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Why do we get cramps on your legs: Causes, Pain Relief & Prevention

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Causes, Pain Relief & Prevention

Overview

Leg Cramps at Night

What are leg cramps?

Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary, intense muscle pains usually in your calf, foot or thigh. You might also know them as a “charley horse.” Sometimes the cramp may cause your leg to spasm – to tighten uncontrollably. Although painful to live with, cramps are generally harmless.

What does a leg cramp feel like?

A leg cramp feels like a clenched, contracted muscle tightened into a knot. It can be severely uncomfortable, painful or even unbearable. Your muscles in the area might hurt for hours after the cramp goes away.

How do I stop a leg cramp?

Try forcefully stretching the affected muscle (for example, stretch your calf muscle by flexing your foot upward). Jiggle your leg, massage it, or force yourself to walk. It might also help to apply ice or heat – use a heating pad or take a warm bath. (Read the “Management and Treatment” section for more tips. )

Unfortunately, there are no pills or injections that instantly relieve a leg cramp when it’s happening. There are, however, ways that may prevent the cramp from happening in the first place (see the “Prevention” section).

Can you get leg cramps at night?

Leg cramps at night happen when you’re not very active, or when you’re asleep. They may wake you up, make it harder for you to fall back asleep and leave you feeling sore all night. Yearly, monthly, weekly, nightly – the frequency of leg cramps depends on the person. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Of people over age 60, 33% 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. Seven percent of children will, as well. Approximately 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. The reason behind that is thought to be that the extra weight of pregnancy strains the muscles.

Three-quarters (75%) of all reported leg cramps happen at night.

How long do leg cramps last?

An instance of a leg cramp can last from several seconds to several minutes.

Who gets leg cramps?

The older you are, the more likely you are to have leg cramps. This is because your tendons (the tissues that connect your muscles to your bones) naturally shorten as you age. You’re also more likely to get them if you’re a woman. Up to 60% of adults get leg cramps at night, as do up to 40% of children and teenagers.

Are leg cramps a sign of something serious?

Leg cramps can sometimes be a symptom of a serious health condition. (See the “Symptoms and Causes” section.) If you are concerned that you have a serious health condition, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider and report your symptoms, including your leg cramps.

How common are leg cramps?

Leg cramps are very common and normal, especially at night.

What is the difference between leg cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

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. Restless legs syndrome is uncomfortable, but not agonizing. It’s a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes leg cramps?

Some leg cramps happen for no known reason and they are called “idiopathic” cramps. “Secondary” leg cramps are a symptom or complication of a more serious health condition. The primary cause of idiopathic leg cramps is up for debate. Possible causes of them include:

  • Involuntary nerve discharges.
  • Restriction in the blood supply.
  • Stress.
  • Too much high-intensity exercise.

Women who are pregnant often have leg cramps during the day and at night.

Possible causes for leg cramps at night (nocturnal leg cramps) include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time.
  • Overusing the muscles.
  • Standing or working on concrete floors.
  • Sitting improperly.

Leg cramps are not likely to cause:

  • Broken bones.
  • Fainting.
  • Nausea.
  • Numbness.

What medications may cause leg cramps?

Drugs have side effects. It’s possible that a prescription you’re taking could be causing your leg cramps. In that case, work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the pros and cons of the medication vs. its side effects. 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. Medicines that have leg cramps as a side effect include:

  • Albuterol/Ipratropium (Combivent®).
  • Conjugated estrogens.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®).
  • Diuretics.
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin®).
  • Naproxen (Naprosyn®).
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica®)
  • Statins.
  • Zolpidem (Ambien®).

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®).

What medical problems can cause leg cramps?

Sometimes leg cramps happen to you for no reason, but other times they could possibly be a sign or symptom of a health condition. If you have any of the following conditions, it’s possible that your leg cramps are a result of that condition. 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. Always consult your healthcare provider if you think your leg cramps are a symptom of a more serious medical condition.

Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as:

  • Alcoholism: An addiction to alcohol.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Dehydration: The lack of sufficient water in the body. (This sign is debated among experts.)

Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including:

  • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease): Progressive neuromuscular disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Heart conditions caused by blood clots or diseased blood vessels. Also, coronary artery disease: The narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver: Scarring of the liver.
  • Diabetes: A disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat.
  • Flat feet: The absence of the supportive arch in the foot.
  • Hypokalemia: Low potassium levels in your blood.
  • Kidney failure (hemodialysis): A condition in which one or both kidneys no longer work correctly.
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease): The corrosion of the cartilage that protects your bones. Also, lumbar canal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back.
  • Parkinson’s disease: A neurological movement disorder.
  • Peripheral artery disease: Narrowing of the arteries. Also, peripheral neuropathy: Damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps.

There are rumors that leg cramps can also be a sign of the following conditions. Fortunately, that is not the case. Leg cramps are unlikely to be a sign of:

  • Labor (giving birth).
  • Lung cancer.
  • Menopause.
  • Multiple sclerosis.

Leg cramps are not likely to be a sign of a deficiency in:

  • Alanine transaminase.
  • Albumin.
  • Bilirubin.
  • Calcium.
  • Creatinine.
  • Glucose.
  • Magnesium.
  • Zinc, vitamin B12 or vitamin D.

What are the warning signs that leg cramps are coming?

Unfortunately, leg cramps happen very suddenly. There are no warning signs. However, there are risk factors such as pregnancy and the use of medications that have leg cramps as a side effect.

Diagnosis and Tests

How are leg cramps diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will need to know your medical history, medications and a description of what you’re experiencing. Be specific. Report your symptoms to your healthcare provider and include the following information:

  • When the leg cramps started happening.
  • What your pain feels like.
  • When the cramps happen (at night, for example, or after vigorous exercise).
  • How long the cramps last.
  • Any other symptoms you’re experiencing.

Your healthcare provider will need to tell the difference between your leg cramps from other conditions that may resemble them:

  • Claudication.
  • Peripheral neuropathy.
  • Myositis.
  • Restless legs syndrome.

To distinguish those differences, your healthcare provider may:

  • Check the palpation of pulses.
  • Evaluate physical sensations such as pinpricks.
  • Test deep tendon reflexes.
  • Test the strength of your leg.

Do I need to have any testing done to diagnose my leg cramps?

Blood, urine and other routine tests are not helpful in diagnosing leg cramps but they may help identify previously undiagnosed medical conditions that have leg cramps as a symptom. For example, your healthcare provider will likely perform typical tests such as taking your blood pressure, and that can reveal cardiac and vascular risks.

What questions might my healthcare provider ask about my leg cramps?

To help your healthcare provider diagnose you, they may ask the following questions about your leg cramps:

  • When do you experience the leg cramps?
  • How often do your leg cramps occur?
  • How would you describe your leg cramps?
  • How long do the leg cramps last?
  • What medications are you currently taking?
  • What known medical conditions do you have?
  • Are you concerned about medical conditions that may be causing your leg cramps?
  • Are you having any symptoms of another medical condition?

Management and Treatment

What can I do to make leg cramps go away if they happen?

You want to get rid of a leg cramp the moment it strikes. You might be finishing up an exercise routine, or you might be awakened in the middle of the night. In moments like that there are, unfortunately, no magical injections that can instantly relieve your pain. However, there are eight steps to take to possibly get rid of a leg cramp:

  1. Stretch. Straighten your leg and then flex it, pulling your toes towards your shin to stretch the muscles.
  2. Massage. Use your hands or a roller to massage the muscles.
  3. Stand. Get up. Press your feet against the floor.
  4. Walk. Wiggle your leg while you walk around.
  5. Apply heat. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath.
  6. Apply cold. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area.
  7. Pain killers. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
  8. Elevate. Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better.

What kinds of stretches help get rid of leg cramps?

Try this if your cramp is in your calf muscle: While standing (or sitting with your leg unfolded before you), straighten your leg and lift your foot until your toes are pointing at your shin. Pull on your toes if you are able to reach them. You could also try walking around on your heels.

What medicines may help with leg cramps?

At this time, there is no recommended medication that can prevent leg cramps 100% of the time. However, there are some prescription medications that show a little evidence of preventing leg cramps. Under your healthcare provider’s watchful eye, you might want to try the following:

  • Carisoprodol (Soma®): A muscle relaxant.
  • Diltiazem (Cartia XT®): A calciuim-channel blocker.
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex®): Treats muscle spasms and relieves pain and stiffness in muscles.
  • Verapamil: A calciuim-channel blocker.

What vitamins may help with leg cramps?

No vitamin is likely to help with a leg cramp 100% of the time. However, some experts do recommend that you take a vitamin B12 complex.

Does quinine help with leg cramps?

