My Legs are Cramping!
Why do my Calves Cramp Up?
One of the reasons calves cramp during the night (rest pain) or while walking (also called claudication) is a sign of poor blood flow to the lower legs. At night time, blood flow doesn’t have gravity to help it get to the legs causing rest pain. Usually this is relieved by getting up and allowing gravity to bring blood back to the legs. Claudication occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the leg during exercise. Even something like walking a slightly long distance can cause the cramping. It is usually resolved with sitting down to rest.
Why is this so important? These are frequently the first symptoms experienced by a person with poor circulation. So what can we do to prevent it or gain some blood flow back to the leg?
- WALK! Walking is a great way to get your heart pumping and your blood moving. The more blood pumps the better the flow.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can negatively affect circulation. Always make sure you are hydrated well throughout the day.
- Monitor your diet. “Artery clogging” foods high in fat are not good for people with peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Eat foods high in vitamin C and avoid salt.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of PVD. Within one day of stopping the use of tobacco products blood flow to the extremities increases.
Always seek help if you are having any concerns about blood flow to your feet or legs.