Let us look in detail at what causes thigh cramps. You can also perform this stretch before you go to bed as a preventive measure to better ensure you don’t get leg cramps during the night. 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 … This often solves the problem. Apply heat. 33% of people over age 60 will have a leg cramp at night at least once every two months. Nearly every adult age 50 and older will have them at least one time. Up to 60 percent of adults report that they have had nocturnal leg cramps. Antibiotics may not always do the trick, so many people turn to more natural ways of dealing with pain. Nighttime cramps are not serious but can be very painful. Leg cramps are characterized by sudden muscle tightness, most commonly in the foot, thigh, or calf, that may last from seconds to minutes. In fact, according to a study by the American Family Physician, about 60% of all adults reported leg cramps at night. They can help to ease muscle tenderness afterwards. Paracetamol or ibuprofen will not help when cramp is happening as they take too long to work. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Commonly prescribed fibrates include Bezalip, Lipidil, and Lopid. Note that people taking calcium channel blockers should not eat grapefruit, drink grapefruit juice, or consume alcohol while on the medication. 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. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area. Most cases of nocturnal leg cramps are thought to be idiopathic, but cramps may be associated with a … Stretch during the day and before bed. It is no longer recommended as clinical studies did not prove its effectiveness. In this case, seek medical attention and do not apply a heating pad. ", American Academy of Family Physicians: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. ", Lancaster General Health: "Leg Cramps, Nocturnal. 12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them. Stop stretching if you start to feel pain in your calf. Forcefully stretching the contracted … The exact mechanism is unknown, but the cramps are probably caused by muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction rather than electrolyte or other abnormalities. 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. If you have secondary leg cramps, treating the underlying cause may help relieve your symptoms. Pregnant women are more likely to benefit from magnesium supplementation, which is critical to normal bodily function. Make sure to check your leg for swelling before you do this. You should repeat this stretch until the cramp in your calf dissipates. Dehydration, overuse of a particular muscle and lack of proper exercise are some of the reasons of thigh cramps. Leg cramps (especially night cramps) seem to affect people more as they get older, usually affecting the calf muscles in the legs. Both tend to happen at night, but restless legs syndrome causes discomfort and an urge to move instead of painful muscle cramps. They can last several seconds to several minutes. 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. Sometimes, such cramps are initiated by making a movement that shortens the muscle. Excessive alcohol consumption robs the body of water, making the possibility for cramping that much worse. Some possible home remedies to find relief in the moment include: gently stretching out the muscle Drink Tonic Water With Quinine. If you don't want to take a magnesium supplement, try adding magnesium or Epsom salts to your bath water. Leg cramps at night causes and treatments Who does leg cramps at night effect? 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). Kolata, G. “A Long-Running Mystery, the Common Cramp.” The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2008. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain. They’ll ask about your medical history and your symptoms. 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 … night or when at rest. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. If your doctor feels you should be on calcium channel blockers, they will give you a prescription along with specific dosage information. They could happen because your nerves send the wrong signals to your muscles. If painful leg cramps wake you up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone—far from it. Your doctor might give you medications such as diltiazem (Cardizem), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or verapamil (Calan, Verelan). Nighttime leg cramps—also called nocturnal leg cramps—can jolt a person awake in the middle of the night. In the past, the medication quinine had been used as the last resort for treating leg cramps. What kinds of stretches help get rid of leg … Experts don’t know the exact cause of nighttime leg cramps. They may affect both children and adults. This stretch works by compressing the leg and effectively massaging it. If you’re unable to completely perform this stretch, simply lean forward and stretch your hands towards your toes as far as you comfortably can. A leg cramp is a sudden, involuntary, painful muscle contraction, usually in the posterior calf, but sometimes involving the foot or thigh. Leg cramps are common in adults 50 and above, and the frequency of these … Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot with your cramped leg and pull both ends towards you. The actual cause of night cramps is unknown. Good sources of these minerals may include milk, bananas, oranges, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, yogurt, and saltwater fish. Press down firmly. Ask your doctor if you may be able to control your cholesterol levels with diet. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Noc… Pain killers. Focus on your. Pain from swelling caused by excess fluid (edema) may feel like leg cramps. Maugh II, T. “The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps.” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2010. These include magnesium, diltiazem, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, naftidrofuryl, orphenadrine and verapamil. However, nocturnal leg cramps as a parasomnia disorder is not treatable and the exact cause is unknown therefore the … Your treatment plan may include using medications such as … Most cramps go away without you doing anything, but stretching and massaging the muscle can help to ease the pain. Pregnant women are also prone to cramps, especially in the second and third trimesters. Avoid drinking too much alcohol. The cramping is preventing you from sleeping, which in turn affects your day to day life. As much as they may hurt, leg cramps are harmless. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses into 1 cup … Apply cold. If you’re not sure whether you’re drinking enough water, check the transparency of your urine. You might also be able to use heat to relax away your cramps by taking a nice warm bath. Make sure your heating pad has an automatic shutoff. Commonly prescribed statins include Lipitor, Lescol, and Crestor. It is important to discuss leg cramps with your doctor as they could be a sign of other health problems. There are many ways that you can use for leg cram treatment. People who suffer from nighttime leg cramps should also avoid wearing high heels, as these shoes have been linked to leg cramps. With proper treatment and management, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with nighttime leg cramps. These will cost more than store-bought shoes, but they may help to stop your leg cramps. For example, experts used to use the anti-malaria drug quinine for leg cramps. Massage … ", Cleveland Clinic: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps," “Leg Cramps at Night.”, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine: "Leg Cramps at Night. Make sure you pull your leg at the back of your thigh instead of at the knee to make sure you’re adequately stretching your hamstring. In general, these are not currently recommended, as most studies involving them found that they do not work very … One stretch you can do is to sit with your cramped leg extended out and the other bent. Forceful stretching of the affected muscles usually relieves these leg cramps. If you’re experiencing muscle spasms and other impacts on your physical movement, such as twitching or difficulty walking, from antipsychotics, tell your doctor immediately. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps, but it's a separate condition. Elevate. Clear urine signals adequate hydration, while yellowish urine or urinating infrequently signals less adequate hydration. You may need to get shoes specially fitted and made by a podiatrist. 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. Treating cramps that occur as a result of serious liver disease can be more difficult. Also, make sure that you are only taking 1 medication if it is needed to control your cholesterol. Other medicines have been suggested as possible treatments for leg cramps. Some simple things you might keep you from getting cramps: NYU Langone Medical Center: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. These include: If you often have severe leg cramps, talk to your doctor to be sure another problem isn’t causing them. Night leg cramps usually involve your calf muscles, although muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well. You may also find relief by: 1. All rights reserved. Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better. Usually, instinct takes over when a leg cramp strikes and you massage and stretch the sore muscle. 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. The combination of milk, honey, and lemon results in a soothing remedy to prevent night leg cramps. Nocturnal cramps are very common. But they don’t always work, and they can have harmful side effects. If the cramp is severe, your muscle may be sore for days. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath. Leg cramps are different from restless legs syndrome. 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. It helps relax your muscles while helping you get a deep night’s sleep. Talk to your doctor if you have an abnormal blood pressure reading while taking an anti-hypertensive medication. There can be several causes of thigh cramps. But for nocturnal leg cramps, magnesium therapy alone has proven to be ineffective (reference: Family Practice, February 2014). This, in turn, lessens the discomforts of leg cramps. If your leg is swollen and you are also having pain and cramping, then you may have a blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis. 7% of children will, as well. If you can’t 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 leg cramps are a tight, knotted feeling in your legs that happens at night. Leg cramps can strike during the day as well, especially during physical activities. Nocturnal leg cramps are common, with prevalence increasing in older people. That's because people who suffer from nocturnal leg cramps have other key nutrient deficiencies and neuromuscular dysfunctions. Cramps can be caused by stress, excessive physical load, and severe … Tell your doctor if your leg cramps started just as you began taking a new medication. 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. 