Quinine was thought to show some promise with healing leg cramps, but it is no longer recommended. There are potentially life-threatening side effects: arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia and hypersensitivity reactions.

When should I get my leg cramps treated at the Emergency Department?

Go to the emergency department (ED) if a leg cramp lasts longer than 10 minutes or becomes unbearably painful. Also go if a leg cramp happens after you touch a substance that could be poisonous or infectious. For example, if you have a cut in your skin that touches dirt, you could get a bacterial infection like tetanus. Exposure to mercury, lead or other toxic substances should also be reason to go to the emergency department.

Is there a surgery that could help with my leg cramps?

At this time, surgery is not recommended as a cure for leg cramps.

Prevention

How can I reduce my risk of getting leg cramps?

Experts can’t promise that you’ll never have a leg cramp again, but there are some steps you can take that might reduce your risk!

  • Make sure that you stay hydrated – drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Don’t drink as much alcohol and caffeine.
  • Adjust how you sleep. Use pillows to keep your toes pointed upwards if you sleep on your back. If you lie on your front, try hanging your feet over the end of the bed. Both positions can keep you in a relaxed position.
  • Gently stretch your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
  • Keep blankets and sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
  • Wear shoes that fit you well and support your feet.
  • Perform frequent leg exercises.
  • Stretch your muscles before and after you exercise.
  • Experiment with mild exercise right before bed. Walk on the treadmill or ride a bicycle for a few minutes.

What kinds of stretches help prevent leg cramps?

Try the following to prevent leg cramps in your calves: Stand about three feet (one meter) away from a wall. Lean forward. Touch the wall with your arms outstretched while keeping your feet flat. Count to five before you stop, and do it over and over again for at least five minutes. Repeat three times per day.

Outlook / Prognosis

Can leg cramps be cured?

Leg cramps don’t have a cure at this time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent leg cramps (see the “Prevention” section) and manage your leg cramps (see the “Management and Treatment” section).

Can leg cramps get worse?

The severity of a leg cramp is difficult if not impossible to predict. Some people see improvement with prevention and treatment plans, while others struggle. It is possible that your cramps will feel worse and happen more often as you age.

Living With

How do I take care of myself?

Come up with a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes a prevention plan and an in-the-moment treatment plan. Ideas for a prevention plan include several activities you may want to do every day:

  • Exercise: Do leg exercises during the day, and mild, brief walking or biking right before bed.
  • Hydration: Drink eight glasses of water each day and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Medications and vitamins: Take all vitamins and medications (including muscle relaxants) exactly how they’re prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Prepare your bed space: Keep a heating pad and massage roller next to your bed.
  • Shoes: Purchase supportive shoes.
  • Sleeping position: Experiment with different positions to see if one works better than another. Keep your toes up if you’re on your back and hang your feet over the end of the bed if you lie on your front.
  • Stretch: Stretch your legs before and after exercising, and right before you go to sleep.

Your in-the-moment treatment plan could include the eight steps mentioned in the Management and Treatment section:

  1. Stretch. Straighten your leg and then flex it, pulling your toes towards your shin to stretch the muscles (using a towel can assist).
  2. Massage. Use your hands or a roller to massage the muscles.
  3. Stand. Get up. Press your feet against the floor.
  4. Walk. Wiggle your leg while you walk around.
  5. Apply heat. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath.
  6. Apply cold. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area.
  7. Pain killers. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
  8. Elevate. Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better.

When should I see my healthcare provider about my leg cramps?

See your healthcare provider if your leg cramps are unbearably painful, happen frequently or last for a long time. Also, talk to your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to leg cramps:

  • Muscle cramps in other parts of your body.
  • Significant pain.
  • Swelling or numbness in the leg.
  • Changes in the skin of your leg.
  • Waking up over and over again with leg cramps.
  • If your leg cramps are stopping you from getting enough sleep.
  • If you have fluid abnormalities or electrolyte imbalances.
  • See your healthcare provider immediately if you’re concerned that your leg cramps are a symptom of an underlying serious medical condition.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider about leg cramps?

  • Do you think that my leg cramps are a symptom of an underlying condition?
  • Can you show me the best exercises I can do to stretch my muscles?
  • Can you show me the best massage techniques I can use to help with my leg cramps?
  • Is it safe for me to take medication for my leg cramps? Which medications should I take?
  • Do you recommend that I see a physical therapist, sleep specialist, massage therapist, or other specialist?
  • How can I help my child when they have a leg cramp?
  • Should I keep an eye out for symptoms other than leg cramps that might indicate a more serious condition?
  • How often should I come back to visit you about my leg cramps?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Leg cramps can be unpredictable and agonizing. They can affect your sleep, your exercise routine and your general quality of life. They’re common – very normal – and, fortunately, temporary, and there are steps you can take to manage them. Do your best to avoid risk factors, avoid medications with leg cramps as a side effect and take recommended preventative measures.

If you’re concerned about the severity and duration of your leg cramps, or think that they may be caused by a serious condition, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. Ask questions and voice your concerns. You don’t have to just “live with” leg cramps.

Causes, Pain Relief & Prevention

Overview

Leg Cramps at Night

What are leg cramps?

Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary, intense muscle pains usually in your calf, foot or thigh. You might also know them as a “charley horse.” Sometimes the cramp may cause your leg to spasm – to tighten uncontrollably. Although painful to live with, cramps are generally harmless.

What does a leg cramp feel like?

A leg cramp feels like a clenched, contracted muscle tightened into a knot. It can be severely uncomfortable, painful or even unbearable. Your muscles in the area might hurt for hours after the cramp goes away.

How do I stop a leg cramp?

Try forcefully stretching the affected muscle (for example, stretch your calf muscle by flexing your foot upward). Jiggle your leg, massage it, or force yourself to walk. It might also help to apply ice or heat – use a heating pad or take a warm bath. (Read the “Management and Treatment” section for more tips.)

Unfortunately, there are no pills or injections that instantly relieve a leg cramp when it’s happening. There are, however, ways that may prevent the cramp from happening in the first place (see the “Prevention” section).

Can you get leg cramps at night?

Leg cramps at night happen when you’re not very active, or when you’re asleep. They may wake you up, make it harder for you to fall back asleep and leave you feeling sore all night. Yearly, monthly, weekly, nightly – the frequency of leg cramps depends on the person. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Of people over age 60, 33% 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. Seven percent of children will, as well. Approximately 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. The reason behind that is thought to be that the extra weight of pregnancy strains the muscles.

Three-quarters (75%) of all reported leg cramps happen at night.

How long do leg cramps last?

An instance of a leg cramp can last from several seconds to several minutes.

Who gets leg cramps?

The older you are, the more likely you are to have leg cramps. This is because your tendons (the tissues that connect your muscles to your bones) naturally shorten as you age. You’re also more likely to get them if you’re a woman. Up to 60% of adults get leg cramps at night, as do up to 40% of children and teenagers.

Are leg cramps a sign of something serious?

Leg cramps can sometimes be a symptom of a serious health condition. (See the “Symptoms and Causes” section.) If you are concerned that you have a serious health condition, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider and report your symptoms, including your leg cramps.

How common are leg cramps?

Leg cramps are very common and normal, especially at night.

What is the difference between leg cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

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. Restless legs syndrome is uncomfortable, but not agonizing. It’s a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes leg cramps?

Some leg cramps happen for no known reason and they are called “idiopathic” cramps. “Secondary” leg cramps are a symptom or complication of a more serious health condition. The primary cause of idiopathic leg cramps is up for debate. Possible causes of them include:

  • Involuntary nerve discharges.
  • Restriction in the blood supply.
  • Stress.
  • Too much high-intensity exercise.

Women who are pregnant often have leg cramps during the day and at night.

Possible causes for leg cramps at night (nocturnal leg cramps) include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time.
  • Overusing the muscles.
  • Standing or working on concrete floors.
  • Sitting improperly.

Leg cramps are not likely to cause:

  • Broken bones.
  • Fainting.
  • Nausea.
  • Numbness.

What medications may cause leg cramps?

Drugs have side effects. It’s possible that a prescription you’re taking could be causing your leg cramps. In that case, work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the pros and cons of the medication vs. its side effects. 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. Medicines that have leg cramps as a side effect include:

  • Albuterol/Ipratropium (Combivent®).
  • Conjugated estrogens.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®).
  • Diuretics.
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin®).
  • Naproxen (Naprosyn®).
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica®)
  • Statins.
  • Zolpidem (Ambien®).

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®).

What medical problems can cause leg cramps?

Sometimes leg cramps happen to you for no reason, but other times they could possibly be a sign or symptom of a health condition. If you have any of the following conditions, it’s possible that your leg cramps are a result of that condition. 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. Always consult your healthcare provider if you think your leg cramps are a symptom of a more serious medical condition.

Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as:

  • Alcoholism: An addiction to alcohol.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Dehydration: The lack of sufficient water in the body. (This sign is debated among experts.)

Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including:

  • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease): Progressive neuromuscular disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Heart conditions caused by blood clots or diseased blood vessels. Also, coronary artery disease: The narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver: Scarring of the liver.
  • Diabetes: A disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat.
  • Flat feet: The absence of the supportive arch in the foot.
  • Hypokalemia: Low potassium levels in your blood.
  • Kidney failure (hemodialysis): A condition in which one or both kidneys no longer work correctly.
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease): The corrosion of the cartilage that protects your bones. Also, lumbar canal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back.
  • Parkinson’s disease: A neurological movement disorder.
  • Peripheral artery disease: Narrowing of the arteries. Also, peripheral neuropathy: Damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps.

There are rumors that leg cramps can also be a sign of the following conditions. Fortunately, that is not the case. Leg cramps are unlikely to be a sign of:

  • Labor (giving birth).
  • Lung cancer.
  • Menopause.
  • Multiple sclerosis.

Leg cramps are not likely to be a sign of a deficiency in:

  • Alanine transaminase.
  • Albumin.
  • Bilirubin.
  • Calcium.
  • Creatinine.
  • Glucose.
  • Magnesium.
  • Zinc, vitamin B12 or vitamin D.

What are the warning signs that leg cramps are coming?

Unfortunately, leg cramps happen very suddenly. There are no warning signs. However, there are risk factors such as pregnancy and the use of medications that have leg cramps as a side effect.

Diagnosis and Tests

How are leg cramps diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will need to know your medical history, medications and a description of what you’re experiencing. Be specific. Report your symptoms to your healthcare provider and include the following information:

  • When the leg cramps started happening.
  • What your pain feels like.
  • When the cramps happen (at night, for example, or after vigorous exercise).
  • How long the cramps last.
  • Any other symptoms you’re experiencing.

Your healthcare provider will need to tell the difference between your leg cramps from other conditions that may resemble them:

  • Claudication.
  • Peripheral neuropathy.
  • Myositis.
  • Restless legs syndrome.

To distinguish those differences, your healthcare provider may:

  • Check the palpation of pulses.
  • Evaluate physical sensations such as pinpricks.
  • Test deep tendon reflexes.
  • Test the strength of your leg.

Do I need to have any testing done to diagnose my leg cramps?

Blood, urine and other routine tests are not helpful in diagnosing leg cramps but they may help identify previously undiagnosed medical conditions that have leg cramps as a symptom. For example, your healthcare provider will likely perform typical tests such as taking your blood pressure, and that can reveal cardiac and vascular risks.

What questions might my healthcare provider ask about my leg cramps?

To help your healthcare provider diagnose you, they may ask the following questions about your leg cramps:

  • When do you experience the leg cramps?
  • How often do your leg cramps occur?
  • How would you describe your leg cramps?
  • How long do the leg cramps last?
  • What medications are you currently taking?
  • What known medical conditions do you have?
  • Are you concerned about medical conditions that may be causing your leg cramps?
  • Are you having any symptoms of another medical condition?

Management and Treatment

What can I do to make leg cramps go away if they happen?

You want to get rid of a leg cramp the moment it strikes. You might be finishing up an exercise routine, or you might be awakened in the middle of the night. In moments like that there are, unfortunately, no magical injections that can instantly relieve your pain. However, there are eight steps to take to possibly get rid of a leg cramp:

  1. Stretch. Straighten your leg and then flex it, pulling your toes towards your shin to stretch the muscles.
  2. Massage. Use your hands or a roller to massage the muscles.
  3. Stand. Get up. Press your feet against the floor.
  4. Walk. Wiggle your leg while you walk around.
  5. Apply heat. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath.
  6. Apply cold. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area.
  7. Pain killers. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
  8. Elevate. Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better.

What kinds of stretches help get rid of leg cramps?

Try this if your cramp is in your calf muscle: While standing (or sitting with your leg unfolded before you), straighten your leg and lift your foot until your toes are pointing at your shin. Pull on your toes if you are able to reach them. You could also try walking around on your heels.

What medicines may help with leg cramps?

At this time, there is no recommended medication that can prevent leg cramps 100% of the time. However, there are some prescription medications that show a little evidence of preventing leg cramps. Under your healthcare provider’s watchful eye, you might want to try the following:

  • Carisoprodol (Soma®): A muscle relaxant.
  • Diltiazem (Cartia XT®): A calciuim-channel blocker.
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex®): Treats muscle spasms and relieves pain and stiffness in muscles.
  • Verapamil: A calciuim-channel blocker.

What vitamins may help with leg cramps?

No vitamin is likely to help with a leg cramp 100% of the time. However, some experts do recommend that you take a vitamin B12 complex.

Does quinine help with leg cramps?

Quinine was thought to show some promise with healing leg cramps, but it is no longer recommended. There are potentially life-threatening side effects: arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia and hypersensitivity reactions.

When should I get my leg cramps treated at the Emergency Department?

Go to the emergency department (ED) if a leg cramp lasts longer than 10 minutes or becomes unbearably painful. Also go if a leg cramp happens after you touch a substance that could be poisonous or infectious. For example, if you have a cut in your skin that touches dirt, you could get a bacterial infection like tetanus. Exposure to mercury, lead or other toxic substances should also be reason to go to the emergency department.

Is there a surgery that could help with my leg cramps?

At this time, surgery is not recommended as a cure for leg cramps.

Prevention

How can I reduce my risk of getting leg cramps?

Experts can’t promise that you’ll never have a leg cramp again, but there are some steps you can take that might reduce your risk!

  • Make sure that you stay hydrated – drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Don’t drink as much alcohol and caffeine.
  • Adjust how you sleep. Use pillows to keep your toes pointed upwards if you sleep on your back. If you lie on your front, try hanging your feet over the end of the bed. Both positions can keep you in a relaxed position.
  • Gently stretch your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
  • Keep blankets and sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
  • Wear shoes that fit you well and support your feet.
  • Perform frequent leg exercises.
  • Stretch your muscles before and after you exercise.
  • Experiment with mild exercise right before bed. Walk on the treadmill or ride a bicycle for a few minutes.

What kinds of stretches help prevent leg cramps?

Try the following to prevent leg cramps in your calves: Stand about three feet (one meter) away from a wall. Lean forward. Touch the wall with your arms outstretched while keeping your feet flat. Count to five before you stop, and do it over and over again for at least five minutes. Repeat three times per day.

Outlook / Prognosis

Can leg cramps be cured?

Leg cramps don’t have a cure at this time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent leg cramps (see the “Prevention” section) and manage your leg cramps (see the “Management and Treatment” section).

Can leg cramps get worse?

The severity of a leg cramp is difficult if not impossible to predict. Some people see improvement with prevention and treatment plans, while others struggle. It is possible that your cramps will feel worse and happen more often as you age.

Living With

How do I take care of myself?

Come up with a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes a prevention plan and an in-the-moment treatment plan. Ideas for a prevention plan include several activities you may want to do every day:

  • Exercise: Do leg exercises during the day, and mild, brief walking or biking right before bed.
  • Hydration: Drink eight glasses of water each day and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Medications and vitamins: Take all vitamins and medications (including muscle relaxants) exactly how they’re prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Prepare your bed space: Keep a heating pad and massage roller next to your bed.
  • Shoes: Purchase supportive shoes.
  • Sleeping position: Experiment with different positions to see if one works better than another. Keep your toes up if you’re on your back and hang your feet over the end of the bed if you lie on your front.
  • Stretch: Stretch your legs before and after exercising, and right before you go to sleep.

Your in-the-moment treatment plan could include the eight steps mentioned in the Management and Treatment section:

  1. Stretch. Straighten your leg and then flex it, pulling your toes towards your shin to stretch the muscles (using a towel can assist).
  2. Massage. Use your hands or a roller to massage the muscles.
  3. Stand. Get up. Press your feet against the floor.
  4. Walk. Wiggle your leg while you walk around.
  5. Apply heat. Use a heating pad or take a warm bath.
  6. Apply cold. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the area.
  7. Pain killers. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
  8. Elevate. Prop up your leg after the cramp starts to feel better.

When should I see my healthcare provider about my leg cramps?

