You’re more likely to have a leg cramp if you: Other health conditions can also raise your chances of leg cramps, including: Some medications can cause leg cramps. The next time a leg cramp strikes, try some of these tips: Your doctor might give you medications such as diltiazem (Cardizem), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or verapamil (Calan, Verelan). Pregnant women are also prone to cramps, especially in the second and third trimesters. Clear urine signals adequate hydration, while yellowish urine or urinating infrequently signals less adequate hydration. ", Mount Sinai Hospital: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. However, nocturnal leg cramps as a parasomnia disorder is not treatable and the exact cause is unknown therefore the … Make sure to check your leg for swelling before you do this. They may recommend changing the dose or taking you off of the medication. If you choose to use an electric heating pad, be sure not to fall asleep while itâs on to avoid the risk of a fire starting. Tonic water with quinine is shown to be one of the most effective home remedies for leg cramps at night that you should remember. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot with your cramped leg and pull both ends towards you. This class of drugs includes Abilify, Thorazine, and Risperdal. If your leg is swollen and you are also having pain and cramping, then you may have a blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis. Be careful not to overstretch and cause greater injury to your leg. For some reason, the vast majority of people have these cramps only at night. Nighttime leg cramps with diabetes are painful and can interrupt your sleep. If youâre unable to completely perform this stretch, simply lean forward and stretch your hands towards your toes as far as you comfortably can. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Forcefully stretching the contracted … Commonly prescribed fibrates include Bezalip, Lipidil, and Lopid. Stop stretching if you start to feel pain in your calf. Cramps can be caused by stress, excessive physical load, and severe … Focus on your. There can be several causes of thigh cramps. People who suffer from nighttime leg cramps should also avoid wearing high heels, as these shoes have been linked to leg cramps. Leg cramps are different from restless legs syndrome. Nearly every adult age 50 and older will have them at least one time. Treating cramps that occur as a result of serious liver disease can be more difficult. While magnesium is an important piece of the puzzle, it won't solve … However, muscle pain is less common with restless legs syndrome than it is with night leg cramps. If you get a charley horse in your calf or in the back of your thigh (hamstring), put your weight on the affected leg and bend your knee slightly. Drink Tonic Water With Quinine. If painful leg cramps wake you up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone—far from it. All rights reserved. Kolata, G. “A Long-Running Mystery, the Common Cramp.” The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2008. This, in turn, lessens the discomforts of leg cramps. Other medicines have been suggested as possible treatments for leg cramps. ", Cleveland Clinic: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps," “Leg Cramps at Night.”, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine: "Leg Cramps at Night. 12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them. This often solves the problem. Leg cramps can strike during the day as well, especially during physical activities. Experts don’t know the exact cause of nighttime leg cramps. They can help to ease muscle tenderness afterwards. Talk to your doctor if you have an abnormal blood pressure reading while taking an anti-hypertensive medication. ", UC San Diego Health System: "Medicines Used to Treat COPD. One drug, Robax, combines methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant) with ibuprofen(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory d… Most cases of nocturnal leg cramps are thought to be idiopathic, but cramps may be associated with a … But for nocturnal leg cramps, magnesium therapy alone has proven to be ineffective (reference: Family Practice, February 2014). Nighttime leg cramps—also called nocturnal leg cramps—can jolt a person awake in the middle of the night. It is important to discuss leg cramps with your doctor as they could be a sign of other health problems. If you have secondary leg cramps, treating the underlying cause may help relieve your symptoms. That confuses your calf muscles and causes them to contract. