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What causes night cramps?

• Night leg cramps are also known as nocturnal leg cramps.
• They are painful and involuntary spasms.
• They are contractions of muscles of your legs.
• The spasms are aching.
• Typically, night leg cramps are linked to calf muscles.
• But muscles in your thighs and feet can also cause cramping.

Causes of Night Cramps

• Night leg cramps occur for no known reason.
• They’re usually harmless.
• Generally, night leg cramps will tend to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems.
• Potential risk of having night leg cramps increases as they age.
• Pregnant women in addition have a higher chance of experiencing night leg cramps.
• In rare situations, night leg cramps may be related to an actual disorder, such as peripheral artery disease.
• In this narrowed arteries reduce the circulation of blood to your limbs.
• Diabetes or spinal stenosis can also cause night leg cramps.
• Some drugs have been related to night leg cramps. These include:
– intravenous iron
– estrogens
– naproxen
• Ekbom syndrome, also abbreviated RLS, might possibly be confused with night leg cramps.
• But it is an outside condition.
• In general, pain is not a main feature of RLS.
• But RLS could possibly be the reason behind night leg cramps.

Other conditions that are sometimes connected with night leg cramps may include:

1. Structural disorders
• Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
• Spinal stenosis

2. Metabolic problems
• Addison’s disease
• Cirrhosis
• Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
• Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
• Chronic kidney failure
• Type 1 diabetes
• Type 2 diabetes

3. Medications and procedures
• Blood pressure drugs
• Diuretics
• Oral contraceptives
• Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins)
• Dialysis
• Dehydration
• Diarrhea
• Muscle fatigue
• Nerve damage, as from cancer treatments
• Osteoarthritis
• Parkinson’s disease
• Pregnancy

When to see a doctor?

• For most people, night leg cramps are only an annoyance.
• This can be a thing that jerks you awake frequently.
• In certain cases, you might need to see a doctor.

Seek immediate health care in case you:
• Experience severe and persistent cramping
• Have night leg cramps after being exposed to a toxin.
• This includes lead exposure.

Schedule a workplace visit in case you:
• Have trouble functioning daily because leg cramps interrupt your sleep.
• Develop muscle weakness and atrophy with leg cramps.

Self-care
Activities that might help prevent night leg cramps include:
• Drinking fluids especially water abundantly to avoid dehydration.
• Stretching your quads or riding a stationary bicycle a couple of minutes before you go to bed.
• Un-tucking your bed covers on the foot of your respective bed.
• Flexing your foot up towards your head.
• Massaging the cramped muscle with your hands or with ice.
• Walking or jiggling the leg
• Going for a hot shower or warm bath
• Stretch and massage the muscle.
• A heating pad on the muscle helps
• Use an ice or cold pack.

Ingest over-the-counter pain medicine like:
• Acetaminophen
• Ibuprofen
• Naproxen

Stop Leg Cramps at Night The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook Stops Leg & Foot Cramps

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