps can be a muscle’s cry for help when it is overloaded. I often massage the leg first to loosen muscles and flush out toxins, and then gently stretch it to make sure it is clear of knots.

A few unfortunate folks will get cramps in the front of the lower leg, in a muscle that runs along the shin. If this cramps, simply bend the foot down to stretch it. Same goes for other cramps, such as in the toes, arch or arms. Making the area stretch will shut the cramp off immediately.
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