Patients with an acute leg cramp should forcefully stretch the affected muscle, for example, by active dorsiflexion of the foot with the knee extended, for a cramp in the calf.

Some patients may find relief from passive stretching by getting out of bed and standing with the foot flat on the floor and pressing downward firmly. However, active dorsiflexion of the foot may be more effective.

Other measures that may bring relief from the acute cramp include:

  • Walking or leg jiggling followed by leg elevation
  • A hot shower with the stream directed at the cramp area, for about five minutes, or a warm tub bath
  • Ice massage.