I can’t remember where I read this tip (or why I’d never heard it before), but I’ve used it with great success throughout this pregnancy, and have suffered far fewer leg cramps this time than in my previous 2.
Flexing your feet (towards you) forces the muscle to release, thus ending the spasm.
Yep, it really is that simple, and it really does work. I’ve found that it works best for me if I use it preventatively, i.e. within the split second where I can sense the cramp coming on, but before it actually spasms. Stops it right in its tracks.
I’ve successfully used it to shorten a cramp after it’s started, but it’s a lot harder. I had to manually flex my foot, forcing it towards me with my hands, because the muscle was so rigid I couldn’t voluntarily move it. And as soon as I let go, it wanted to go right back to cramping again, so I had to hold it in that position for a while. Still, it was shorter and less painful than these cramps usually are.
I am amazed that something this simple and (now that I know it) obvious was unknown to me for so long, so I figured I’d post it in case other people hadn’t heard about it either.