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In fact, according to a study by the American Family Physician, about 60% of all adults reported leg cramps at night. They may affect both children and adults. If youâre not sure whether youâre drinking enough water, check the transparency of your urine. Sometimes, such cramps are initiated by making a movement that shortens the muscle. Ingredients: 1 cup of milk (200 ml) A tablespoon of honey (25 g) 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (5 ml) Preparation: Heat the milk and add the tablespoon of honey and … The very small amount of quinine in tonic water is unlikely to cause any side effects. The cramping is preventing you from sleeping, which in turn affects your day to day life. The actual cause of night cramps is unknown. Nighttime cramps are not serious but can be very painful. They’ll ask about your medical history and your symptoms. They’ll also do a physical exam to look for possible causes. Leg cramps that occur during pregnancy should pass after the baby is born. Ask your doctor if you may be able to control your cholesterol levels with diet. Make sure your heating pad has an automatic shutoff. It is best to follow a balanced diet to get adequate amounts rather than to change your diet drastically. Excessive alcohol consumption robs the body of water, making the possibility for cramping that much worse. If your doctor feels you should be on calcium channel blockers, they will give you a prescription along with specific dosage information. Maugh II, T. “The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps.” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2010. A leg cramp is a sudden, involuntary, painful muscle contraction, usually in the posterior calf, but sometimes involving the foot or thigh. Cooling the skin with cold, moist cloth 2. 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. Leg cramps are common in adults 50 and above, and the frequency of these … Nocturnal leg cramps are common, with prevalence increasing in older people. Apply cold. Treatment should be directed at the possible causes of leg cramps at night if it is suspected that the condition is occurring as a symptom of one of the causes or risk factors. For older or non-nursing adult women, studies show that magnesium supplements are far less conclusive. Apply heat. If your calf muscle cramps in the middle of the night, stand up and slowly put weight on the affected leg to push the heel … Dehydration, overuse of a particular muscle and lack of proper exercise are some of the reasons of thigh cramps. One stretch you can do is to sit with your cramped leg extended out and the other bent. Pain killers. ", Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Leg Cramps.". Paracetamol or ibuprofen will not help when cramp is happening as they take too long to work. The pain caused by leg cramps can vary in intensity and last from just a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. Get out of bed and stand with your foot flat on the floor. In general, these are not currently recommended, as most studies involving them found that they do not work very … Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath. It also comes with potentially very serious side effects. It helps relax your muscles while helping you get a deep night’s sleep. If you canât completely extend your cramped leg as you raise, simply extend it as far as you comfortably can and until you start to feel a stretch. Nocturnal cramps are very common. The recurrent, painful tightening usually occurs in the calf muscles and can cause severe insomnia. night or when at rest. But they don’t always work, and they can have harmful side effects. Stretch during the day and before bed. If you don't want to take a magnesium supplement, try adding magnesium or Epsom salts to your bath water. Elevate. Being rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium, blackstrap molasses helps ease the tight muscles. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. You can also perform this stretch before you go to bed as a preventive measure to better ensure you donât get leg cramps during the night. As much as they may hurt, leg cramps are harmless. Leg cramps (especially night cramps) seem to affect people more as they get older, usually affecting the calf muscles in the legs. People who are taking certain medications, such as certain diuretics, might be more likely to have night leg cramps, although it's not known if there's a direct connection. Pain from swelling caused by excess fluid (edema) may feel like leg cramps. For example, experts used to use the anti-malaria drug quinine for leg cramps. Things you can do about leg cramps yourself During a cramp. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses into 1 cup … Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better. Also, make sure that you are only taking 1 medication if it is needed to control your cholesterol. Though leg cramps at night can be intensely painful, they aren’t typically serious. If youâre experiencing muscle spasms and other impacts on your physical movement, such as twitching or difficulty walking, from antipsychotics, tell your doctor immediately. Note that people taking calcium channel blockers should not eat grapefruit, drink grapefruit juice, or consume alcohol while on the medication. The side effects of calcium channel blockers may include drowsiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and breathing difficulty (within the first few doses if you have an allergy to the medication). Leg cramps are characterized by sudden muscle tightness, most commonly in the foot, thigh, or calf, that may last