Leg cramps are described as tender, involuntary muscle contractions that usually occur in the calf or in the rear or front part of the thigh. These cramps usually manifest due to dehydration, injury or overuse. If you suspect that an individual is suffering from leg cramps, you can help ease the effects by using vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. When an individual is suffering from leg cramps, it is best that you are prepared to help ease the symptoms. All you have to do is to enroll in a class on first aid today.
What are leg cramps?
The leg cramps are just one form of a syndrome known as muscle spasm or muscle cramping. Aside from the legs, cramps typically occur in the abdomen, feet, hands, arms and along the line formed by the rib cage. An individual can end up with cramps when taking part in various exercises or any physically strenuous activity. Additionally, an individual can develop cramping from various conditions including pregnancy, alcoholism as well as use of certain medications, kidney failure, low thyroid function and issues with the metabolism.
An individual can acquire vitamin B6 from certain foods such as carrots, beans, spinach, lentils, turkey, shrimp, chicken, sunflower seeds and whole grain flour. The supplemental forms of the vitamin are readily available as tablets, lozenges and soft gels. When marketed commercially, vitamin B6 has various names such as pyridoxamine or pyridoxine hydrochloride. Under normal conditions, vitamin B6 can be acquired from food sources. Men usually need a higher amount of vitamin B6 than women, but it depends on the age and pregnancy status.
Vitamin B6 and leg cramps
Vitamin B6 can minimize the occurrence of muscle cramps. The vitamin can also help ease the symptoms such as hand stiffness, numbness and nausea. Even though some believe that it is safe to take as much as 100 mg of the vitamin on a daily basis, taking more than this amount can lead to serious health risks, including nerve damage in the arms or legs. Before a vitamin B6 supplement is taken for leg cramps, a doctor must be consulted regarding the specific doses and if they are safe for use.
Considerations to bear in mind
The nerve damage linked with high intake of vitamin B6 usually fades when the supplement is no longer taken. The additional methods to ease the effects include massage and stretching of the muscle as soon as the cramping starts, applying ice after the cramps go away or using heat to relax.
Leg cramps can be prevented from occurring by simply maintaining proper intake of fluids while exercising, sticking with a regular program of stretching and avoid exercising way beyond the physical capability. A doctor must be consulted if the individual experiences prolonged leg cramps as well as severe cramps or recurrent cramping.