Back to Health Tips - Index
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.