How are muscle cramps managed or treated?

Muscle cramps usually go away without medical treatment. You can relieve the pain associated with most muscle cramps on your own at home.

What can I do to prevent or relieve muscle cramps?

Steps you can take at home to prevent or relieve muscle cramps may include:

  • Applying heat or ice to the muscle.
  • Avoiding drinking caffeine.
  • Drinking plenty of water before and during exercise.
  • Getting regular exercise to prevent leg cramps at night.
  • Gently massaging the cramped muscle until the cramping stops.
  • Stopping the activity that caused the cramp.
  • Stretching muscles before and after exercise.

If you have cramps at night (nocturnal cramps), nightly stretching before bed can be helpful. Stretching can avoid overnight cramps.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/10/2019.


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