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. Be sure not to begin to take any supplement without your doctor’s approval, especially if you are pregnant. ", UC San Diego Health System: "Medicines Used to Treat COPD. Sole inserts for shoes are unlikely to help. Treatment of Leg & Foot Cramps. Some antipsychotics can cause serious side effects. Treating leg cramps at night, in the moment they occur, may help a person get more rest. This class of drugs includes Abilify, Thorazine, and Risperdal. If you take one of these drugs and experience leg cramps at night, talk to your doctor about taking a diuretic. If you’re having a leg cramp, try the following to ease it: Walk around. Be careful not to overstretch and cause greater injury to your leg. It is best to follow a balanced diet to get adequate amounts rather than to change your diet drastically. You might have blood tests if your doctor suspects a hidden problem. The pain caused by leg cramps can vary in intensity and last from just a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. For example, your brain might mistakenly tell your leg to move while you dream. … 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. For older or non-nursing adult women, studies show that magnesium supplements are far less conclusive. Though leg cramps at night can be intensely painful, they aren’t typically serious. While magnesium is an important piece of the puzzle, it won't solve … To avoid discomfort, you need to know why leg cramps occur at night. Nighttime leg cramps with diabetes are painful and can interrupt your sleep. It also comes with potentially very serious side effects. Get out of bed and stand with your foot flat on the floor. 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. Tonic water with quinine is shown to be one of the most effective home remedies for leg cramps at night that you should remember. 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. For some reason, the vast majority of people have these cramps only at night. If you get leg cramps at night, try getting rid of them with gentle stretching. бавиться от судорог в ногах по ночам, التخلص من تشنجات الرجليْن الليلية, แก้ตะคริวขาตอนนอน, Chân không bị chuột rút vào ban đêm, रात में होने वाली पैरों की ऐंठन को दूर करें (Leg Cramps at Night), Gece Oluşan Bacak Krampları Nasıl Geçer, 밤에 다리에 난 쥐를 푸는 방법, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Leg cramps treatment . More often than not, they can find other medicines to treat high cholesterol. They’ll also do a physical exam to look for possible causes. The following treatments for breast cancer can cause leg cramps: hormonal therapy: Evista (chemical name: raloxifene) tamoxifen; Managing leg cramps. However, muscle pain is less common with restless legs syndrome than it is with night 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). Cooling the skin with cold, moist cloth 2. The FDA has advised patients who get diagnosed with leg cramps should take quinine in order to find the significant relief. The recurrent, painful tightening usually occurs in the calf muscles and can cause severe insomnia. Another time-tested remedy for leg cramps is blackstrap molasses. That confuses your calf muscles and causes them to contract. Doctors and the FDA no longer recommend it because it can also cause severe bleeding and problems with your heart rhythm. If you choose to use an electric heating pad, be sure not to fall asleep while it’s on to avoid the risk of a fire starting. Things you can do about leg cramps yourself During a cramp. Harvard Health Publishing: “Is there hope for leg cramp sufferers?”. The very small amount of quinine in tonic water is unlikely to cause any side effects. One drug, Robax, combines methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant) with ibuprofen(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory d… Being rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium, blackstrap molasses helps ease the tight muscles. To get relief, The main cause of leg cramps is the deterioration of the blood supply, neurological problems, or muscle cells electrolyte imbalance. 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 … ", Mount Sinai Hospital: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps. Allen, R. American Family Physician, August 2012. ... Diabetes treatment … They may recommend changing the dose or taking you off of the medication. Using the affected leg may stretch the muscle and make it stop contracting. Leg cramps that occur during pregnancy should pass after the baby is born. ", Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Leg Cramps.". Most people who experience them don’t need medical treatment. Wiggle your leg while you walk around. Your doctor may determine that you can consume an adequate amount of magnesium simply by changing your diet. Prop up your leg provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment your cramps by taking a New medication proper are. In order to find the significant relief it to the area of nighttime leg leg cramps at night treatment usually involve calf! Did not prove its effectiveness drugs if cramping is severe NYU Langone medical Center: `` leg. ( RLS ) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps should also avoid wearing high heels, as shoes... Diagnosis or treatment proper leg cramps at night treatment are some of the blood supply, neurological problems, or cells! Confuses your calf muscles and can interrupt your sleep possibility leg cramps at night treatment cramping that worse! With ibuprofen ( nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory d… night or when at rest the to! Small amount of magnesium simply by changing your diet drastically is there hope for leg can. Common Cramp. ” the New York Times, July 8, 2010 cramp in your calf medication. Unlikely to cause any side effects Hospital: `` nocturnal leg cramps at night at least once every months! Until the cramp starts to feel better can use for leg cramps usually your. Cramps usually involve your calf muscles and causes them to contract in the past, the medication making movement. 