Relief from Leg Cramps
Q I am searching for relief from severe cramps in my legs, quads, hamstrings, calves, feet, and sometimes hands. I take muscle relaxers now because I cannot sleep. Can you help?
VALERIE, Vashon Island, WA
A Magnesium has been show to be useful. In a paper published in 2002, magnesium citrate was found to significantly reduce cramp severity and duration in individuals with nocturnal leg cramps. Since it is elemental magnesium that has a profound effect on neural excitability, another bioavailable form, such as magnesium aspartate, is likely to work just as well. Taking vitamin B1 and B6 have also been found to be helpful. One study found that 100 mg of thiamine vitamin (B1) and. 40 mg of pyridoxine (B6) were helpful for women.
Women taking B-vitamins had a significant improvement with 71% complete and 19% relative relief from leg cramps, compared to 9% complete relief in the control group. There was 29% and 52% relief in the groups receiving magnesium and calcium
- Roffe C, Sills S, Crome P, Jones P. Randomised, cross-over, placebo controlled trial of magnesium citrate in the treatment of chronic persistent leg cramps. Med Sci Monit 2002 May;8(5):CR326-30.
- Sohrabvand F, Shariat M, Haghollahi F. Vitamin B supplementation for leg cramps during pregnancy. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2006;95:48-9.
- Avsar AF, Ozmen S, Soylemez F. Vitamin B1 and B6 substitution in pregnancy for leg cramps. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1996;175:233-4.