Leg cramps at night – nocturnal leg cramps – are pains that occur during the sleeping hours. They can cause a person to wake up and occur at night due to prolonged hours of inactivity. Nocturnal leg cramps commonly occur in the calf but can also cause pain in the thighs and feet. Pain due to leg cramps at night can last for mere seconds or for several minutes. After the pain passes, muscle soreness may linger for the rest of the night or even until the following day. Both men and women can experience cramps in leg and they occur more commonly in adults over the age of 50.
Both nocturnal leg cramps and restless leg syndrome (RLS) occur during sleeping hours but that is the only similarity between the two conditions. There are many differences between leg cramps at night and restless leg syndrome, including:
The exact cause of nocturnal leg cramps is often unknown, but potential causes and risk factors include:
Medical conditions, too, can contribute to nocturnal leg cramps, such as:
Treatment depends on the cause. For example, if the cause of your nocturnal leg cramps is due to dehydration, ensure you stay well hydrated throughout the day. Other treatment and preventative methods for leg cramps at night include:
When a nocturnal muscle cramp strikes it can nearly leave you paralyzed. Knowing how to properly handle an attack will offer you relief and leave you less sore afterwards. Here are some tips to better handle nocturnal leg cramps.
Restless leg syndrome has been found to increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes a person to feel an overwhelming urge to move their legs when in an inclined position (laying down). Tingling, aching and itching sensations may occur as well. Continue reading…
Sensory problems, including restless leg syndrome (RLS), numbness and weakness, are the first sign of multiple sclerosis (MS). Sensory problems can occur in 20 to 50 percent of individuals with multiple sclerosis with a condition known as paresthesia. Continue reading…