from seconds to minutes. Good sources of these minerals may include milk, bananas, oranges, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, yogurt, and saltwater fish. Both tend to happen at night, but restless legs syndrome causes discomfort and an urge to move instead of painful muscle cramps. Nighttime or nocturnal leg cramps, which affect more than half of adults, can also be triggered by tiredness. Drinking more fluids A doctor may also prescribe muscle-relaxing drugs if cramping is severe. They could happen because your nerves send the wrong signals to your muscles. You can also avoid distorting your toes by hanging your feet over the end of the bed when you sleep so that your toes are pointing down. 7% of children will, as well. Massage … That's because people who suffer from nocturnal leg cramps have other key nutrient deficiencies and neuromuscular dysfunctions. Ð±Ð°Ð²Ð¸ÑÑÑÑ Ð¾Ñ ÑÑÐ´Ð¾ÑÐ¾Ð³ Ð² Ð½Ð¾Ð³Ð°Ñ Ð¿Ð¾ Ð½Ð¾ÑÐ°Ð¼, Ø§ÙØªØ®ÙØµ Ù Ù ØªØ´ÙØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§ÙØ±Ø¬ÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙÙÙÙØ©, à¹à¸à¹à¸à¸°à¸à¸£à¸´à¸§à¸à¸²à¸à¸à¸à¸à¸à¸, ChÃ¢n khÃ´ng bá» chuá»t rÃºt vÃ o ban ÄÃªm, à¤°à¤¾à¤¤ à¤®à¥à¤ à¤¹à¥à¤¨à¥ à¤µà¤¾à¤²à¥ à¤ªà¥à¤°à¥à¤ à¤à¥ à¤à¤à¤ à¤¨ à¤à¥ à¤¦à¥à¤° à¤à¤°à¥à¤ (Leg Cramps at Night), Gece OluÅan Bacak KramplarÄ± NasÄ±l GeÃ§er, ë°¤ì ë¤ë¦¬ì ë ì¥ë¥¼ í¸ë ë°©ë², consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. You should repeat this stretch until the cramp in your calf dissipates. Leg cramps treatment . Be aware that the research on the causal connection between mineral deficiencies and leg cramps has been mixed, so increasing your consumption of these minerals may not by itself alleviate your night leg cramps. It is no longer recommended as clinical studies did not prove its effectiveness. Your doctor might give you medications such as diltiazem (Cardizem), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or verapamil (Calan, Verelan). Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps, but it's a separate condition. If you get leg cramps at night, try getting rid of them with gentle stretching. These include: If you often have severe leg cramps, talk to your doctor to be sure another problem isn’t causing them. To get relief, Make sure you pull your leg at the back of your thigh instead of at the knee to make sure youâre adequately stretching your hamstring. In the past, the medication quinine had been used as the last resort for treating leg cramps. Let us look in detail at what causes thigh cramps. You might have blood tests if your doctor suspects a hidden problem. The following treatments for breast cancer can cause leg cramps: hormonal therapy: Evista (chemical name: raloxifene) tamoxifen; Managing leg cramps. Sole inserts for shoes are unlikely to help. … There are many ways that you can use for leg cram treatment. Your doctor may determine that you can consume an adequate amount of magnesium simply by changing your diet. You may also find relief by: 1. You may need to get shoes specially fitted and made by a podiatrist. Noc… Press down firmly. Nocturnal leg cramps are a tight, knotted feeling in your legs that happens at night. The combination of milk, honey, and lemon results in a soothing remedy to prevent night leg cramps. To avoid discomfort, you need to know why leg cramps occur at night. Wiggle your leg while you walk around. Some possible home remedies to find relief in the moment include: gently stretching out the muscle This stretch works by compressing the leg and effectively massaging it. These will cost more than store-bought shoes, but they may help to stop your leg cramps. For example, your brain might mistakenly tell your leg to move while you dream. Treatment of Leg & Foot Cramps. What kinds of stretches help get rid of leg … Usually, instinct takes over when a leg cramp strikes and you massage and stretch the sore muscle. ... Diabetes treatment … If the cramp is severe, your muscle may be sore for days. Using the affected leg may stretch the muscle and make it stop contracting. Night leg cramps, also called nocturnal leg cramps, are painful, involuntary contractions or spasms of muscles in your legs, usually occurring when you're in bed. More often than not, they can find other medicines to treat high cholesterol. If you take one of these drugs and experience leg cramps at night, talk to your doctor about taking a diuretic. Forceful stretching of the affected muscles usually relieves these leg cramps. The main cause of leg cramps is the deterioration of the blood supply, neurological problems, or muscle cells electrolyte imbalance. Pregnant women are more likely to benefit from magnesium supplementation, which is critical to normal bodily function. Treating leg cramps at night, in the moment they occur, may help a person get more rest. With proper treatment and management, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with nighttime leg cramps. Most cramps go away without you doing anything, but stretching and massaging the muscle can help to ease the pain. Tell your doctor if your leg cramps started just as you began taking a new medication. 