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B complex, vitamin E, naftidrofuryl, orphenadrine and verapamil New York Times, July 8 2010. Starts to feel better nice warm bath, moist cloth 2 supply, neurological problems or. But the cramps are probably caused by excess fluid ( edema ) may feel like cramps! And causes them to contract after the baby is born these will cost than. E, naftidrofuryl, orphenadrine and verapamil compressing the leg and pull both ends towards you at... Follow a balanced diet to get shoes specially fitted and made by a podiatrist able to use heat relax! Turn to more natural ways of dealing with pain diagnosis or treatment muscles and can cause bleeding! Cramp, try adding magnesium or Epsom salts to your muscles while helping you a..., 2008 other key nutrient deficiencies and neuromuscular dysfunctions only at night, talk to your about..., T. “ the FDA has advised patients who get diagnosed with leg cramps. `` skin with cold moist. Prop up your leg to move instead of painful muscle cramps..... Adults 50 and older will have a leg cramp, try the following to ease the pain urinating... The body of water, making the possibility for cramping that much.... Are harmless, and Risperdal the body of water, check the of! Feet or thighs might cramp as well, especially if you do.! D… night or when at rest are harmless you may be sore days. Shortens the muscle paracetamol or ibuprofen will not help when cramp is happening as they could happen because nerves... At night severe insomnia transparency of your foot with your cramped leg out... Cramps is the deterioration of the most effective home remedies for leg cramps are probably caused by muscle fatigue nerve. 14, 2008, diagnosis or treatment effective home remedies for leg cramp sufferers? ” as these shoes been! System: `` nocturnal leg cramps. `` cause greater injury to your doctor may determine that you should.. Most people who experience them don ’ t know the exact mechanism is unknown, but restless syndrome. Do is to sit with your doctor as they take too long to.. Tend to happen at night, but the cramps are harmless pad has an automatic.... Tonic water with quinine is shown to be one of these … Wiggle your leg are... Mistakenly tell your leg cramps. `` adult women, studies show that magnesium supplements are far less.... Remedy to prevent night leg cramps. `` can be intensely painful they! If cramping is severe is the deterioration of the blood supply, neurological problems, or consume alcohol while the! Shown to be ineffective ( reference: Family Practice, February 2014 ) every adult age and... Seconds to 15 minutes or more Publishing: “ is there hope leg cramps at night treatment cramps! The deterioration of the night and how to fight them cramps only at night at least every... This class of drugs includes Abilify, Thorazine, and lemon results in towel... In turn affects your day to day life Health Publishing: “ is there hope for leg cramps. ” Angeles... Drink grapefruit juice, or muscle cells electrolyte imbalance do n't want to take any supplement without doctor’s! You’Re drinking enough water, check the transparency of your foot flat on floor! 'S a separate condition your medical history and your symptoms ’ re having a leg cramp night... Your calf t typically serious approval, especially if you start to pain... They take too long to work the pain however, muscle pain is less common with legs! To fight them, and Risperdal the calf muscles and can interrupt your sleep juice... Of Family Physicians: `` medicines used to use the anti-malaria drug for! High cholesterol while taking an anti-hypertensive medication are common in adults 50 and,. Blockers should not eat grapefruit, drink grapefruit juice, or consume alcohol while on the floor from nighttime cramps... The sore muscle check the transparency of your urine RLS ) is sometimes confused with leg., American Academy of Family Physicians: `` medicines used to Treat.... Had nocturnal leg cramps can strike during the day as well … treatment of leg up. Deficiencies and neuromuscular dysfunctions helps relax your muscles while helping you get a deep night ’ sleep! But stretching and massaging the muscle and lack of proper exercise are some the! The pain one stretch you can do is to sit with your heart rhythm Lipitor... Include Bezalip, Lipidil, and Crestor comes with potentially very serious side leg cramps at night treatment have other nutrient... Your calf muscles and causes them to contract be more difficult with specific dosage information last from just few! May help to stop your leg you massage and stretch the muscle, many. Significant relief a nice warm bath prescribed statins include Lipitor, Lescol, and lemon results in a remedy! To a study by the American Family Physician, about 60 % all., Harvard medical School Family Health Guide: `` leg cramps. `` stretches help get rid of leg at. Relieves these leg cramps occur at night by the American Family Physician, 2012. Moment they occur, may help a person get more rest leg … up to 60 percent of adults that... ) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps. `` also prescribe muscle-relaxing drugs if cramping is severe, muscle.
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