For many Americans, leg cramps are a painful part of everyday life. There are a variety of reasons why they can occur, from poor diet to underlying medical conditions, but thankfully, there are also a number of ways to combat them, including some simple home remedies that can help ease or even prevent symptoms.


Regardless of the cause of your leg cramps, a daily stretching program is a simple and effective way to ease symptoms and can be done easily from home.

  • Standing Stretch – Great for the calves, this is a simple and effective stretch that can be incorporated into a daily stretching program.
  • Standing Wall Stretch – A variation on the standing stretch, this is also great for the calve muscles and stretches both legs at the same time while using a wall for stability.
  • Hamstring Floor Stretch – Great for stretching and increasing flexibility in your rear thigh muscles this is a simple and effective stretch that can be done multiple times daily.
  • Standing Quad Stretch – An effective stretch for your front thigh muscles, done twice daily this will help increase flexibility and strength and help ease or prevent the symptoms of muscle cramps.

Warm Compress

A warm compress applied to the affected muscle is a great way to increase blood flow which will help your muscles relax, reducing stiffness and ease the symptoms of cramp.

  • Fill the sink or a bowl with hot water (not boiling/scalding).
  • Place a small or medium-sized towel in the water and soak for a few minutes.
  • Remove the towel, wring out any excess water to stop it from dripping.
  • Fold the towel into a square and place it on the affected muscle for 10-15 minutes.

Homemade heating pad 

Heat pads works in the same way as a warm compress, increasing blood flow to the affected area and helping your muscles relax. There are many heat pads on the market, though it’s also possible to make your own at home.

  • Fill a small cotton pillowcase or sock with dry uncooked rice.
  • Tie the top of the sock/pillowcase to prevent the rice from spilling out.
  • Place it in the microwave and heat it for thirty seconds. Check to see whether it is warm (NOT HOT) to the touch and if not continue to heat in 10-second increments until it is.
  • Remove from the microwave and place it on the affected muscle for 10-15 minutes.


Yoga is an increasingly popular activity that has a myriad of benefits including increased flexibility and preventing or easing the symptoms of leg cramps.

  • Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – Commonly practiced at the end of a session, Shavasana is the simplest of yoga poses, yet done correctly can help relax all of the muscles in your body and promote physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Uttanasana (Standing forward fold) – A simple but highly effective stretch that is super beneficial for leg strengthening and flexibility, it also aids digestion and relaxation.
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand to Toe Pose) – Highly effective at relaxing and increasing flexibility in the calf and thigh muscles, this pose is also great for the lower back.
  • Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose) – Great for stretching out the hamstring and calve muscles it can also be therapeutic for those with foot problems while additionally, it improves core strength, activates muscles around your hips and pelvis and aids digestion,
  • Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) This foundation pose is particularly great for your quadriceps and hamstring muscles, though also strengthens and increases flexibility in your calves, shoulders, chest, and spine.


Massaging your legs can be a great way of increasing blood circulation and relaxing your muscles, which can help prevent or ease symptoms of cramp.

When massaging your legs at home there are several different techniques that can be used.

Stroking Technique

  • Place your palm face down on your ankles and spread your fingers. (You can do both legs at the same time if you like)
  • Begin to apply pressure until you can feel it in your muscle (if you feel any pain then it means you are pressing too hard)
  • Move your hands slowly up your leg until you reach your hip.
  • Repeat up to 10 times on each leg.

Squeezing and Kneading Technique

  • Place one or both of your hands on your ankle and wrap your fingers around it.
  • Begin to apply pressure with your finger until you can feel it in your muscles (if you feel any pain then it means you are pressing too hard)
  • Slowly move your hands up your leg until you reach your hip (you can use your thumb to apply extra pressure if needed)

Repeat as many times as needed until your whole leg is relaxed

Eat more vitamin and mineral-rich food

Muscle cramps are commonly linked with mineral deficiencies, and are particularly common among those suffering from magnesium deficiency, while there is also evidence to suggest that certain vitamins – such as B and D, can also help ease or prevent symptoms.

Increasing your intake of nutrient-rich foods is a great way to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies and may help combat the root cause of your cramps, while also have a wealth of additional benefits for your physical and immune health.

The following foods are particularly rich in minerals and vitamins:

  • Avacado
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Papaya
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Legumes
  • Bone Broth