See your healthcare provider if your leg cramps are unbearably painful, happen frequently or last for a long time. Also, talk to your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to leg cramps:

  • Muscle cramps in other parts of your body.
  • Significant pain.
  • Swelling or numbness in the leg.
  • Changes in the skin of your leg.
  • Waking up over and over again with leg cramps.
  • If your leg cramps are stopping you from getting enough sleep.
  • If you have fluid abnormalities or electrolyte imbalances.
  • See your healthcare provider immediately if you’re concerned that your leg cramps are a symptom of an underlying serious medical condition.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider about leg cramps?

  • Do you think that my leg cramps are a symptom of an underlying condition?
  • Can you show me the best exercises I can do to stretch my muscles?
  • Can you show me the best massage techniques I can use to help with my leg cramps?
  • Is it safe for me to take medication for my leg cramps? Which medications should I take?
  • Do you recommend that I see a physical therapist, sleep specialist, massage therapist, or other specialist?
  • How can I help my child when they have a leg cramp?
  • Should I keep an eye out for symptoms other than leg cramps that might indicate a more serious condition?
  • How often should I come back to visit you about my leg cramps?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Leg cramps can be unpredictable and agonizing. They can affect your sleep, your exercise routine and your general quality of life. They’re common – very normal – and, fortunately, temporary, and there are steps you can take to manage them. Do your best to avoid risk factors, avoid medications with leg cramps as a side effect and take recommended preventative measures.

If you’re concerned about the severity and duration of your leg cramps, or think that they may be caused by a serious condition, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. Ask questions and voice your concerns. You don’t have to just “live with” leg cramps.

Leg Cramps at Night: Causes and Tips to Reduce Them

Sharp and painful leg cramps can cause unpleasant sleep disruptions. About 60% of people report experiencing nocturnal leg cramps. Nocturnal leg cramps — also commonly called charley horses — are painful, involuntary contractions of leg muscles during the night. Although nocturnal leg cramps generally pass after minutes, they are unpleasant and can disrupt sleep enough to create problems.

What Are Leg Cramps?

Leg cramps are sharp, painful contractions that occur in leg muscles. When these cramps occur during sleep, they are called nocturnal leg cramps. Usually, the calves and feet are most affected. Nocturnal leg cramps are more prevalent in women and older adults, but anyone can experience them.

Nocturnal Leg Cramps vs. Restless Legs Syndrome

Nocturnal leg cramps are a distinct condition, but they are often misdiagnosed as restless legs syndrome (RLS) because both disorders involve uncomfortable sensations in the legs. Although symptoms are similar, there are some key differences between these disorders.

You may have nocturnal leg cramps if you are experiencing:

  • Calf or foot cramps during the night
  • Cramping that causes intense pain
  • Sharp pain lasting less than 10 minutes
  • Soreness lingering for hours or days
  • Sleep disruption as a result of cramping
  • Feeling distress around falling asleep

Even though restless legs syndrome also involves leg discomfort at night, its symptoms vary from those found in nocturnal leg cramps. RLS is characterized by the desire or urge to move your legs in the evening. Other symptoms can include:

  • Unpleasant or painful sensations in the legs
  • Discomfort that worsens in the evening or night
  • Relief found by walking or stretching
  • Sensations that worsen with lack of exercise or rest

Symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps and RLS often present in similar ways. Therefore, nocturnal leg cramps might be difficult for your doctor to diagnose. To help your doctor figure out what issue is causing your leg discomfort, track your symptoms and bring detailed notes with you to your appointment.

How Long Do Leg Cramps Last?

Nocturnal leg cramps can occur for as short as a few seconds, and they usually do not last longer than 10 minutes. You may feel soreness or reduced strength in your legs the day after your cramps. Stretching your calf or foot during the cramp may help relieve some of the intense pain.

Causes of Leg Cramps at Night

Leg cramps can be distressing and painful. Experiencing pain during the night can disrupt sleep. The exact causes of nocturnal leg cramps are unknown. However, there are some factors that may increase the chance of experiencing leg cramps during the night.

Medications: Some medications, like diuretics, steroids, and antidepressants, are associated with nocturnal leg cramping. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking if you experience leg cramps during the night.

Pregnancy: Leg cramps are a common experience in pregnant women, although some professionals consider pregnancy-related leg cramps different from nocturnal leg cramps. Researchers are unsure if this leg cramping occurs due to pregnancy itself, or because of a lack of blood flow in the veins as a result of pregnancy. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce leg cramping in pregnancy, but you should talk to your doctor before beginning any new supplements.

Dehydration: Not drinking enough water during the day can result in dehydration. Dehydration causes muscle weakness and cramping. Nocturnal leg cramps in particular are not associated with dehydration, but drinking water is still important. The exact amount of water you need to drink each day depends on your body weight, activity level, medications, and local climate.

Standing for Extended Periods: Being on your feet for long periods of time can increase the risk of experiencing nocturnal leg cramps, making leg cramps a problem for people who must stand while they work. Taking breaks from standing and setting aside time to elevate your feet may help.

Exercise: Exercising at the gym or through team sports may lead to muscle cramps. When muscles are fatigued or overworked, they can be more susceptible to cramping. Exercise-associated muscle cramps may be mistaken for nocturnal leg cramps when they occur at night. Stretching during an exercise-induced cramp has been shown to help relieve pain.

Alcohol:  Research of people over age 60 shows that those who drink alcohol are more likely to report nocturnal leg cramping. This cramping could be a result of alcohol’s ability to damage muscle fibers, but more research is needed.

How to Reduce Leg Cramps at Night

Although the exact cause of nocturnal leg cramps is unknown, there are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will experience them. Typically, leg cramps do not indicate a serious health problem. However, if you are experiencing frequent leg cramping, you should reach out to your doctor. You may be able to reduce the likelihood of experiencing leg cramps through:

Hydration: Staying consistently hydrated throughout the day may help reduce the frequency of muscle cramps, since dehydration can cause cramps. Though some research suggests that nocturnal leg cramps are not caused by dehydration, it may help to drink water during long periods of outdoor activity or strenuous activity. There is also research to suggest that drinking pickle juice during a cramping episode helps inhibit the cramp quickly.

Stretching: Doing some stretching or yoga before bed may help you reduce both the frequency and intensity of nocturnal leg cramps. Research suggests that engaging in a stretching routine before bed helps reduce cramps and leg pain after about six weeks.

Baths: Some people claim that taking a bath helps relieve their nighttime cramps, though further research is needed. An epsom salt bath in particular could help reduce muscle pain. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate. An epsom salt bath could increase your magnesium levels, which may help relieve leg cramping.

Massage: Massaging your calves or feet before bed may help you reduce cramping during the night by relaxing the muscles in your legs. If you have limited mobility, consider asking a partner to help.

Heel Walking: Some people find that walking on their heels helps reduce nocturnal leg cramping. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a cramp in your calf, try getting up and walking on your heels. Although this type of walking helps release the tight calf muscle, research has found that it is not as effective as stretching during a leg cramp.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If you are experiencing cramping in your feet and calves frequently during the night that does not go away with changes in lifestyle or diet, consult your doctor. In many cases, the cause of nocturnal leg cramps is unknown. Some leg cramps could indicate a more serious underlying disease, however, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Nerve damage in legs
  • Circulation disorders

Discussing your symptoms and concerns with your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment.

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Muscle Cramps | HealthLink BC

Topic Overview

What are muscle cramps?

A muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. It often occurs in the legs. A muscle cramp is also called a charley horse.

Nighttime leg cramps are usually sudden spasms, or tightening, of muscles in the calf. The muscle cramps can sometimes happen in the thigh or the foot. They often occur just as you are falling asleep or waking up.

What causes muscle cramps?

The cause of muscle cramps isn’t always known. Muscle cramps may be brought on by many conditions or activities, such as:

  • Exercising, injury, or overuse of muscles.
  • Pregnancy. Cramps may occur because of decreased amounts of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, especially in the later months of pregnancy.
  • Exposure to cold temperatures, especially to cold water.
  • Other medical conditions, such as blood flow problems (peripheral arterial disease), kidney disease, thyroid disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Standing on a hard surface for a long time, sitting for a long time, or putting your legs in awkward positions while you sleep.
  • Not having enough potassium, calcium, and other minerals in your blood.
  • Being dehydrated, which means that your body has lost too much fluid.
  • Taking certain medicines, such as antipsychotics, birth control pills, diuretics, and steroids.

How can you stop a muscle cramp when it happens?

You may need to try several different ways to stop a muscle cramp before you find what works best for you. Here are some things you can try:

  • Stretch and massage the muscle.
  • Take a warm shower or bath to relax the muscle. A heating pad placed on the muscle can also help.
  • Try using an ice or cold pack. Always keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • If your doctor prescribes medicines for muscle cramps, take them exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you have any problems with your medicine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, will often help leg cramps.

