Are your sleeping hours often end up with cramps in legs? It often occurs due to prolonged time of inactivity. It is well known as Nocturnal leg cramps which leads to pain in feet and thighs.

The pain occurred due to leg cramps can last for few seconds to 5-10 minutes. However after the pain the soreness in muscle is likely to remain for rest of the night and also sometimes in the morning. The legs cramp is common among men and women after the age of 50.

Risk Factors And Causes Of Leg Cramps At Night

The causes of leg cramps are not exactly defined but some of the risk factors can lead to nocturnal leg cramps. Some of the risk factors are given below:

  • Sitting for prolonged time
  • Over-exertion of the leg muscles
  • Working or Standing on concrete floors
  • Improper Sitting habit

There are many medical condition which also are responsible for the nocturnal leg cramps. Some of these medical conditions include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Dehydration
  • Alcoholism
  • Structural disorders
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Diuretics, beta agonists, statins
  • Endocrine disorders

Difference Between Leg Cramps And Restless Leg Syndrome


There exist many difference between leg cramps and restless leg syndrome

The common part if we see is that restless leg syndrome (RLS) and nocturnal leg cramps both occur in sleeping hours and generate issues in feet or thighs area. The differences between these two medical conditions include:

  • Nocturnal leg causes cramps whereas RLS does not lead to cramping or pain.
  • RLS generally leads to crawling feeling or discomfort in the legs.
  • RLS often generate the desire in the paitent to move the legs on the other hand nocturnal leg cramps prevents the movement of the legs.
  • The movement of leg during RLS provides relief while movement of legs during leg cramps leads to occrance of pain and need to do stretching of leg to get relief.

Prevention And Treatment For Nocturnal Leg Cramps

The causes of nocturnal leg cramps are directly related to the treatment one should follow. If you are suffering from leg cramps due to dehydration then drink a lot of water throughout the day can provide a relief. Here is a list of some effective preventive method and treatments to get rid of nocturnal leg cramps.

  • Application of a heating pad on legs provide instant relief.
  • The use horse chestnut is very useful as it increases the blood flow to the legs and avoid nocturnal leg cramps.
  • In order to loosen the leg muscles one can try acupuncture treatment.
  • Another method to avoid leg cramps is to take warm water bath to relax and losen the thight leg muscles.
  • Some leg stretching before bed time is beneficial for the muscles.
  • Add more potassium and magnesium in your diet as deficiency of these minerals can lead to muscle cramping.
  • Avoid high heels and wear ergonomic shoes to prevent the nocturnal leg cramps.
  • Participate in water exercises so that you can build leg muscles.

What To Do When Cramps Occur

You might feel paralyzed when you suffer from a nocturnal muscle cramp.Thus, it is important to know about how to handle the muscle carmp attack and get instant relief from the pain. Below are some tips which you can follow to get rid of pain during nocturnal leg cramps.

  1. If you feel cramps in your leg then get up from your place slowly and start shaking your leg. Then further walk for a while, this will improve the blood circulation to the leg.
  2. To be comfortable, you can extend both the legs parallel in front of you while sitting on a bed. Then slowly try to point your toes in the direction of keens. Offer a stretch on your feet to feel better.
  3. Make sure that your bed sheets or blankets are not too tight which can lead to muscle contraction in your leg.
  4. You can put your hand on the affected area and rotate it in circular motion to provide a gentle massage.
  5. In severe pain you can apply 1 tbsp of yellow mustard paste on the affected area to get relief from discomfort.

So, this is all about leg cramps and how to get rid of it in less time. Use this tips and get relief from the pain and cramps in no time.

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