Two Stretches to Relieve Leg Cramps
While painful leg cramps or “charley horses” are often caused by nutritional deficiencies, stretching can relieve the pain and help prevent further legs cramps from occurring. These two exercises are for the most common of leg cramps, the calf muscle cramp.>
Heel Flexing Stretch
This exercise can be done during a leg cramp to provide instant relief.
- Lie on your back with both legs extended.
- Flex the heel of the cramping leg and hold for 20 counts (or until the cramp subsides and you are able to move freely again).
- Relax the foot and bring the knee to your chest, holding it there for another 20 seconds.
- Repeat the movement before changing legs.
Do not point your toes in this exercise as that could bring on further leg cramps.
Standing Calf Stretch
- Stand facing a wall with one foot in front of the other, front heel on the ground, and front knee bent at a comfortable angle.
- Press your hands on the wall in front of you as you straighten your back leg, pushing your heel gently into the ground. Adjust your front leg to aid in touching the back heel to the ground.
- Hold for several seconds, then perform the stretch on the other leg.