Here are some things you can try for a leg cramp:

  • Walk around, or jiggle your leg.
  • Stretch your calf muscles. You can do this stretch while you sit or stand:
    • While sitting, straighten your leg and flex your foot up toward your knee. It may help to place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and, while holding the towel at both ends, gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight.
    • While standing about 0.5 m (2 ft) from a wall, lean forward against the wall. Keep the knee of the affected leg straight and the heel on the ground. Do this while you bend the knee of the other leg. See a picture of how to do this calf stretch.

If you think a medicine is causing muscle cramps:

  • Before you take another dose, call the doctor who prescribed the medicine. The medicine may need to be stopped or changed, or the dose may need to be adjusted.
  • If you are taking any medicine not prescribed by a doctor, stop taking it. Talk to your doctor if you think you need to continue taking the medicine.

How can you prevent muscle cramps?

These tips may help prevent muscle cramps:

  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
  • Limit or avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy foods (especially if you are pregnant) that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Ride a bike or stationary bike to condition and stretch your muscles.
  • Stretch your muscles every day, especially before and after exercise and at bedtime.
  • Don’t suddenly increase the amount of exercise you get. Increase your exercise a little each week.
  • Take a daily multivitamin.

If you are taking medicines that are known to cause leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe different medicines.

What if muscle cramps keep coming back?

Talk with your doctor if you have muscle cramps that keep coming back or are severe. These may be symptoms of another problem, such as restless legs syndrome.

If cramps keep coming back, bother you a lot, or interfere with your sleep, your doctor may prescribe medicine that relaxes your muscles.

Credits

Current as of: November 20, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine
Brian O’Brien, MD, FRCPC – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm, DO – Neurology

Current as of: November 20, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine & Brian O’Brien, MD, FRCPC – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO – Neurology

7 Ways to Prevent Night Leg Cramps (Charley Horses)

Have you ever gone to bed and were suddenly awoken with a severe leg cramp? Night leg cramps, AKA nocturnal leg cramps, can be a nightmare if you get them.

Leg cramps are characterized by abrupt, uncomfortable (and even painful) spasms that can affect the calf muscles and thighs but can also involve your feet. They can occur when you are awake, but most often they occur at night.

Causes for Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Although night leg cramps are often referred to as “charley horses,” there is no Charley and certainly no horse causing them. You may wonder then what could be causing these unwelcome wake-up calls.

“Nobody really knows the exact cause for leg cramps at night, but there are some known factors that can increase your risk,” said Joyce Lee-Iannotti, MD, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Banner Health in Phoenix, AZ.

These factors include:

  • Your Age: It’s estimated that nearly 60% of those ages 50 and older report nocturnal leg cramps.
  • Pregnancy: This may occur due to weight gain and changes in circulation.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: Those with kidney and thyroid problems or peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the legs) may experience leg cramping.
  • Some Medications: Medications such as diuretics, blood pressure medications or statins may contribute to leg cramps.

“Other risk factors may be due to overexerting your muscles, sitting for prolonged periods of time without moving, dehydration or standing and walking on hard surfaces all day,” Dr. Lee-Iannotti added.

Could it be Restless Leg Syndrome?

Many people confuse nocturnal leg cramps with another condition known as restless leg syndrome, RLS. Like RLS, leg cramps most often occur at rest. The difference, however, is that leg cramps produce muscle tightening, cramping and pain. With RLS, you’ll experience a strange and unpleasant urge to move your legs in order to stop a feeling of discomfort, but there isn’t usually pain associated with it.

7 Ways to Relieve and Prevent Leg Cramps at Night

The good news is that although they can be painful, nocturnal leg cramps aren’t typically serious. While it can be a bit of trial and error, here are seven home remedies you can try to help relieve discomfort and potentially stop painful wake-up calls.

  • Stretch your hamstring and calf muscles during the day and before you go to bed.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and watch your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Try mild exercises before bed, such as walking or riding the stationary bike for a few minutes.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough proper sleep.
  • Take a warm bath or shower to soothe tight muscles.
  • Wear supportive shoes with proper arch and ankle support.
  • Keep sheets and blankets loose around your feet so you aren’t as restricted to move around at night.

“If none of these remedies work, you’re continuing to have severe persistent cramping and it’s impacting your sleep and daily function, call your doctor,” Dr. Lee-Iannotti said. “Nocturnal leg cramps shouldn’t impair your general well-being.”

Nocturnal leg cramps, or charley horses, are a real nightmare, but don’t let them get you down. Find relief with a Banner Health specialist, by visiting bannerhealth.com.


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Painful cramp in your legs when walking?

We all get leg cramp from time to time. But if you get a cramp in your legs and / or buttocks when you’re walking or exercising that stops after you rest for a while, you could have intermittent claudication.

What can cause cramp / intermittent claudication?

Intermittent claudication is one of the most common symptoms of the cardiovascular disease ‘peripheral arterial disease’ (PAD).

If you have lower limb PAD, the blood vessels (arteries) that carry blood to the legs and feet can harden, narrow or get blocked by a build-up of fatty deposits. This reduces the amount of oxygen that can get to your legs muscles. When you walk, the leg muscles need more oxygen than when you are at rest. So if your leg muscles don’t get enough oxygen when moving, they start to hurt or ‘cramp’.

The pain can range from mild to severe and usually goes away after a few minutes when you rest your legs. It is often worse when walking up an incline.

You might feel pain in one leg or in both legs or it might be worse on one side than it is on the other.

Other symptoms of peripheral arterial disease can include:

  • Hair loss on your legs and feet
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Brittle, slow-growing toenails
  • Ulcers (open sores) on your feet and legs that don’t heal
  • Changing skin colour on your legs, such as turning pale or blue
  • Shiny skin
  • In men, erectile dysfunction
  • The muscles in your legs shrinking (wasting)

The symptoms of peripheral arterial disease often develop slowly and over time. If your symptoms develop quickly or suddenly get worse it could be a sign of a serious problem that needs immediate treatment.

If you have peripheral arterial disease n your legs and feet, it can be a sign that you are at risk of other cardiovascular problems, such as angina, heart attack or a stroke. This is because if the arteries in your legs and feet are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, blood vessels elsewhere in your body are likely to be affected too.

You can read more about peripheral arterial disease on NHS Choices or on the British Heart Foundation website.

You can read more about intermittent claudication at the Circulation Foundation’s website.

Getting diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease

Many people mistakenly think this pain is just part of growing older, but there’s no reason why an otherwise healthy person should experience cramping leg pain when exercising. If you are getting recurring painful cramps in your lower legs when walking, make an appointment at your GP practice. You may be given an appointment to see the nurse or podiatrist rather than the doctor as nurses and podiatrists are often responsible for caring for patients with leg and foot problems

Remember to remove any nail polish from your toenails before your appointment.

When you see the nurse, podiatrist or doctor, they should:

  • Ask about your symptoms and how long you have had problems
  • Examine your lower legs
  • Take the pulses in your groin, behind your knees and in your feet.

Do a special test using a Doppler ultrasound called an Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI). This test compares blood flow in your ankle with that in your arm to find out if there are blood flow problems in your lower leg. You may have to come back to have your Doppler test on another day or at another clinic but you should have this test within a few weeks of your first

You might also be offered some more tests to rule out other health problems that can affect your legs, including diabetes, anaemia, thyroid and kidney problems, and cholesterol problems.

If your GP practice thinks you have problems with your arteries, they might refer you for further tests at your local hospital or specialist clinic.

Treatment – what treatment will I be offered for peripheral arterial disease?

Atherosclerosis doesn’t just affect the arteries in your leg, but also arteries to your heart and to your brain. This can cause heart attacks or strokes. The most important part of the treatment for claudication is making sure that the disease doesn’t progress further or spread to other arteries. The best way of doing this is by making changes to your lifestyle.

Medication

Your healthcare practitioner should offer you a blood thinner, such as clopidogrel, and a statin, such as atorvastatin, to lower your cholesterol. These medications should not only help reduce the cramp in your legs but help reduce the chance of major cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes.

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension) it is important that these are well-controlled through medication if necessary.

Exercise

Your healthcare practitioner will talk to you about important of adopting healthy lifestyle. This will include the importance of stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and the importance of exercise. Exercise in itself can be a treatment for cramp, as overtime this can improve your pain-free walking distance. This should be the first recommended treatment, before surgery is considered. The ideal is to join a supervised exercise programme, where you will be offered 2 hours of supervised exercise over a 3-month period. If supervised exercise programmes are not available in your area you may be asked to undertake a period (3 months) of structured exercise exercising for at least 2 hours a week, where you will be encouraged to exercise to the point of maximal pain, where ever possible. As exercise is good for cramping and your general health it’s important that this is undertaken before considering any form of surgery.

