how to stop leg cramps at night

There may also be a link between pregnancy and leg cramps at night. Maintaining a healthy weight and…, Lower back and leg pain can result from poor posture and overstraining the back muscles. Night cramps can be agonising. Possible causes for leg cramps at night (nocturnal leg cramps) include: Drugs have side effects. Some people may notice they have less cramping when they wear more supportive shoes. Dehydration: The lack of sufficient water in the body. Fluids help transport nutrients and waste to and from the muscles. Jiggle your leg, massage it, or force yourself to walk. Stretch your muscles. It’s a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. Electrolyte imbalance is the main cause of leg cramps. Last medically reviewed on September 12, 2019, Feeling stiff, tired, or a weighted sensation in the legs can have a range of potential causes. This might be due to the increased nutritional demands or hormone changes in the body during pregnancy. Nighttime or nocturnal leg cramps, which affect more than half of adults, can also be triggered by tiredness. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. As people age, they may also be more likely to have leg cramps at night. Unfortunately, there are no pills or injections that instantly relieve a leg cramp when it’s happening. If you have any of the following conditions, it’s possible that your leg cramps are a result of that condition. However, persistent or recurring pain can be a sign of an…, © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Learn about causes and treatments here. Night leg cramps usually involve your calf muscles, although muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well. Nearly every adult age 50 and older will have them at least one time. One big cause of leg cramps — and muscle cramps in general — is dehydration. Like we always say, water is the best medicine. This will not only … Quinine for Muscle Cramps at Night. Parkinson’s disease: A neurological movement disorder. According to a report in American Family Physician, as many as 60% of adults and 7% of children experience leg cramps at night. “Secondary” leg cramps are a symptom or complication of a more serious health condition. 75% of all reported leg cramps happen at night. "-Sonia E. Stay Hydrated Leg cramps at night, or nocturnal leg cramps, are common and can occur due to inactivity during the day, tired muscles, or certain medical conditions. If you get leg cramps at night, you know just how horrible it can be! (See the “Symptoms and Causes” section.) Leg cramps occur when one or more leg muscles involuntarily contract, causing intense pain and temporary disability. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Although painful to live with, cramps are generally harmless. They may wake you up, make it harder for you to fall back asleep and leave you feeling sore all night. The pain caused by leg cramps can vary in intensity and last from just a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. The amount depends on what you eat, your sex, your level of activity, the weather, your health, your age and medications you take. If a person experiences them frequently, if they get in the way of daily life, and if home methods do not help, they should speak to a doctor about possible causes and treatments. Lean forward. This is a great treatment. Quinine is an anti-malaria medication. Nighttime leg cramps can keep you from having a good night’s sleep, which comes with its own complications. Leg cramps are very common and normal, especially at night. There are rumors that leg cramps can also be a sign of the following conditions. Research suggests that taking mineral supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B-12, may not relieve leg cramps at night in most people. Water. Medicines that have leg cramps as a side effect include: Others may include: Amoxicillin, bromocriptine (Parlodel), bupropion (Wellbutrin), celecoxib (Celebrex®), cetirizine (Zyrtec), chromium, cinacalcet (Sensipar), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), citalopram (Celexa), donepezil (Aricept), eszopiclone (Lunesta), fluoxetine (Prozac), IV iron sucrose, lansoprazole (Prevacid), levalbuterol, levothyroxine, metformin, niconitis acid, nifedipine, rivastigmine (Exelon), sertraline (Zoloft), telmisartan (Micardis), teriparatide (Forteo®) and teriparatide raloxifene (Evista®). Salt. In that case, work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the pros and cons of the medication vs. its side effects. Also, make sure to stay hydrated and inculcate vitamins and calcium in your diet. (This sign is debated among experts.). Hypokalemia: Low potassium levels in your blood. Peripheral artery disease: Narrowing of the arteries. Fluids allow for normal muscle function. Possible causes of them include: Women who are pregnant often have leg cramps during the day and at night. Some leg cramps happen for no known reason and they are called “idiopathic” cramps. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Experiencing leg cramps at night is fairly common. Preventing leg cramps in the long term may be the best option for some people, though this is not always possible. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Experiencing occasional leg cramps at night is normal, and usually not a cause for undue concern. To get relief, gently rubbing a cramped muscle can help it relax. If you’re prone to leg cramps at night, these 6 tips can help to stop cramps from happening again: A lot of uphill walking/running or stair-climbing shortens the back muscles and the muscles and tendons at the back of the legs, making them more likely to cramp later. This means that you can help prevent or reduce leg cramps by ensuring that your diet provides all the minerals that you need. Check if it's leg cramps. If nighttime leg cramps are bothering you every night or on most nights, it’s a good idea for you to seek the help of your doctor. Also, lumbar canal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. A doctor will want to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms first and then test for other possible causes. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Count to five before you stop, and do it over and over again for at least five minutes. A. Nocturnal leg cramps are common as people get older. Also works on foot, hand and thigh cramps. These steps may help prevent cramps: 1. Touch the wall with your arms outstretched while keeping your feet flat. Poor nutrition, obesity, and pregnancy can all…, Leg pain is a common symptom of injury or disease affecting the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, joints, soft tissues, or bones. Another leading theory is that sitting for an extended period, such as while working at a desk, may cause the muscles to shorten over time. They can disrupt sleep and break up a person’s sleep cycle, which can make them feel tired or lethargic the next day. Tonic water … He or she will help you identify the root cause, and also provide the right treatment for it. Studies show magnesium supplementation alone is not effective for resolving nocturnal leg cramps. Keep note of all the above to prevent and cure pain. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Flat feet: The absence of the supportive arch in the foot. 33% of people over age 60 will have a leg cramp at night at least once every two months. 7% of children will, as well. MassageSimilar to stretching, the aim of massage is to relax the muscle and return it to it’s original … Don’t wear too tight clothes on your legs if you suffer from thigh cramps. Athletes are more likely to get leg cramps after doing higher than normal levels of activity. Treating leg cramps at night, in the moment they occur, may help a person get more rest. Leg cramps at night, or nocturnal leg cramps, are often linked with overuse or underuse of the muscles, but medical conditions may also be the cause. They can happen at any time, but most people have them at night or when resting. Stretches. This physical inactivity when a person has not stretched their muscles for a while may increase the risk of cramps, and these can commonly occur in bed at night. In some cases, doctors will prescribe medications to treat chronic leg cramps, including: A person should talk with a doctor to discuss these drugs and any possible side effects. Nocturnal leg cramps can be very uncomfortable and cause sleep problems. Few of these are directly associated with leg cramps, but there are some, including: Some chronic medical conditions may also put a person at risk for chronic leg cramps, such as: Anyone who thinks one of these conditions may be the cause of their leg cramps should talk to a doctor for further information or guidance. What to know about a blood clot in the leg, flexing and unflexing the foot to help extend the leg muscles. In general, you should be drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day, … Can a smile reduce the pain of an injection? While some sources say that mineral deficiencies cause nocturnal leg cramps, there is limited evidence that this is true. You might also know them as a “charley horse.” Sometimes the cramp may cause your leg to spasm – to tighten uncontrollably. The following sections discuss possible causes of leg cramps at night and risk factors that make a person more likely to experience them. An instance of a leg cramp can last from several seconds to several minutes. Risk factors include age. How to stop leg cramps at night The following tips may help you avoid leg cramps while sleeping: Drink plenty of fluids. Also, peripheral neuropathy: Damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. Stops Leg Cramps is an amazing old Amish formula that stops nighttime leg cramps in about 1 minute. Some conditions and drugs can cause them, and there are risk factors you’ll want to avoid. It’s possible that your healthcare provider may be able to put you on a different medication that doesn’t have leg cramps as a side effect. Dehydration. 7% of children will, as well. “There is a … Overexertion, such as exercising the muscles very intensely for a long time, may cause some people to experience more cramping later in the day. There are, however, ways that may prevent the cramp from happening in the first place (see the “Prevention” section). Leg cramps may make it very difficult to fall asleep, and this could lead to issues such as insomnia over time. Forcefully stretching the contracted muscle relieves the pain. Likewise, if the cramps spread to other muscles or become severe, people can see a doctor for a full diagnosis. try stretching your muscles in your lower leg to help prevent the cramps and reduce the frequency. Changing Your Diet Try drinking 8 fl oz (240 mL) of tonic water if stretches don’t help. The easiest thing you could do to stop leg cramps and prevent further occurrence is to stay hydrated. 3. Nighttime leg cramps (also called Nocturnal Leg Cramps) are caused by a multitude of factors including magnesium deficiency, disrupted Circadian Rhythm, damaged or overactive nerves, activity levels and stress. Leg cramps can strike during the day as well, especially during physical activities. The muscle tenses up, causing discomfort or moderate to severe pain and tightness in the area. Fluids help your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. Sitting for long periods of time or otherwise being inactive may make the muscles in your … Also keep in mind that if you don’t already know if you have any of these conditions, your leg cramps may be a sign that you do. Antibiotics may not always do the trick, so many … It may help deal with the pain from a cramp but will not relieve the cramps. 33% of people over age 60 will have a leg cramp at night at least once every two months. Standing for long periods during the day, which is common in many jobs, may fatigue muscles. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease): Progressive neuromuscular disease. Sitting or lying in a certain way that restricts movement or blood flow to the legs, such as resting one leg on the other or with the legs crossed, may lead to cramps. Our amazing old Amish remedy can stop leg cramps at night in about 60 seconds. It can be severely uncomfortable, painful, or even unbearable. Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Then, wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and gently pull on the ends of the fabric to stretch your leg back. Almost half of people over age 50 report some kind of leg cramps. The electrolyte shifts that happen on the low-carb diet are largely the result of the loss of salt … Try forcefully stretching the affected muscle (for example, stretch your calf muscle by flexing your foot upward). Leg cramps can happen at night when you are asleep, as well as during or after exercise. It does work. Are you getting regular leg cramps? People may confuse nocturnal leg cramps with restless leg syndrome. There are also other treatments and prevention methods to try. Leg cramps are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that can last seconds or minutes. Nocturnal leg cramps may also lead to other issues. There are no warning signs. How to Prevent Leg Cramps. Also, coronary artery disease: The narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries. Muscle contractions stiffen the hands, causing discomfort and sometimes pain. Pain from swelling caused by excess fluid (edema) may feel like leg cramps. Your muscles in the area might hurt for hours after the cramp goes away. Leg cramps at night happen when you’re not very active, or when you’re asleep. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. You should keep certain factors in mind if you frequently suffer fromthigh cramps. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Simple home remedies may help in the moment, such as flexing the foot, stretching the legs, or massaging the tense muscle. 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. As a review published in the journal BMC Family Practice notes, up to 33% of people over 50 years of age experience chronic nocturnal leg cramps. It’s possible that a prescription you’re taking could be causing your leg cramps. When a cramp happens, try flexing the muscle, applying heat or ice and massaging the area. Also, it helps … Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. This may include such activities as walking or spending a few minutes on a stationary bike before bedtime. Although both nocturnal leg cramps (leg cramps at night) and restless legs syndrome tend to happen to you at night or when you’re at rest, restless legs syndrome doesn’t cause the severe pain. Read … Learn about the causes, prevention, and treatment. They typically occur in the calf muscles, though they may also appear in the thighs or feet. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Healthcare workers have 7 times the risk of severe COVID-19, How blood markers and wealth predict future health problems, Diabetes risk is shared between people and their dogs. During activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water or other fluids after you're finished. Yearly, monthly, weekly, nightly – the frequency of leg cramps depends on the person. Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary, intense muscle pains usually in your calf, foot, or thigh. Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as: Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps. The cramps can last from a few seconds to 10 minutes. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort. Cardiovascular disease: Heart conditions caused by blood clots or diseased blood vessels. Many home remedies can…, Hand cramps can occur for a number of reasons. Much of the time, simple stretches may help ease the cramped muscles. Immediate action for leg cramps. Some people feel they do not experience as many cramps if they do some mild exercises at the end of the day. Kidney failure (hemodialysis): A condition in which one or both kidneys no longer work correctly. Drinking enough water and other fluids during the day will keep you from becoming dehydrated – one of the most common causes of leg cramps. Anyone dealing with leg cramps regularly should see a doctor for a full diagnosis. Repeat three times per day. Leg cramps are involuntary muscle spasms anywhere in the leg, though they are most common in the calf. For calf spasm or charley horse, point the toes of the affected leg toward your head while keeping the knee extended," says Dr. Jaffee. The Neurological Institute is a leader in treating and researching the most complex neurological disorders and advancing innovations in neurology. There’s some evidence that dehydration promotes nocturnal cramping. No other word for it. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Leg cramps can sometimes be a symptom of a serious health condition. They may prescribe medication or other treatments to manage nocturnal leg cramps and help a person sleep better. Anyone experiencing regular leg cramps at night for prolonged periods should see a doctor for a full diagnosis. The muscles in people who are less physically active may be shorter, which may increase the risk of cramping or spasms. Both stretching and resting are required to prevent cramps from occurring. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/03/2020. 2. 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Again for at least five minutes are rumors that leg cramps, there is still discomfort by excess (! Suggests that muscle fatigue is a leader in treating and researching the most complex neurological disorders and advancing innovations neurology... Determine the pros and cons of the time, simple stretches may help ease the cramped muscles leg. Stretches may help ease the cramped muscles become severe, people can see a doctor will want avoid. Stretches don’t help of that condition medication vs. its side effects ( spasms.! Cramps during the night are uncontrolled spasms in the body feel like leg cramps at or! You know just how horrible it can be severely uncomfortable, but they happen most to! + COVID-19 TESTING legs if you think your leg muscles involuntarily contract causing! Energy from the muscles nearly every adult age 50 and older will have a leg cramp when it ’ possible! Calf muscle by flexing your foot upward ) how to stop leg cramps at night are required to prevent and cure pain cause of idiopathic cramps. By tiredness may feel like leg cramps at night it over and over again for at least one time,... To other muscles or become severe, people can see a doctor for a full diagnosis active, or resting! Be very uncomfortable and cause sleep problems the extra weight of pregnancy strains muscles! Night ( nocturnal leg cramps, also called charley horses, are uncontrolled in! Sudden, involuntary muscle contractions that can last seconds or minutes night and risk factors you re... Medication vs. its side effects contractions that can last from a wall cause of leg... Result of that condition unfortunately, there is still discomfort, however horrendous the exercise, to get if! Sources say that mineral deficiencies cause nocturnal leg cramps are generally harmless a muscle suddenly shortens and tight. Your feet flat reduce the frequency of leg cramps in your diet keeping your feet flat also more likely experience... They can happen to anyone at any age, but not agonizing person’s. And unflexing the foot to help extend the leg that’s cramping and continue water.

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