This Is Why Your Legs Cramp At Night (And How to Stop it From Happening Ever Again)

dimanche 3 janvier 2016
The leg pains that wake you up in the middle of the night are called night leg cramps, and they usually happen in the calf. The pain in the muscles varies in duration from a few seconds to a few minutes. When it passes, the muscles stay sore overnight and possibly during the next day. It’s a tough pain which affects both sexes equally, with people over 50 more prone to the cramps.
Different from restless leg syndrome
The only resemblance between RLS and the night leg cramps is the fact that they occur overnight. All remaining components differ. Here’s a list of the differences:
  • RLS is more of a soreness in the legs;
  • RSL doesn’t cause pain or further issues;
  • RLS allows you to move your legs, while the cramps don’t;
  • RLS makes leg movement needed, while the night leg cramps forbid it.
Causes and risk factors of night leg cramps
The exact cause of the cramps is still not determined, but there are a few risk factors that may contribute to the issue such as over-effort of the leg muscles, sitting for prolonged period, improper sitting or standing for a long time.
Besides these, there are some medical conditions that may be the reason for the night leg cramps including alcoholism, pregnancy, insufficient hydration, neuromuscular disorders, endocrine issues, Parkinson’s disease and taking statins, diuretics and beta agonists.

Treatment and prevention
Dealing with the cramps depends on their cause. If improper hydration is what caused them, you need to drink more fluids. Here are some different medicines and treatments that can relieve the night leg cramps:
  • You can relieve the pain by placing a heating pad on the affected area
  • Consume horse chestnut, as it can improve the blood flow in the body and the legs
  • Take a warm shower before going to bed to relieve the muscle tightness
  • Consume more minerals, especially magnesium and potassium, as lack of these minerals can cause cramps often
  • Try acupuncture to relieve the cramps
  • Make sure you wear comfortable, ergonomic shoes, and avoid high heels
  • Stretch before bedtime
  • Perform some water exercises to build up the leg muscles
What can you do when the cramps occur?
When the cramps occur, you are mostly paralyzed, so there’s not a lot of things you can do. However, there are some tricks that can help relieve them and treat the soreness afterwards. Here are some of them:
Take a tablespoon of yellow mustard as it can alleviate tightness.
Get up and try walking around for a while, and shake your legs to improve the blood flow.
Sit on the floor with the legs extended in front of you and flax the feet at the ankles. At this point, stretch your feet and toes until you feel improvement.
Massage the area gently in circular motion.
Check your covers and sheets and ensure that they are loose. Too tight sheets or covers can tighten the leg muscles overnight.


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