Does anyone know how to ease severe cramp? I have really painful attacks (calf muscles) in the night in bed. Waken in agony and pain felt for sometime in the day.

55 Replies

  • Hello the name!

    Algesal which is a subcutaneous pain cream. Available on prescription or over the counter.

    An alternative is moisturizer as it is the actual rubbing which helps. You know when you bang yourself how you rub it better? Same thing!


  • Hi, love your name too! Have tried the rub it better method with various things, no joy. Did not know algesal, have ordered ....and fingers crossed!

  • hi there i also get cramp in my calf muscles sometimes during the night and i have to get out of bed and stand on my feet, one of the things i do is calf stretches. do them in the morning and at night before bed and they are so simple you could do a few during the day. a good way to stretch your calf is to stand on a step and raise yourself up and let your heels fall below the step. i live in a top floor flat and make sure i do it on the bottom step of my landing so that i dont fall down the stairs. its much better than taking medicines. tonic water is also helpful as it contains some quinine. i'd say the exercise is always the best. love grace. let me know how you get on with this xoxoxo

  • Hi grace111, never thought about the calf stretches Good idea and simple, certainly beats taking meds. Tried the tonic water but can't stand the taste of either the sugar or sugar free. Will try the exercise starting tonight and let you know how I go. good advice re. not falling down the stairs!

  • HI, I have just this second joined this group and this is my first post.

    I have bad cramp when I am bed ridden and cant move around much. My medical team said that it can be caused by a imbalance of potassium. Personally I find the potassium drinks taste so bad that I can not drink them. So the dietitian said I should try eating bananas, apparently they are very high in potassium, so I ate one each evening and the cramps went away. That's why athletes and tennis players eat bananas during their games.

  • Welcome silverbadger and that is my name...Bananas5 cos of where I live


  • Hi Silverbadger. My former GP used to say first thing in the morning is best time to eat our banana. That's when I eat mine.

    Foxglove - my Mum used to have quinine tablets presribed for cramp (one at night).

    Have you had blood tests for nutrients levels? In particular Vitamin B12? Why not ask GP to test? You could also ask for Vitamin D, Folate and Ferritin.

    Look up symptoms of deficiencies on NHS choices.


  • Hi

    I was told cramps were a result of dehydration so maybe inrease The amount of water you drink?


  • Thanks, already drink a lot of water but maybe need more!

  • Hi Foxglove, maybe drink a glass of water one hour before you go to bed? Apologies if you already do this.


  • Drink a lot of water but not before bed (OAB) but perhaps an hour before would help

  • Take a couple teap. Of vinegar. It works!

  • Any vinegar? or perhaps cider?

  • if your going to take vinegar makes sure its got the mother in it. i go for braggs organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. give the bottle a good shake before use as the sediment all settles in the bottom of the bottle. they say this vinegar is good for a lot of stomach problems i used to drink some but i dont bother now.. i use just supermarket vinegar to do lots of cleaning jobs along with bicarb of soda. hope your cramps responding to your exercise and grace xoxoxo

  • Thanks again grace, even if the vinegar works the banana and cinnamon more culling out to me! Might try the vinegar though, I've some organic cider type on hand. Like you I use the cheapie supermarket + bicarb for cleaning, sometimes the old ways are best!

  • cinnamon is good in smoothies too or even on cereal. its great for balancing our blood sugar. i love bananas on toast with cinnamon mashed in its lovely.

  • Mmmmm, bananas on toast with cinnamon mashed in...think I'll have that for lunch - also like the idea of adding cinnamon to cereals (not a fan of smoothies)

  • Hi The most common cause is lack of mineral salts... think you can buy some in a 'drops formula'. Ideally it should come from your diet... so look up foods which contain them. Try eating a banana before bed.. as it can help to relax the muscles...if you are going to look at your diet, it may also pay to reduce any high carbs as most converts to glucose which spikes insulin... yes I know the banana is high but it's a quick fix.. If this doesn't fix the problem, might pay to get some bloods done to see if there's an imbalance somewhere.

  • Hi, thanks ate banana last night before bed and although had some cramp not too bad so will continue "banana treatment" had bloods done for salts recently and results good, optimal even. have tried magnesium (said to be gold standard treatment for cramp) but that oddly made ire it worse!

  • Good news re: banana and your tests were okay.

    Odd about the magnesium though as that does have some impact on pain levels generally. Just a couple of things to bear in mind... Refined sugar can cause the body to excrete too much magnesium through the kidneys; as can too much fluid - causes salts to be flushed out too quickly. There's also a train of thought about the magnesium /protein balance ... i.e. too much protein... and I'd read recently not to drink tea or coffee immediately after a meal as the tannin can impact on the vitamin and mineral absorption especially iron. So just wondered if maybe that might be the cause, if you generally have a beverage after your evening meal... and maybe a couple of drinks throughout the evening.???