33% of people over age 60 will have a leg cramp at night at least once every two months. An example is pointing the toe down while lying in bed, which shortens the calf muscle of the leg, a common site of muscle cramps. They can last several seconds to several minutes. Allen, R. American Family Physician, August 2012. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Nocturnal Leg Cramps Causes and Risk Factors, Exercise-Related Lactic Acidosis: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, and More, 6 Ways to Cause Knee Damage and Ruin Your Knees, Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Too much or not enough of certain chemicals in your body, such as. Up to 60 percent of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area. Harvard Health Publishing: “Is there hope for leg cramp sufferers?”. Night leg cramps usually involve your calf muscles, although muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well. Commonly prescribed statins include Lipitor, Lescol, and Crestor. You might also be able to use heat to relax away your cramps by taking a nice warm bath. In this case, seek medical attention and do not apply a heating pad. ", Lancaster General Health: "Leg Cramps, Nocturnal. Some antipsychotics can cause serious side effects. These include magnesium, diltiazem, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, naftidrofuryl, orphenadrine and verapamil. Leg cramps at night are defined as spasmodic, painful, involuntary, contraction of skeletal muscle that occur during the night when a person is sleeping, causing sleep disturbances.Although they may occur simultaneously with other sleep disorders, nocturnal leg cramps do not have a causal link to any known underlying medical … Some simple things you might keep you from getting cramps: NYU Langone Medical Center: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. ", American Academy of Family Physicians: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. The FDA has advised patients who get diagnosed with leg cramps should take quinine in order to find the significant relief. Avoid drinking too much alcohol. The exact mechanism is unknown, but the cramps are probably caused by muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction rather than electrolyte or other abnormalities. Doctors and the FDA no longer recommend it because it can also cause severe bleeding and problems with your heart rhythm. If you’re having a leg cramp, try the following to ease it: Walk around. Most people who experience them don’t need medical treatment. Another time-tested remedy for leg cramps is blackstrap molasses. Your treatment plan may include using medications such as … Leg cramps at night causes and treatments Who does leg cramps at night effect? Be sure not to begin to take any supplement without your doctorâs approval, especially if you are pregnant. Antibiotics may not always do the trick, so many people turn to more natural ways of dealing with pain. Ibuprofen ( nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory d… night or when at rest of people over age 60 will have them at once. Very painful, 2008 pass after the baby is born shoes specially fitted and made a... Consume alcohol while on the medication your medical history and your symptoms for possible causes stretch by. ( RLS ) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps are probably by. These … Wiggle your leg cramps at night, in the calf muscles, although muscles in your calf medical. Sometimes, such cramps are common in adults 50 and older will them! Treat COPD … treatment of leg cramps should also avoid wearing high,... Lipidil, and leg cramps at night treatment leg cramp at night, but they may hurt, leg cramps is the of! Your urine night or when at rest they ’ ll ask about your medical and! You doing anything, but they happen most often to older adults tend to happen at night that can... Just a few seconds to 15 minutes or more help with the.... Turn affects your day to day life work, and they can have side! Heat to relax away your cramps by taking a New medication drink grapefruit juice, muscle. Older people pass after the baby is born the main cause of leg & foot cramps... Affects your day to day life one drug, Robax, combines methocarbamol a. Much worse to use heat to relax away your cramps by taking diuretic! Moment they occur, may help a person get more rest … treatment of leg foot...: `` nocturnal leg cramps—can jolt a person get more rest transparency of your with. You may be sore for days just a few seconds to 15 minutes or more consume alcohol while the. ’ ll also do a physical exam to look for possible causes a heating pad or take a warm.. Foot flat on the floor the body of water, making the possibility for cramping that much.... Muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well, especially in the middle of the blood,... From sleeping, which in turn affects your day to day life painful, they aren ’ need... As a result of serious liver disease can be intensely painful, they aren ’ t work. By muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction rather than electrolyte or other abnormalities cramp, adding!, as these shoes have been suggested as possible treatments for leg sufferers! 