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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

How to treat Hamstring Cramps at home?

Hamstrings are the big muscles that are located at the back of the thigh. They play a major role in maintaining the posture condition known as flat low back. The hamstring muscles comprise three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh.


  1. Semitendinosus
  2. Semimembranosus
  3. Biceps femoris

These muscles start at the bottom of the pelvis at a place called ischial tuberosity. By crossing the knee joint, they end at the lower leg. Hamstring muscle fibers join with the tough and connective tissue of the hamstring tendons and then connected to the bones.

The function of hamstring muscles is that they help in extending the leg straight back and to bend the knee.

The cramp in hamstring muscles is an involuntary contraction of one or more muscles. The cramps are generally harmless, but it is temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle.

hamstring cramps, muscles cramps, treat hamstring cramps


Exercise for long periods of time, physical labour or sitting in a constant position for a long period of time can cause overuse of the muscles leading to cramps.

Other Causes Are

  1. Inadequate blood supply: The narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to the legs can produce cramp-like pain.
  2. Mineral deficiency or depletion: If there is a deficiency of calcium, magnesium or potassium in the diet, it can contribute to muscle cramps.
  3. Nerve Compression: The compression of nerves in the lumbar spine can also produce cramp-like pain. This type of pain worsens while walking.


  • It may vary from mild twitching to excruciating pain.
  • Fatigue
  • Abrupt onset of pain
  • Inability to do the routine actions or chores


Khalli is called as a muscle cramp in Ayurveda. Here, Vata is an entity that is responsible for this condition. In our body, the function of the muscles is regulated by Vyana Vata. Muscle cramps are caused due to the vitiation of Vata dosha. Vata makes the muscles stiff and due to overuse or pressure on the muscle, it goes into spasm.

In Ayurveda, it is also said that when unwanted or waste materials are not flushed or eliminated from the body which results in Ama formation. Ama formation can also be the cause of pain in the muscles. Kapha kshya is also found so effort should be carried out to give strength to the muscular tissues which are also the site of Kapha dosha.


Ayurveda has hope for many ailments which have no answer in the modern medical science.

Hamstring Cramps can be treated at home with simple home remedies. These are:

1. Massage

Massage with an Ayurvedic oil is one of the best ways to cure any type of pain including muscle cramps. For thousands of years, these oils have been used which are prepared by using natural herbs.

  • Oil such as sesame oil can be applied by warming at room temperature and then massage it for 5-10 minutes over the muscles and leg. Massaging will help to relax the muscle and its fibers and for improving blood circulation.
  • Moreover, the regular use of sesame oil is beneficial in strengthening the muscles and bones.
health benefits of massage

Reference: Astanga Hridyam Sutrasthanam, Chapter No. 2, Shloka No. 8

Meaning: According to this shloka, the health benefits of massage are explained. The word Abhyanga means massage. It should be done daily in the morning. It delays ageing, relieves tiredness and excess Vata (aches and pains). It improves vision, nourishes body tissues, prolongs age, induces good sleep and improves skin tone and complexion.

2. Heating Pad

Applying a heating pad to the affected area of the muscle can induce blood flow to that area and can hydrate the tissues resulting in easing the tension of the cramp.

Heating pad should be alternated with ice, in the first few hours following the cramp.

3. Stretching

As a preventive measure and an effective treatment, it helps in increasing blood flow to the site of muscle cramp and relieves tension and pressure of the cramp.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is analgesic in nature. Add a teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of warm milk and add a teaspoon of cow's ghee (clarified butter) into it. This remedy is very effective in reducing the pain caused due to muscle cramps.

5. Exercise

For hamstring cramps, do the following exercise. Stand facing a wall from the distance of one pace and place your hands flat against it. Keep your legs straight and heels on the floor.

  • Now lean slowly forward until the muscles in the calves feel stretched. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and then straighten up and relax for 5-10 seconds.
  • Do this procedure three times a day.

6. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is an herb which acts as a muscle relaxant.

  • Chamomile is a good source of flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Taking a cup of chamomile tea is helpful in the treatment of hamstring cramps.

7. Magnesium-Rich Diet

The role of magnesium is to maintain the normal muscle and nerve function.

  • Take magnesium-rich diet if you frequently suffer from muscle cramps.
  • Foods that are rich in magnesium include bananas, almonds, legumes, etc.

8. Rest

The best and most natural way to relax the muscles is to take a rest because sometimes cramps can be due to over-stimulated muscles and rest can help in healing.


  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Do regular exercise and stretch to improve flexibility.
  • Don’t put pressure on the muscles by sitting in the same position for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeine and do not stay awake till late night.
  • Increase the intake of calcium, minerals and potassium in your diet.
  • Stretching the muscles while working out is also very important.
  • Include grains, nuts and legumes in the diet.

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