see also Cramp During Pregnancy
Acute discomfort caused by muscles going into spasm (violent, uncontrollable contraction) because of shortage of oxygen and build up of lactic acid; prolonged sitting or standing, lying in an awkward position, strenuous or unaccustomed exercise and pregnancy are the most common causes of cramp; less often, cramp may be a symptom of Atherosclerosis or Buerger's disease. Occasionally cramp can be a symptom of sodium deficiency caused by excessive sweating while exercising, working in extreme heat, or taking a sauna (see Heat Exhaustion).
If cramp occurs frequently for no obvious reason, constitutional homeopathic treatment may help. The remedies recommended below are for emergency use.
Specific remedies to be taken every 5 minutes for up to 6 doses
- Severe cramps mainly in feet or legs, cramp begins with twitching of muscles Cuprum 30c
- Cramps accompanied by headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and constipation, often worse at night Nux 30c
- Cramp which comes on as a result of fatigue Arnica 30c
- Cramp in someone who is overweight, flabby, pale, chilly, and prone to head sweats Calcarea 30c
- Cramp in calves, feet feel icy cold Camphora 30c
- Cramp in calves, alleviated by massage but made worse by walking about, recent diarrhoea and vomiting Veratrum 30c
- Cramp in thighs or legs Chamomilla 30c
As a preventive against cramp at night, take Cuprum ars. 6c at bedtime for 14 nights running.
Self-help: When cramp comes on, try to stretch muscles involved, and massage them to increase blood supply. If cramp comes on at night, raise the foot of your bed by about 10 cm (4 in). Increase fluid and reduce weight, if appropriate. Extra magnesium might also help.