THIS IS WHY YOUR LEGS CRAMP AT NIGHT (AND HOW TO STOP IT FROM HAPPENING EVER AGAIN)

THIS IS WHY YOUR LEGS CRAMP AT NIGHT (AND HOW TO STOP IT FROM HAPPENING EVER AGAIN)

Leg  cramps at night – nocturnal leg cramps – are pains that occur during the sleeping hours. They can cause a person to wake up and occur at night due to prolonged hours of inactivity. Nocturnal leg cramps commonly occur in the calf but can also cause pain in the thighs and feet. Pain due to leg cramps at night can last for mere seconds or for several minutes. After the leg cramp passes, muscle soreness may linger for the rest of the night or even until the following day. Both men and women can experience leg cramps and they occur more commonly in adults over the age of 50.

 

Causes and risk factors of leg cramps at night

The exact cause of nocturnal leg cramps is often unknown, but potential causes and risk factors of nightly leg cramps include:

  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Over-exertion of the muscles in the leg
  • Standing or working on concrete floors
  • Sitting improperly
Medical conditions, too, can contribute to nocturnal leg cramps, such as:
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcoholism
  • Dehydration
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Structural disorders like flat feet
  • Endocrine disorders like diabetes
  • Diuretics, statins, beta agonists

Treatment and prevention for nocturnal leg cramps

  • Use horse chestnut, which has been shown to increase blood flow to the legs.
  • Take a relaxing, warm bath prior to sleep to ease any muscle tightness.
  • Apply a heating pad to the affected area.
  • Try acupuncture treatment to loosen tight leg muscles.
  • Ensure you are not deficient in magnesium or potassium – deficiencies in both minerals are linked to muscle cramping.
  • Stretch your legs prior to bed.
  • Partake in water exercises to build leg muscles.
  • Wear ergonomic shoes and avoid high heels.

What to do when cramps occur

When a nocturnal muscle cramp strikes it can nearly leave you paralyzed. Knowing how to properly handle an attack will offer you relief and leave you less sore afterwards. Here are some tips to better handle nocturnal leg cramps.

  • While sitting on the floor extend both legs out in front of you. Now flex your feet at the ankles and point your toes toward your knees – you may want to tug on your feet to offer an even better stretch.
  • Get up slowly and walk around a bit – shaking your legs can also improve blood flow.
  • Gently massage the area in a circular motion.
  • Ensure blankets and sheets are not tight enough to make the leg muscle contract.
  • Take a tablespoon of yellow mustard to relieve discomfort.

Sources: healthysolutionsmagazine.com


Help us: Please share if you like!
Partager