Muscle cramps can be painful and even debilitating and are linked to a myriad of factors from underlying medical conditions to poor diet, over-exercise, and dehydration.

 They are an extremely common occurrence, affecting an estimated 60% of all adults in the United States on occasion, but thankfully, from regular stretching to increasing your intake of nutrient-rich foods, there are a number of measures that can be taken which may ease symptoms, or even, prevent them entirely.

 Heat Pads

Heating pads are commonly used as a way to relieve pain in the muscles or joints, and there is evidence to suggest that they may be effective at easing the symptoms of cramps.

Poor circulation may be linked with cramps, and heat pads work by opening up the blood vessels which allows the blood and oxygen to flow more easily to the affected areas.


Deficiencies of certain minerals and vitamins have been linked to cramping, and though improving your intake of nutrient-rich foods may help prevent such issues, for many (particularly those over the age of 55) supplements may also be required.

Magnesium deficiency is a common cause of cramp, and Magnesium-based supplements may help to reduce or ease symptoms, though there are a number of factors to take into account when choosing the correct one such as the variety and dosage of Magnesium it contains. 


Water accounts for the majority of our total body weight, and unsurprisingly, dehydration is linked with a number of symptoms and complications including muscle cramps.

Our muscles require sufficient fluid in order to relax, and cramps are a common occurrence during or after exercise when large amounts of water are lost through perspiration, whilst there is also evidence to suggest that electrolytes lost through the same process may also be linked with cramps.

Ensuring you consume sufficient fluids (including electrolyte drinks if a cramp occurs after exercise) may not only be an effective means of preventing and easing symptoms but has a range of additional benefits including promoting cardiovascular health and improving cognitive function.


Stretching regularly keep your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and also prevents them from becoming tight, and a number of studies suggest that stretching may help prevent or ease muscle cramps.

A study on cramps that occur during or immediately after exercise found that regardless of the cause, stretching the muscle appeared to be effective in relieving symptoms while a separate study of nocturnal leg cramps among older adults found symptoms were eased and occurred less frequently after stretching.


Evidence suggests that muscle cramps and your diet are closely linked. our muscles need the right balance of electrolytes in order to function properly, and it is thought that an imbalance or deficiency can contribute to muscle cramps.

Increasing your intake of electrolytes such as Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium, along with Vitamins such as B and D, may also help reduce or prevent symptoms. In addition, research has found that cramps may be linked to poor blood circulation, which can be improved through consuming foods that are rich in Omega 3.

Eating a whole food diet that includes leafy greens, legumes, oily fish, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, will help ensure that you meet the recommended daily intake of minerals and vitamins, and may help ease or even prevent symptoms of cramp. 

Fitness and wellbeing

When it comes to combatting muscle cramps, the best approach is a multifaceted one, whereby diet, hydration, flexibility, fitness, and wellbeing are all taken into account.

Regular exercise has a wealth of benefits and is a great way to increase blood circulation which has been linked with a reduction in muscle cramps, though it is important not to overexert your muscles and to ensure that you stretch sufficiently before and afterward, and are taking sufficient fluids and electrolytes.

Yoga is also a great way of incorporating a variety of stretches into your routine and of increasing flexibility and fitness, while massage has also been linked with a reduction in cramp symptoms.

In addition, improving your general well-being may also lead to a reduction in symptoms, as cramps are less likely to occur in relaxed muscles.