As a child, teenager or young adult, it is not at all uncommon to experience painful leg cramping in the middle of the night or unexpectedly during physical activity. As a parent, seeing your child in pain can feel even worse than whatever it is they are feeling themselves. In order to combat these painful episodes and prevent them from happening entirely, it will require a combination of knowledge on the subject and a few hit-and-miss attempts at dealing with them. Since each case of muscle cramping can be caused by something different entirely, it is important that you approach the problem with an open mind and assess all possibilities.
The first step towards being able to effectively prevent or stop your child’s leg cramps from occurring is understanding why they happen in the first place. We know that the basic cause of the cramping is due to a message being sent to the muscle from your brain, but it’s also pretty obvious that you can’t exactly will your leg cramps to stop whenever you want, or even know when they are going to begin.
This strange occurrence is widely believed to be primarily caused by over-exertion of your muscles, but there are also at least a few other possibilities out there. If your son or daughter is a serial sports player, or if they will sprint around the house at the drop of a hat, it might be that they simply pushed the particular muscle that is cramping a bit too hard without proper stretching (yes, even young people should stretch before physical activity). If this doesn’t seem to be the case, there are still plenty of avenues you can explore in pinpointing the cause and taking the appropriate measures to prevent the cramps.
Poor dieting habits are another leading cause of cramping, and it’s probably not uncommon for a kid to neglect his or her daily potassium or magnesium intake once in a while. Tobacco and alcohol have also been linked to some cases of cramping because of the way they dehydrate your body and muscles, but we will assume that neither of these is involved in this particular article. Making sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day might do some good, and you may even want to consider purchasing electrolyte water or a similar product if your doctor advises that it may be due to a lack of electrolytes in your child’s body. The potassium found in bananas has more recently been found to be directly connected to the occurrence of leg cramps, so it might also be a good idea to give your kids a banana or two to take to school with them or eat in their cereal.
You will want to avoid any sort of prescription or pain medication if at all possible, and your doctor will very likely agree with this if you come to him with worries of your child’s muscle cramping. The adverse side effects that can come from even something as simple as an aspirin regimen can make your cramping episodes even more painful or frequent over time, and the relief that pain medication provides will prove to be very temporary. The Amish people have used an organic remedy for over 100 years, and this natural mixture of garlic, ginger and raw apple cider vinegar can prevent leg cramps for about 24 hours. It also stops the pain in under a minute while experiencing one. This remedy has recently gained quite a bit of popularity among professional and amateur athletes, as well as a chiropractor and small medical clinical offices or pharmacies that have previously been unable to really provide their team, students or patients with anything to help deal with or prevent muscle cramping.