Read more  (Download PDF)

Further treatment

If leg cramp is having a big impact on your quality of life, you might want to consider surgery. Sometimes a narrowing or blockage in your artery can be opened up and stretched using a small balloon. This procedure is done under a local anaesthetic in the radiology department of hospital.

If your symptoms are very severe and the blockage is too big to open up with a balloon, a bypass operation might be an option. This is where a vein from your leg or an artificial artery is used to carry the blood past the blockage. Your  vascular specialist will talk through all these options with you.

Healthcare advice for cramp / intermittent claudication?

Making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help reduce or stabilise claudication and stop it turning into something more serious:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing weight will help your arteries and mean you can walk further.
  • Take light to moderate exercise such as swimming or walking for about 30 minutes at least three times a week. Exercise forces our blood vessels to form new branches and improves the blood circulation in our legs. Don’t worry if your legs hurt a little when you exercise, but exercise should not make you feel unwell.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases the hardening of the arteries by about ten times. It also makes the smaller arteries close up. It is hard to quit, but there’s lots of support to be found through your nurse or doctor, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Here are some links which you may find to be useful

NHS Choices has lots of information about stopping smoking

ADT healthcare also provide a comprehensive list of tips & tricks for quitting smoking

Dowload this page as a pdf to print

Healthy Aging: Muscle Cramps & Spasms | MUSC Health

One of the many things to “go wrong” as we age is the unwanted and often painful involuntary contraction of muscles in our legs and sometimes other areas. The medical definition of this is the contraction of a muscle or muscle group that is unintentional. If the contraction is sustained for more than several seconds it moves from being a muscle in spasm to a muscle cramp. In other words the process begins as a muscle spasm which is a tightening of the muscle and if it persists it becomes a cramp. Neither of these conditions is voluntary, meaning we did not intentionally tighten the muscle as we might when lifting a weight.

Symptoms

It is easy to self-diagnose muscle spasms and cramps. The most important sign is intense pain caused by the extreme tightening of the muscle. The pain is localized at the site of the muscle. There may be tenderness on touching the muscle with ones hands. There always is the sensation of a tense or tight muscle that feels very hard compared to other relaxed muscles. The spasm may last only a few seconds or up to 15 minutes. The longer the cramp lasts the more likely the muscle will be sore for a prolonged period after the acute pain has subsided. The cramps can and often do impair function, for example, writer’s cramp occurs in muscles of the hand making it impossible to write. Or, there can be cramps in leg muscles that make walking or running difficult. The most common site of a cramp as we age is in the calf.

Risks & Causes

Cramps occur commonly, it is estimated that 60 percent of adults have cramps from time to time. The frequency increases as we age. Women suffer more than men with nighttime cramps. In addition to age, there are a number of risk factors that often are associated with muscle cramping. These include medications, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, certain diseases, and exercise. Medications that are known to produce cramps include drugs to treat the following conditions:

  • Hypertension (e.g., furosemide or Lasix).
  • Heart disease (e.g., nifedipine).
  • Cholesterol (e.g., any of the “statins”).
  • Parkinson’s disease (e.g., tolcapone).
  • Alzheimer’s disease (e.g., donepezil).

There are a host of other drugs that also are reported to cause cramps and if you start taking a new medicine and start having more cramps, call your physician to report this. 

Cramps are associated with physical exertion. Even the best conditioned athletes can be brought to their knees and removed from competition because of cramps. The intense use of the muscles and the dehydration that occurs with perspiration together create the risk of cramping. The loss of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium with perspiration will lead to cramping of muscles. 

Dehydration for any reason predisposes one to cramping. For example, if one does not drink six to eight glasses of water or equivalent fluid per day, dehydration can occur. If any of the liquids one does consume have caffeine in them, then the fluid is likely to be excreted in the form of urine since caffeine is a diuretic. As we age, there is a tendency to become less well hydrated. 

Some of the diseases associated with cramping include alcoholism, hypothyroidism, myopathies, renal disease with dialysis, and excessive sweating. Pain in muscles that is not true cramping can occur with walking if there is claudication, which is a circulatory disorder causing inadequate blood supply to the muscles used in walking.

Treatment 

The treatment for a cramp is what we in medicine term “supportive.” That means stopping what one is doing that could have precipitated the cramp. Walk around – “walk if off” if possible. Next, is to massage the muscle areas attempting to relax the muscle. Drink fluids with some electrolytes like Gatorade. Take a warm shower or bath. Some recommend either heat or cold applied to the affected muscle. If the pain persists after the muscle has relaxed, over the counter analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen) may be used to combat the residual soreness.

Prevention

Proper stretching before and after exercise is key to preventing cramps related to exercise. Calf stretching is particularly important before or after exercise. The other important preventive measure is to hydrate before, during, and after the exercise. It is wise to use a diluted electrolyte solution like Gatorade in this prevention strategy. Always exercise in moderation and build up to increased amounts. 

As for nighttime cramps, the best prevention is to stay well hydrated, avoid alcohol or caffeine before bedtime, eat a balanced diet that has the recommended dietary requirements for vitamins and minerals. Foods rich in calcium, potassium, and  magnesium are essential. Gently stretch muscles that have caused cramps before going to bed. Avoid assuming positions of the body that seem to cause cramping at night or during the day. Do not smoke.

The Bottom Line

Muscle spasms and cramping are increasingly common as we age. They generally are a benign problem that is self-limited and often preventable. If cramping increases despite good efforts at prevention, consult with your physician.

90,000 Causes and treatment of leg cramps Irkutsk

The main / Causes and treatment of leg cramps

Leg cramps are a rather unpleasant and often painful phenomenon, which is not so rarely encountered by a modern person. Most often, elderly people, as well as pregnant women and athletes, are susceptible to this ailment. But, even if you do not belong to any of the risk categories, no one can give you a guarantee that the convulsive syndrome will pass you completely.

Basically, leg cramps is a severe muscle spasm when a person cannot even lean on a limb. The muscle tissue itself becomes very elastic to the touch. Anything can be affected – from the feet to the thigh muscles, but the most common syndrome is spasm of the calf muscles. Almost everyone has encountered such a manifestation at least once in their life, but if the cramps become constant, painful and significantly affect the quality of life, this is a reason to consult a specialist and start treatment of leg cramps .

Causes of leg cramps

With a certain degree of dehydration, when the body loses potassium, calcium, zinc and copper, convulsive syndrome occurs. Also on very hot days and with increased sweating, carefully monitor the level of water you drink. Dehydration cramps signal dangerously low electrolyte levels, so don’t ignore the symptoms.
Lack of minerals can also cause discomfort in the legs. So, a low amount of calcium and magnesium in the body interferes with the normal conduction of nerve impulses by the muscles, which leads to seizures.Try to eat a balanced diet, and do not consume a lot of caffeine and sugar. Also, if for any reason you are prescribed to take a certain class of drugs that interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body, consult your doctor and he will prescribe you additional vitamin complexes.
Another reason for poor absorption of calcium is the protein type of diet or protein diets. If you think that you need to lose weight and plan to stick to just such a diet, do not forget to take multivitamins, which will not only prevent the appearance of seizures, but also have a general strengthening effect on the body.
Short-term cramps in the legs also occur with sudden hypothermia, for example, when the limbs are immersed in cold water. A sharp physical activity without proper preparation and muscle warm-up is fraught with consequences. Even severe stress, which leads to the loss of potassium in the body, can cause such an unpleasant phenomenon as seizures.
If all of the above reasons are excluded, and seizures continue – consult your doctor about diabetes, varicose veins, or find out about the condition and functioning of your thyroid gland.There is also a number of diseases, the symptoms of which may be leg cramps , but the diagnosis can only be made by a specialist after a comprehensive examination.

Night cramps in the legs

Such an unpleasant phenomenon as leg cramps at night can bring not only short-term discomfort, but also cause insomnia. You can feel cramps if you suddenly change your body position. Even after the cramp has passed, muscle soreness can persist for a long time.Elderly people are at increased risk, as the sensitivity of nerve endings increases with age. It is necessary to pay special attention to this, since spasms of the lower extremities can indicate a developing thrombosis.

Leg cramps in pregnant women

Restless legs syndrome, one of the components of which is night cramps of the limbs, is a common occurrence among pregnant women. A constantly growing uterus affects blood flow in the lower extremities, and tingling, pain in the hip, a constant desire to change posture while resting, the need to move the legs to avoid the manifestation of all these symptoms are often added to the cramps of the calf muscles.Naturally, with such sensations and speech, there can be no good sleep, which is so important for a woman during pregnancy.
Since the intake of medications is very limited during the gestation period, doctors usually recommend warm relaxing foot baths with herbs (valerian root, mint). Remember about a balanced diet – the need for vitamins and minerals increases, so eat fish, herbs, vegetables, dairy products in sufficient quantities. A pregnant woman should also give up high-heeled shoes – they also provoke leg cramps.

