Nocturnal Leg cramps Treatment are leg cramps that mostly occur at night. They can also occur when you are awake. Nocturnal leg cramps occur when one or more muscles in your leg tighten involuntarily. When it occurs, it can last for several seconds to several minutes. Most times, the muscle relaxes itself in less than 10 minutes.
According to American Family Physician, nocturnal leg cramps affect up to 60 percent of adults in America.
Leg cramps often affect the calf muscle, which links the back of each of your legs from your ankle to your knee. They can also affect the muscles at the front of each thigh and the muscles at the back of each thigh. Severe cramps can make your leg feel sore or tender for up to a day.
Nocturnal leg cramps are common among women and older adults. Leg cramps are harmless, though they may hurt.
Symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps
The common symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps are leg cramps that occur mostly at night are stiffness and tenderness of the muscles in your legs.
Causes of nocturnal leg cramps
Medical professionals do not know the exact causes of nocturnal leg cramps. However, there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing nocturnal leg cramps. These include:
When you sleep with your feet and toes extended away from the rest of your body, it shortened the calf muscles and could lead to cramping.
Improper sitting position
When you sit with your legs crossed or your toes pointed for a long period of time, it shortens the calf muscles and could lead to cramping.
If you stand for a long period of time, your leg muscles become weak and susceptible to cramping.
Prolonged sitting could lead to cramping
When you engage in exercise for a long period of time or overuse your muscles, it could lead to cramping.
Abnormal nerve activity
Leg cramps are associated with increased, abnormal nerve firing.
Shortening of the tendons
When the tendons which connect muscles and bones, shorten over time, it could lead to cramping in the muscles.
Older adults who are 50 and above are more susceptible to cramping due to weakened muscles.
Other health conditions that could lead to cramping include:
- Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
- Alcohol abuse
- Low blood sugar
- Some hormone disorders, such as hypothyroidism
- Too much or limited amount of certain chemicals in your body, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium
- Flat feet
- Blood flow problems
- Nerve damage
- Spinal stenosis
- Neurological disorders, such as motor neuron disease or peripheral neuropathy
- Musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis
- Liver, kidney, and thyroid conditions
- Cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease or peripheral vascular disease.
Medications that can cause leg cramps include:
- High blood pressure drugs
- Statins to for high cholesterol
- Drugs for chronic pulmonary disease
Treatment of nocturnal leg cramps
Usually, nocturnal leg cramps don’t need medical treatment. You can simply use home remedies to relieve the cramps. You may only need medical treatment when the cramps become severe and frequent.
Home remedies include:
Massaging your leg
Gently massage the affected muscle with your hands to aid relaxation and loosen the muscles.
Stretch your leg
Stretch and flex your foot. Lift your foot towards your face.
Place a hot towel or heating pad on your leg to help soothe and loosen tight muscles. You can also take a warm bath or shower to help loosen tight muscles.
Massage your foot and heels
Massaging your foot and heals can increase circulation and aid muscle relaxation.
Take periodic walks
Talk a walk periodically to prevent the muscles from getting stiff.
OTC can help relieve pain if your leg is sore after the cramps.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve tenderness after a cramp.
How do you stop leg cramps fast?
If you feel leg cramps, immediately stretch and massage the muscles. Stand up and put your weight in the affected leg. If you are unable to stand, hold onto something or sit or a chair with the cramped leg extended.
You can also try pulling the top of your foot towards your head while your leg remains in a straight position. You can also apply heat by using a hot towel or heating pad to loosen the muscles.
What causes severe leg cramps at night?
Legs cramps can be caused at night due to bad sleeping posture. When you sleep with your feet and toes extended away from your body, it shortens the calf muscles which can lead to leg cramps. Bad sleeping position or sleeping in a particular position for a long period of time can also lead to leg cramps.
Inactivity during the day, tired muscles, or certain medical conditions can cause leg cramps.
Can leg cramps be a sign of something serious?
If you don’t have any serious medical condition, muscle cramps are not signs of something serious. They mostly occur due to stiffen and tired muscles. However, consult with your doctor if;
- You feel severe discomfort
- The cramps are associated with leg swelling, redness or skin changes
- The cramps are associated with muscle weakness
- The cramps happen frequently
- The cramps don’t improve with self-care
- If you have a medical condition that may cause cramps.
What is the best vitamin for leg cramps?
Certain vitamins and minerals improve muscle function. Vitamins such as potassium and magnesium can help to limit the frequency of leg cramps, especially in pregnant women.
Best Podiatrist to treat Nocturnal Leg cramps in Dallas, Plano & Prosper TX
Dr. Graff Foot, Ankle, and Wound Care Center is the right place you should visit for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps.
We specialize in the treatment of all foot conditions and wounds, including nocturnal leg cramps. We provide our treatment with the best team of professionals and specialists you can find in Dallas.
We are known for excellence in foot care and treatments. Our facility is equipped with the best treatment equipments that we use for treating our patients.
We make accurate diagnosis before treatment to ensure that we treat each and every condition or infections from its root.
We provide the best treatment for nocturnal leg cramps that you can get in Dallas and around Texas.
Book an appointment with us today!