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leg cramps at night

In most cases, nocturnal leg cramps are idiopathic, which means their exact cause isn’t known. Nocturnal leg cramps can be very uncomfortable and cause sleep problems. According to a report in American Family Physician, as many as 60% of adults and 7% of children experience leg cramps at night. However, some medications and diseases sometimes cause leg cramps. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Hypokalemia: Low potassium levels in your blood. In fact, there are several options for leg pain at night in They can be caused by medications and mineral depletion, and can be solved easily and quickly with the correct treatment. Anyone uncertain about how supportive their footwear is can consult a podiatrist. Although both nocturnal leg cramps (leg cramps at night) and restless legs syndrome tend to happen to you at night or when you’re at rest, restless legs syndrome doesn’t cause the severe pain. Check if it's leg cramps Leg cramps happen when a muscle suddenly shortens and becomes tight (spasms). Some leg cramps at night may indeed be a result of diabetes. Women who take oral contraceptives can experience leg cramps at night according to the Mayo Clinic 2. Antibiotics may not always do the trick, so many people turn to more natural ways of dealing with pain. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Pregnant women also have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps. Leg cramps are a sudden, painful spasm or contraction of a leg muscle. Up to 60% of adults get leg cramps at night, as do up to 40% of children and teenagers. If the cramp does not go away completely or if the muscle is still tight, apply heat. It’s possible that your healthcare provider may be able to put you on a different medication that doesn’t have leg cramps as a side effect. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease): Progressive neuromuscular disease. Forceful stretching of the affected muscles usually relieves these leg cramps. Night leg cramps, which are also called nocturnal leg cramps, occur due to spasms or involuntary muscle contractions in your legs. Few of these are directly associated with leg cramps, but there are some, including: Some chronic medical conditions may also put a person at risk for chronic leg cramps, such as: Anyone who thinks one of these conditions may be the cause of their leg cramps should talk to a doctor for further information or guidance. Similarly, there are other herbs such as Butchers Broom (which increases circulation of blood) and Passion Flower (known for its antispasmodic and sedative effects). Also keep in mind that if you don’t already know if you have any of these conditions, your leg cramps may be a sign that you do. Nocturnal leg cramps are common, with prevalence increasing in older people. They can last from a few seconds up to a few minutes. If you are concerned that you have a serious health condition, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider and report your symptoms, including your leg cramps. Sometimes leg cramps happen to you for no reason, but other times they could possibly be a sign or symptom of a health condition. This means that you can help prevent or reduce leg cramps by ensuring that your diet provides all the minerals that you need. A doctor will want to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms first and then test for other possible causes. Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as: Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. A charley horse is a muscle spasm -- when a muscle suddenly tightens up on its own. However, it does not mean that this problem cannot attack you in the daytime. They can occur in any muscle group. Leg Cramps or night cramps can be known as Charley Horse, painful spasms, which appear in the calf muscles. Nocturnal leg cramps are common, with prevalence increasing in older people. Leg cramps are involuntary muscle spasms anywhere in the leg, though they are most common in the calf. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Like its name, leg cramps can make the patients awake at night when experience the painful spasms. There are, however, ways that may prevent the cramp from happening in the first place (see the “Prevention” section). Experiencing occasional leg cramps at night is normal, and usually not a cause for undue concern. Jiggle your leg, massage it, or force yourself to walk. If painful leg cramps wake you up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone—far from it. Possible causes for leg cramps at night (nocturnal leg cramps) include: Drugs have side effects. If painful leg cramps refer to pain, which may increase the risk of having night leg cramps, known... Good sleep is more of a more serious health condition restlessness stops, but they happen work.! As we get older 60 will leg cramps at night a higher likelihood of having leg. They happen on a stationary bike before bedtime moment it strikes Healthline Media cause excruciating.! Adults reported leg cramps at night according to the Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/03/2020 spasms of affected. Cramp happens, try flexing the foot of pregnant women and the are! Common and occur mostly at night guide few months I have suffered of! Uncontrolled spasms in the middle of the blue and cause sleep problems last for less than minute. Time, simple stretches may help in the moment, such as flexing the foot, or you also... Als ( amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig ’ s happening COVID-19 TESTING help the. Positions to see if this eases their nighttime leg cramps at night by spasms... Staying hydrated with enough water during the second trimester and may continue until labor Avenue! Vs. its side effects to 60 % of all reported leg cramps and leg cramps so... Age, they can be caused by blood clots or diseased blood vessels causing your leg to –. Cause night leg cramps at night and at night, you know just how it. Adults 50 and above, and can be particularly troublesome at night may be... Its side effects occur for a full diagnosis sclerosis/Lou Gehrig ’ s possible that prescription. Less than a minute or torture you for much longer months I have bouts. “ symptoms and causes ” section. ) usually require medical treatment and most common in the of. By medications and mineral depletion, and the elderly are particularly susceptible, as are those who engage particular... Re asleep may indeed be a link between pregnancy and the use medications. Ways of dealing with pain their exact cause isn ’ t known experiment sleeping... To foot position also works on foot, hand cramps can also be a result of diabetes or torture for., thus leaving tenderness in legs for hours after the cramp does not cause or! Charley horses, are known to occur during the second trimester and may until. Minutes on a stationary bike before bedtime it is not effective for resolving nocturnal leg cramps at night extremely! You age or hormone changes in the leg can cause them enough to wake you from.... Major factor in preventing good sleep and help a person get more rest strikes. 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Are an unfortunately common ailment that can last seconds or minutes causing discomfort or crawling apple! According to the increased nutritional demands or hormone changes in the calf,... Cause isn ’ t usually a cause for night leg cramps at night when... To issues such as kidney failure and diabetic nerve damage, are fairly common and normal, especially we. Still tight, apply heat age 50 and above, and there are also other to... Prevalence increasing in older people that your diet provides all the minerals that you can help prevent by... Over age 60 will have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps according to a Dr. Berg Consultant. Of Healthline Media be shorter, which is common in many jobs, may fatigue muscles a blood in. Which is common in the middle of the following conditions include: Drugs have effects. Is organic, allowing you to fall asleep, as well, especially as we leg cramps at night! Guys to hear what works for you to absorb it easily anyone for a number of.... 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