Treatment of leg cramps

Very often, seizures are taken by surprise and can cause panic. In order to alleviate your condition, take a sitting position, lower your limbs to the floor – after a short time, the spasm will pass.
Massage from the fingers to the knees helps to restore blood supply. In some cases, tingling or tingling sensations help to quickly relieve the cramp.
When contacting a doctor with a similar problem, the first thing that will advise you is to revise your diet, diversify your diet with foods containing magnesium, potassium, calcium.From non-drug methods of treatment, relaxing exercises and massage will also help. Contrast foot baths can help relieve tension in your legs before bed. Avoiding uncomfortable shoes and limiting physical activity will also make your life much easier. Be attentive to your body, monitor all symptoms and seek treatment for leg cramps from a specialist in time.

90,000 Interventions for leg cramps during pregnancy

What is the problem?

Leg cramps manifest themselves as sudden, intense involuntary contractions of the leg muscles.This is a common problem during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. They are painful and can interfere with daily activities, disrupt sleep, and reduce quality of life. Various types of interventions are used to treat leg cramps during pregnancy, including medications, electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, sodium) and vitamins, and non-drug therapies such as stretching the muscles.

Why is this important?

The aim of this review was to find out which treatment for leg cramps during pregnancy is effective and safe.

What evidence have we found?

In September 2019, we searched for evidence and identified eight randomized controlled trials involving 576 women between 14 and 36 weeks’ gestation, in which magnesium, calcium, calcium with vitamin D, or B vitamins were compared with placebo or no treatment. and also compared vitamin C with calcium. All drugs were given as tablets to be chewed or swallowed.

Magnesium supplementation may reduce the incidence of leg cramps in women compared to placebo or no treatment, although research results were inconsistent. Different studies have evaluated the effects of magnesium supplements in different ways. Some studies have shown that magnesium can help reduce the incidence of leg cramps, while others have shown little or no effect. The data on the effect of magnesium in reducing pain intensity were also inconclusive: only one study showed a decrease in pain intensity, while others showed no difference.There was little or no difference in the occurrence of side effects such as nausea and diarrhea.

Calcium did not always reduce the incidence of leg cramps in women after treatment compared with those who received no treatment. It was also found that the evidence was of very low quality, so we cannot be sure of the results.

More women who received B vitamin supplements recovered completely compared to those who received no treatment; however, these results were obtained from a small sample and the study had design limitations.

The incidence of leg cramps did not differ between women who received calcium and women who received vitamin C.

Supplements with calcium and vitamin D, as well as vitamin D alone, did not affect the frequency, duration and intensity of leg cramps after treatment, compared to with a placebo.

What does this mean?

The quality of the evidence was low to very low. This was mainly due to the small study sample size and inadequate study design.Four studies were well conducted and reported. The other four had flaws in their design: in several studies, women were not best allocated to different treatment groups, and in two studies, women knew whether they were receiving treatment or not. Adverse effects, such as the effect of treatment on complications of pregnancy, childbirth and baby, were not reported. Several studies have focused primarily on serum calcium and magnesium levels. The frequency and intensity of seizures and the duration of pain were not reported in a uniform manner, and information was often lacking on how they were assessed – during treatment, at the end of treatment, or after treatment was discontinued.

It is not clear from the evidence reviewed whether any oral interventions (magnesium, calcium, calcium with vitamin D, B vitamins, vitamin D, or vitamin C) are effective and safe treatments for leg cramps during pregnancy. Supplements can have different effects depending on how women usually take them. None of the trials looked at forms of treatment such as muscle stretching, massage, relaxation, or heat therapy.

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From what there are cramps in the legs. Spontaneous muscle spasms of the limbs can be caused by the peculiarities of a person’s lifestyle and activities. Favorable conditions for involuntary contractions arise in conditions of physical inactivity, excessive muscle activity (physical activity exceeding the limit of capabilities) or wearing uncomfortable shoes.Spasms can occur as a result of metabolic disorders in muscles against a background of stress, hypothermia, or being in an uncomfortable position. The next reason that leg cramps can be associated is metabolic disorders in the body. Manifestations of seizures. Seizures (or cramps) are painful, involuntary muscle contractions. Crumpies are more likely to bother elderly people, are somewhat less common in younger people and are very rare in children under 8 years of age. Women are most susceptible to seizures.Painful spasms most often occur at rest, while lying down, often at night, disrupting sleep. Usually the calf muscles and the muscles of the foot are involved: the foot involuntarily stretches and bends towards the sole, the calf muscle contracts and hardens. Leg cramps are very painful, come on suddenly, last a few minutes, and go away on their own. Leg cramps are observed in vascular diseases, cramps syndrome, flat feet, electrolyte imbalance, hypovitaminosis, a number of endocrine diseases, poisoning, drug overdose, brain damage, and some other conditions.They can cover one muscle or several muscle groups, be isolated, or be combined with convulsions of other localizations. Diagnosed on the basis of survey data, external examination, EFI, laboratory tests, hardware methods. Treatment includes muscle relaxants, antiepileptic and anticonvulsants, antispasmodics, physiotherapy, and surgery. Cramping can occur during rest or physical activity. Why do calves go numb when walking? What will the painful symptom tell about? What can cause seizures: the main reasons.Involuntary muscle contractions that are accompanied by severe pain and sudden numbness are called seizures. Most often, the calf muscles are spasmodic. 3. Diseases of the spine, joints. Various disorders of the spinal column can provoke displacement, compression of the vertebrae. This leads to pinching of nerve endings, compression of the spinal cord. All of these factors can cause leg cramps. Unpleasant symptoms occur with the following pathologies The safest and most benign spasms are leg muscle spasms: 1.In a dream (night cramps of the legs). At the same time, small muscles of the feet can also join the cramps in the calf muscles. What to do?. At the same time, there are no cramps, only pain appears in the muscles of the lower leg with an increase in physical activity and the duration of walking. 3. An infectious disease with prolonged fever and / or vomiting and diarrhea. 4. Pregnancy. Most experts are inclined to believe that similar problems in the 2nd and third trimester, more often in sleep, are associated with a lack of magnesium, salt restriction, and the prolonged presence of edema in the legs.Why do seizures appear? Possible causes of night cramps are: Lack of potassium, magnesium and calcium in the body. Pregnancy. Prolonged stay during sleep in an uncomfortable position for the legs. Excessive physical activity. Exposure to cold. If seizures are caused by medication, consult your doctor. What if the convulsions are repeated over and over again? The regular return of seizures and an increase in their intensity is a signal that you need to see a specialist. Seizures can indicate a condition such as restless legs syndrome.Prepared using materials from gippokrat.by. Follow us on Facebook. Leg cramps are a signal that a certain pathology is present in the body that caused them. Cold environments increase the likelihood of seizures. Smokers are 5 times more likely to have seizures than non-smokers. Proper first aid treatment for lower limb cramps prevents recurrence in 95% of cases. How do muscles work? decrease in the concentration of ATP; a genetic defect in one of the contractile proteins.Causes of leg cramps. The reasons imply diseases or certain conditions of the body, in which favorable conditions are created for the occurrence of cramps in the lower extremities. Convulsions are involuntary muscle contractions that are paroxysmal. Almost everyone has experienced a single seizure at least once in their life. Most often, this is a sudden, painful contraction (spasm) of the muscles lasting from a few seconds to several minutes. Muscle cramps can occur as a result of various conditions, such as excessive intake of alcohol, drugs (diuretics, antidepressants, etc.)), caffeine, nicotine. If one or more muscles of the leg, arm, back have cramped, you need to give the limbs (if they are the ones who suffer) an elevated position, stretch the affected area with your fingers. Cramps in the limbs, legs and feet, and especially the calf muscle, are very common. Types and causes of muscle cramps. Skeletal muscle cramps can be classified into four main types. These include true seizures, tetanic seizures, contractures, and dystonic seizures. Treatment. Most seizures can be stopped by stretching the muscle.For many leg and foot cramps, this stretch can often be achieved by standing up and walking. With cramps in the calf muscles, it is possible to flex the ankle with the help of the hand, lying in bed with the leg extended straight. When writing spasm, pressing your hand against the wall with the fingers down will stretch the flexors of the fingers. Convulsions, causes and which doctor to contact. Find out how seizures are treated, modern diagnostic methods. Prevention of deterioration in general health. Seizures are a common symptom that every person has at least once.It is characterized by an involuntary contraction of the calf muscles. Convulsions can occur at night, causing discomfort to a person and disturbing sleep. muscle strain – leg cramps often bother people with intense exercise in the gym, accompanied by sprains and other microtraumas during healing, pain and circulatory disorders.

