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Last modified / updated Jan. 01, 2016

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Legs and Feet

  • Controlling painful leg cramps - Several factors, including dehydration, use of diuretics (any substance that promotes the production of urine) or overuse of your muscles, can trigger leg cramps.
  • To prevent leg cramps - Stretch daily, Drink plenty of liquids daily which help your muscles contract and relax.
  • To relieve leg cramps - Stretch and massage, straighten your leg and point your toes upward while you gently rub the cramp to help the muscle relax.
  • Stand up for a calf cramp, put your weight on the cramped leg and slight- ly bend your knee. For a thigh cramp, keep both legs straight and lean forward at the waist. Use a chair to steady yourself.
  • Apply cold or heat - Use a cold pack to relax tense muscles. Use a warm towel or heating pad later if you have pain and tenderness.
  • Walking is a great way to get the blood circulating in your legs.
  • Ask your doctor about an appropriate activity level for you.
  • Elevate your legs - When sitting or lying down, elevate your legs above the level of your heart. Do this 10 to 15 minutes three or four times daily.
  • Don't sit or stand for long periods
  • Change your position frequently.
  • Remember to wear your compression stockings
  • When traveling - See panty-leg girdles can restrict circulation, avoid high heels.
  • Control your weight - Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins.
  • If your feet sweat, change your socks twice a day.
  • For recurring infections use an antifungal medication
  • If you have diabetes or circulation problems avoid over-the-counter foot care products that have salicylic acid and get consult the doctor.
  • If a corn or callus becomes ulcerated or sore see your doctor. and Don't delay especially if you have diabetes or circulation problems, please do remember that a simple problem can quickly turn into a serious one.

Warming up cold hands and feet - If your hands and feet always seem to be cold try these simple measures to keep warm - Wear warm clothes, this will keep your whole body warm and help maintain circu- lation to your hands and feet.

  • Avoid nicotine and limit caffeine - Both are vasoconstrictors that narrow blood vessels and reduce blood flow to small, surface vessels.
  • Avoid certain medications - Certain migraine medications with ergot derivatives and beta blockers such as propranolol act as vasoconstrictors and may cause cold hands and feet in such cases get your doctor's advice.
  • Reduce stress - Tense, high-strung people seem more likely to have cold hands. Chronic stress and anxiety can cause your nervous system to continually pump out adrenaline. This hormone also acts as a vasoconstrictor.