  • Thanks, try to be careful about refined sugar and tend to drink with a meal , usually herb tea or water I'm needful of two cups coffee when I wake to "get me going" .....well nobody's perfect! good info re. protein/mag.too.

  • I get this researched it a lot and came accross its name. Its called charlie horse ! Google it the easiest way is to drink a full glass of water before bed.

    Have a search for it ;)

  • Thanks, trying banana before bed and although I drink a lot of water will add the pre bed glass

  • also to regulate your blood sugar when eating fruit like bananas you can sprinkle some cinnamon on it and mash it in. must be cinnamon from ceylon or sri lanka which is the same place just that they changed the name. the cinnamon you get in the supermarket is really called cassia cinnamon and had high levels of something in it that can make liver disease worse. there is an aritlce about cinnamon already somewhere here online as i postsed it. i will look for it for you.

  • much thanks...banana with cinnamon mash sounds yummy...I am partial to both. will check that it's Ceylon cinnamon I get (cant wait)

  • hi used to suffer with cramp in my legs a lot dr put me on quinnine tablets 1 each night before sleep no cramp since no side effects hope that helps

  • I too was put onto quinine tablets and they work!

  • Thanks will ask doc.

  • Hi I suffer from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lymphoedema and lipoedema and frequently get cramps in my calfs and someone on the lymphoedema forum suggested magnesium oil or tablets.

    I ordered some magnesium oil from amazon and the results were great you massage the oil into your leg's. Both are very good but a little on the expensive side. With the oil I noticed a difference within 2 days.

    I now take it in tablet form and if its is really bad I use the oil as well. Hope this helps

  • Thanks, I use the oil from time to time and magnesium flakes in bath, both help, but oddly the tablets made the cramps worse. Hope they work for you

  • I suffered badly with cramps and my Physio advised me to drink a glass of Tonic water each night, tried it and no more cramps.

  • Sorry just don't like tonic water....maybe laced with vodka though?

  • Quinine tablets instead of tonic water ??

  • Possibility - thanks

  • Tonic water contains quinine. That's why your physio recommended it.

  • Rub the the cramp as hard as you can until the spasm stops then get up and March on the spot.

  • Good practical advice - thanks

  • I had been told by many to try eating 1 teaspoon of mustard (right out of the refrigerator) for my muscle cramps. Decided to give it a try. It helped a lot!

  • Don't think I could do that, even if it helped.....

  • Me neither I'd puke

  • I have cramp like pains in bed at night and I also get extremely painful vice like pains in my right calf and foot on walking I've been diagnosed with neuropathy but to be honest I've never read anything about neuropathy that suggests those type of pains.I'm now going to drink more water more gin and tonics and pinch my nose and take a spoon of mustard before bed yuk. Hope you find a cure foxglove.


  • I too have been diagnosed with neuropathy but like you I don't think it is. Change the gin to vodka and I might join you. Definitely no to the mustard!!!!

  • Try taking Magnesium supplement. Cheque first with your GP. But I am 90% better on this and it also helps with restless leg syndrome.

  • Magnesium just doesn't work with me....makes things worse - alas

  • When and since I was stricken with Guillain-Barre Sydrome. Muscle cramps/spasms have been extremely hard to deal with. But for me my doctor recommends magnesium oxide there are many different magnesium supplements so you have to check closely. It worked fairly well but it worked better when I switched to Natural Vitality Calm, that you mix in water. I worked up to 3-4 tsp / day. Don't drink it all at one time but over several hours unless you are constipated. I don't sell it but it's available online and drugstore and vitamin retailers. Take care DB

  • I'm exactly the same my dr said the drink tonic water because it contains quinine he said if it still carries on he still advises tonic water but will also give me quinine tablets but I must say the tonic water really does help try it for a few weeks good luck

  • thanks but don't really think I could stand the taste and I'm sure mixing in vodka " against the rules"

  • I put black currant juice in mine I'm glad to drink anything to relieve these cramps and they do work

  • Good suggestion - love blackcurrant juice, will give it a try, as you say ANYTHING!

  • Drink a glass of Tonic water each night before bed, sorry but you can't have the Gin with it.

  • Drat !!!

  • Yes! I was told to get Asian seaweed. You can buy it in sachets in health food stores. Sprinkle it in sauces, salads, scrambled eggs etc. It does help. Also make sure that when it is seriously bad you take dioralyte. It replaces the essential minerals. Also Miso soup should help.

  • More helpful suggestions - thanks

  • Magnesium helps mine.

  • Thanks, but I am one of these odd folk that is made worse by magnesium!

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