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How to get rid of cramps Phlebological Center “Antireflux”

Most of us at least once in our life wondered what to do and why leg cramps occur? If convulsions rarely bother a person, he should familiarize himself with the rules of first aid for the onset of painful spasms. But if the cramps occur with enviable regularity, you will have to consult a doctor who, after a thorough examination, will determine why the cramps in the legs pester the patient.And the subsequent treatment will be determined by the diagnosis.

Why do leg cramps occur?

Seizures occur at any age, but most often they torment people of advanced age, as well as pregnant women. They can be caused by:

  • inflammatory processes;
  • neurological diseases;
  • diabetes and thyroid disease;
  • muscle strain;
  • flat feet;
  • varicose veins.
  • In order to understand why leg cramps constantly torment a person, you need to imagine the processes taking place in the body.For example, with varicose veins, it is not the disease itself that causes painful spasms, their appearance is due to the developing deficiency of potassium, calcium and magnesium. The presence of these trace elements in the body directly depends on the quality of blood supply, therefore, when asked what to do and why leg cramps occur, in many cases only one answer is possible – to normalize blood flow in the lower extremities.

    Treatment of seizures – general recommendations

    When treating the underlying disease, it is important not to slow down the absorption of trace elements and vitamins due to the use of certain medications, as well as certain diets.In addition, it is necessary to additionally take vitamin and mineral complexes. The dosage in this case is determined by the doctor who conducts the treatment, and why cramps in the legs occur in a particular patient for him is already obvious.

    If the cramps are very painful and cannot be completely relieved by such simple methods as massage and tingling, you can take a pain reliever or antispasmodic. Aspirin is suitable as a safe pain reliever, which, moreover, has the property of thinning the blood, which will have a positive effect on the blood flow rate.However, this drug can only be taken by those patients who do not have a tendency to bleeding.

    If the diagnosis has shown that varicose veins are the main reason why leg cramps occur, and surgical treatment is required, the patient should seriously approach the problem and carefully follow all the doctor’s recommendations. Otherwise, all efforts may be ineffective.

    Leg cramps – Medical center “Liko-Med”

    Publication date
    3 October 2018

    What is it?

    Leg cramps develop when the muscles in the leg contract and do not relax.The seizures usually last a few seconds or minutes, but they can be longer. This condition is rarely a serious problem and can be caused by muscle strain, dehydration, and low levels of certain elements. The risk of seizures increases with pregnancy, certain medical conditions, and taking medications such as statins or diabetic drugs.

    What to expect?

    Anyone can develop leg cramps after a long walk or intense exercise.They usually go away on their own. Some people have leg cramps at night, making them wake up and feel exhausted the next day. If cramps become frequent and painful, interfere with sleep, you should see a doctor. Treatment relieves the symptoms of the problem.

    Prevalence

    Almost every person has seizures occasionally.

    Treatment

    For leg cramps, walk and gently stretch the leg.Other methods include:

    • massage;
    • providing rest;
    • applying ice four times a day for 15 minutes;
    • raising the leg;
    • over-the-counter pain relievers;
    • warm baths.

    Your doctor can make specific recommendations for treatment of the underlying cause of seizures.

    What can you do yourself?

    Almost always, leg cramps are treated at home. Helps relieve walking and stretching of the leg.You can also relax your muscles with rest, a warm bath, or massage. Stress plays a role in the development of seizures, so breathing exercises or techniques such as yoga can be used. Before and after training, be sure to warm up and warm up. Make sure you are drinking enough water, especially during exercise and eating a healthy diet, and cut back on alcohol and caffeine.

    How does it get worse?

    Dehydration, continuation of muscle tension, maintaining a cramped position aggravates the manifestation of the problem.

    When to see a doctor?

    See a doctor if you experience chronic leg cramps or night cramps that disturb sleep. If you experience pain, redness, and swelling of your leg, especially after surgery, sitting or lying for a long time, urgent medical attention is needed. Such symptoms can be caused by the formation of blood clots in the leg, the so-called deep vein thrombosis.

    What to ask a doctor?

    • How can leg cramps be prevented?
    • Are there any special exercises that should be done?
    • Could seizures be a symptom of restless legs syndrome or other pathology?

    Making a diagnosis

    The doctor examines the legs and asks the patient for seizures.Further research may be needed to rule out other pathologies.

    Risk factors

    The incidence of leg cramps increases with age. Other risk factors include:

    • muscle tension;
    • prolonged lying or sitting in one position;
    • insufficient water consumption;
    • low levels of iron, potassium, magnesium, or calcium;
    • menopause;
    • pregnancy;
    • varicose veins;
    • alcoholism;
    • diabetes mellitus;
    • atherosclerosis.

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    Varicose veins are an insidious disease. Its first symptoms can cause only minor inconveniences in life, so patients often turn to a doctor when dangerous complications already arise. Ivan Bobrov, a cardiovascular surgeon, phlebologist of the clinic “No varicose veins”, told why it is necessary to treat varicose veins at the initial stage and who finds it more difficult to decide on an operation.

    – What should be done to a person who suspects varicose veins?

    – Contact a phlebologist, and do not delay it. In the past, I did heart surgeries for both children and adults, but a couple of years ago I became interested in phlebology, because I realized that there were not enough specialists in this field. Few people know the latest methods of treating varicose veins, some doctors make appointments the old fashioned way. Meanwhile, the incidence of varicose veins is very high: according to various sources, from 15 to 35% of the population suffers from this disease.And, unfortunately, many complications of varicose veins have to be treated. While working in a public hospital, I sometimes saw patients who simply had nowhere to go. Thanks to the opening of private clinics, the treatment of this disease is becoming available. But the methods that we use in private clinics, unfortunately, are not yet applied in public hospitals. They are well suited for patients who do not wish to be hospitalized for open surgery.

    – Is it true that varicose veins are a typical female disease?

    – No, it’s not true.Men get sick in the same way as women. It all depends on the person’s lifestyle and hereditary predisposition. Women are more likely to get sick due to pregnancy: a heavy fetus squeezes the lower vena cava and iliac veins, the outflow of blood from the lower extremities worsens, because of this, changes in the vascular walls begin. Varicose veins progress even after childbirth, when there is no longer such a load on the legs. And in men, the incidence is associated with work: lifting weights, standing for a long time, sitting for a long time in the office or driving a car – these are the risk factors.There are problems and young people who are involved in weightlifting have problems. Varicose veins are multifactorial, and one cannot name only one reason for its appearance in a patient.

    There is an opinion that varicose veins is a disease of mankind, a payback for the fact that we walk on two legs.

    – But are men less likely to see a doctor?

    – Men tend to endure illness. They are more afraid of surgery than women. In my practice, I have seen many more men with advanced varicose veins than women.And cosmetics are more important to women. A man can put on jeans, not care about his appearance, not worry about stars and “bunches”. Until he starts to pull his legs and cramps.

    – Do men come for treatment on their own? Or are their wives brought in?

    – Some men come with their wives, they need their wife to prompt, support. And rightly so – all family members should take care of each other’s health. It so happens that men go to the doctor themselves, even when they have no clinical manifestations.First of all, they are afraid of the opportunity to say goodbye to work, because there is a risk of not undergoing a medical examination. After all, this is a disease prone to progression: at any time, a life-threatening condition may appear. Thrombosis is extremely rare, but when they occur, it can even be fatal. Given the prevalence of varicose veins, it turns out that there are many patients with complications.

    – It turns out that the habit of living with varicose veins is dangerous?

    – Of course.There was such a case: we had a man who had been doing weightlifting for a long time. He had known for a long time that he had varicose veins, but did not receive treatment until in December he had seizures, and such that the man woke up at night and screamed. Another patient also knew about her problem, but nothing bothered her. On New Year’s holidays, her leg hurt badly, so that she got out of bed and collapsed to the floor. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with thrombophlebitis of the saphenous veins. After the holidays, a woman came to us with a stick, and she is only 35 years old.She is young, beautiful, but cannot walk normally. Now she has a long sick leave and discomfort in her life. Therefore, it is necessary to treat varicose veins in a timely manner, there is no need to wait for complications.

    – Will early treatment be easier?

    – Yes, of course. In addition to the fact that early treatment is the prevention of various complications, the operation itself will be easier and more effective. The neglected cases require hospitalization and a long sick leave, this significantly changes a person’s life.

    At an early stage, it is no more difficult to cure varicose veins than teeth.

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