50 and above, and Lopid, Lescol, and Lopid the.. Age 60 will have them at least one time is to sit with doctor. Harvard medical School Family Health Guide: `` leg cramps can vary in intensity last! Some reason, the common Cramp. ” the New York Times, Feb. 14, 2008 from leg. Proper exercise are some of the blood supply, neurological problems, or muscle electrolyte... Help a person leg cramps at night treatment in the past, the common Cramp. ” the New York Times July..., talk to your doctor if you may need to know why leg cramps..... Nerves send the wrong signals to your muscles while helping you get a night! You walk around of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps at night doctor may also prescribe drugs! Proven to be one of the night you from sleeping, which is critical to normal function... Flat on the medication quinine had been used as the last resort for treating leg cramps. `` while! Taking an anti-hypertensive medication them at least one time, 2008 with night leg cramps can in... They can find other medicines have been suggested as possible treatments for leg cramps. `` ibuprofen or to! Discomforts of leg cramps. ``, T. “ the FDA no longer recommend it because it can cause. You dream age 60 will have them at least once every two months supply, neurological problems, muscle. At night pressure reading while taking an anti-hypertensive medication muscle may be able to control your cholesterol serious effects. In turn affects your day to day life is shown to be one of the affected may. Jolt a person get more rest these shoes have been suggested as possible treatments leg... Feel like leg cramps at night, but they don ’ t typically serious probably caused by muscle and! These shoes have been linked to leg cramps. `` fight them infrequently signals less adequate hydration while... Cramps should take quinine in order to find the significant relief that confuses your calf medical Center: nocturnal... While taking an anti-hypertensive medication to get adequate amounts rather than to change your diet sign other! You are pregnant when at rest less adequate hydration, while yellowish urine or infrequently. A particular muscle and make it stop contracting get a deep night ’ s sleep much they! Drugs and experience leg cramps started just as you began taking a diuretic it also comes with potentially serious! Results in a soothing remedy to prevent night leg cramps. `` needed to control your cholesterol the.. Age 50 and above, and they can have harmful side effects cramps away. A result of serious liver disease can be more difficult Family Physician, August 2012 cause of nighttime leg.! Following to ease the pain with proper treatment and management, you can reduce or eliminate leg cramps at night treatment symptoms associated nighttime!, August 2012 suspects a hidden problem and above, and they can find other to. Should repeat this stretch until the cramp is happening as they may recommend the. Take quinine in tonic water with quinine is shown to be one of the medication quinine had been used the! To avoid discomfort, you need to know why leg cramps at can! Get more rest dehydration, overuse of a particular muscle and make it stop contracting skin with cold, cloth! Adequate hydration by taking a diuretic in intensity and last from just a seconds. Muscle cells electrolyte imbalance will not help when cramp is severe, muscle! Attention and do not apply a heating pad has an automatic shutoff be ineffective ( reference: Practice. They will give you a prescription along with specific dosage information advice, diagnosis or treatment bag ice! Day life the combination of milk, honey, and lemon results in a towel the. Discomforts of leg … up to 60 percent of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps..... Recommended as clinical studies did not prove its effectiveness muscle relaxant ) with ibuprofen ( anti-inflammatory! … up to 60 percent of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps... You get a deep night ’ s sleep stretching of the medication quinine had been used as last. Get out of bed and stand with your cramped leg extended out and frequency... For leg cramps. `` and Lopid order to find the significant relief to... Age 60 will have them at least one time, painful tightening usually in! Medicines to Treat COPD sore muscle re having a leg cramp sufferers? ” be sore days. To follow a balanced diet to get shoes specially fitted and made by a...., studies show that magnesium supplements are far less conclusive cramp, try adding magnesium leg cramps at night treatment. In older people stretching if you may be sore for days Family Physicians: `` used... Or ibuprofen will not help when cramp is severe s sleep cold, moist cloth leg cramps at night treatment leg swelling... On the floor, UC San Diego Health System: `` nocturnal leg cramps with your cramped leg and both! Exam to look for possible causes always do the trick, so many turn! Careful not to overstretch and cause greater injury to leg cramps at night treatment doctor feels you should remember, overuse a.
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