The forum is filled with people coming together to share valuable information. We’ve compiled experienced caregivers’ best tips and suggestions for helping a senior prevent and relieve painful muscle cramps associated with Parkinson’s.

How to Cope with Dystonia

“I have PD. First thing in the morning as I am getting out of bed, my left foot cramps severely and my toes curl downward, making it very painful to walk. I have found that it helps if I put my feet flat on the floor immediately after sitting up in bed. Also foot massages help. If I can force the cramped foot so it turns outward, my toes uncurl.” –nelleford

“When my dad’s legs cramp, massage helps relieve them. You can usually feel where the spasms are. Rub your hands together to warm them up first. Start below where the spasm is and work up towards them. With your fingers and palms, give a deep massage where the cramp is. Give your loved one mustard or pickles to relieve the cramp. I know it is weird, but it works. To prevent them, exercise (like walking) is best. Try to get them to walk every day, even if it is only half a block. This will also help prevent falls. A good multivitamin every day can be beneficial. Look for one with magnesium and potassium in it. These minerals helps to prevent cramping. My dad eats bananas almost every day for this reason.” –kathyt1

“Calcium governs muscle contraction, and magnesium governs muscle relaxation. I take a magnesium supplement if I’m having leg cramps. Perhaps have your loved one’s levels evaluated with a simple blood test. Potassium can be dangerous if it’s too high or too low, and too low can often cause muscle cramps.” –sherry1anne

“My mom has had Parkinson’s for 15 years had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery done about four years ago. It completely took away her tremors and the dystonia in her feet.” –auntie2seven

“If their feet are cramping, I suggest taking your loved one to the best podiatrist to whom you can get a referral/recommendation. They may have neuromas or some other condition that has nothing to do with the Parkinson’s. I have periodic bouts with foot cramps/spasms, and the podiatrist gave me a prescription for something to rub into my feet. You can still massage them, but use the Rx lotion as lubricant.” –Lolli47

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“My husband had severe leg cramping during the night. What cured it totally was an extra carbidopa pill at bedtime. It changed my husband’s and my wellbeing completely. He and I can both sleep through the night. The doctor explained that it happens because the carbidopa wears off during the night and causes spasms.” –Rosemary44

“Magnesium sulfate is a very powerful anti-spasmodic. You probably know it as ‘epsom salt,’ and it is cheap and available at any drugstore. Make a warm water and Epsom salt soak or compress for the affected area. There are recipes/instructions on the container.” –pamstegma