How can I reduce my risk of getting leg cramps?

Experts can’t promise that you’ll never have a leg cramp again, but there are some steps you can take that might reduce your risk!

  • Make sure that you stay hydrated – drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Don’t drink as much alcohol and caffeine.
  • Adjust how you sleep. Use pillows to keep your toes pointed upwards if you sleep on your back. If you lie on your front, try hanging your feet over the end of the bed. Both positions can keep you in a relaxed position.
  • Gently stretch your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
  • Keep blankets and sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
  • Wear shoes that fit you well and support your feet.
  • Perform frequent leg exercises.
  • Stretch your muscles before and after you exercise.
  • Experiment with mild exercise right before bed. Walk on the treadmill or ride a bicycle for a few minutes.

What kinds of stretches help prevent leg cramps?

Try the following to prevent leg cramps in your calves: Stand about three feet (one meter) away from a wall. Lean forward. Touch the wall with your arms outstretched while keeping your feet flat. Count to five before you stop, and do it over and over again for at least five minutes. Repeat three times per day.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/03/2020.

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