Many people suffer from leg cramps that usually occur at night. The pain is fierce and occurs due to prolonged inactivity, so you will surely wake up in the middle of the night in pain. It usually occurs in the lower legs, and sometimes the feet and thighs.
The pain can last a few seconds and sometimes a few minutes. Even when the pain disappears, muscle pain may last all night and even the next day. Both men and women can suffer from leg cramps and they occur most often through the 50th year.
Night cramps and restless leg syndrome appear during the night, but there is a difference between them, such as:
1. When you move your foot in restless leg syndrome, you might feel as if you lived through the bad experience once again. And if it is leg cramp you should not move the leg at all. The only this recommended is stretching.
2. Restless leg syndrome does not cause pain or cramps, while night cramps cause it.
3. Restless leg syndrome causes unpleasant feeling in the legs.
Causes and risk factors for leg cramps
The reasons for night cramps occurrence are not determined with certainty yet, but the potential causes and factors are the following ones:
- Too much pressure on the leg muscles
- Working in standing position
- Sitting for a long period of time
- Improper sitting
Health conditions can also cause night cramps in the legs, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Flat feet
- Neuromuscular disorder
Treatment and prevention
Spasms occur for a reason. For example, if the cause is dehydration, the solution is to stay hydrated.
You must make sure you do not suffer from lack of magnesium and potassium because it leads to muscle cramps.
- First you must stretch your legs before going to sleep
- Exercise underwater in order to strengthen your muscles
- Avoid wearing high heels
- Use wild chestnut because it has been proven to improve and stimulate blood flow in the legs
- Use warm and relaxing bath before going to sleep in order to relief tension from the muscles
- Apply warm coating onto the affected areas
- Try acupuncture treatment.
What to do when cramps occur?
It is very important to know what to do when cramp appear at night. There are several ways to help you in those moments:
1. Extend both legs in front of you while sitting on the floor. Then bend your legs and directed your toes toward your knees.
2. Get up slowly and turn slightly to the side, shake your legs to improve blood flow.
3. Gently massage the area by making circular motions.