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Leg Cramps Part I

Tue, Jun 30, 2009

Leg Cramps ILegs & Limbs

In general, all type of cramps are divided into several categories:

 

Muscle cramps are sudden, uncontrolled contraction of one or more muscles producing enormous pain. This type of pain is mostly experienced in the legs, and, therefore, often called a leg cramp, or a “charley horse.”  

Leg cramps happens when the leg muscles suddenly and forcefully contracts.

·         The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints including:

calf, when muscles are crossing the ankle and knee,

hamstring, when muscles are crossing the knee and hip

quadriceps, when muscles are also crossing the knee and hip.

·         Duration of leg cramps is normally less than a minute, however, they can start cramping several minutes before the contraction starts. Most of the time, the leg cramps occur at night. They usually make people awaken from their sleep.

Simple technique to prevent leg cramps from happening during the night sleep is to make your feet rotating and your fingers and toes moving rapidly in different direction until you feel a bit of fatigue in your legs. During night sleep try not to make any abrapt moves with your legs. If leg cramps strike anyway, do not panic and relax your legs as much as you can. The cramps, as a rule, will disappear.

Leg cramps syndromes have been observed by medical science for a long time. Below are several complains of people who have been suffering from leg cramps the answers given by others::

Leg Cramps Sleeping

Q:  When I am sleeping my leg sometimes cramps up, it’s excruciating until it goes away and I am wondering, what, if anything can I do to stop this from happening. It happened for the first time in months last night. My parents said they get those too, but I’ve only ever gotten it in my right leg. Help is greatly appreciated.”

A: “It really depends on how often you get them? Depends on your weight as well. I would drink water day and night, and stretch your legs maybe do Yoga before you go to bed. This should help some on your leg cramps. Leg cramps are usually caused by built up of potassium in your legs. Also, eat fruit especially bananas.”

Question & Answers:

Q: What to do about waking up with leg cramps? I have been experiencing really painful leg cramps that wake me up. They are so excruciating I sometimes cry…

A: Nighttime leg cramps can be caused by overusing muscles or dehydration. Sometimes birth control pills or diuretics (again the dehydration) are implicated. Thyroid problems can be implicated. I am mostly writing to say that while it is true (as other writers say) that it can be due to potassium deficiencies, you need to be careful about willy nilly adjusting these levels. Get your potassium from healthy foods – bananas, potatoes, etc.-read carefully about supplements or see your doctor. (I, personally, would not take potassium supplements without doctor’s orders.) Too much potassium…

:QWhat other things could I do about leg cramps during pregnancy? Well since I’ve been in pregnant I have had leg cramps but at times it can be unbearable.

A:  Babycenter.com is an excellent site for a lot of these types of questions. I checked it out for you and here’s a link to their answer. We tell our patients to make sure they are taking their prenatal vitamins and getting enough calcium. The answer at babycenter might give you a few more ideas. www.babycenter.com/refcap/p. Hope that helps!

Twitching Leg

Q: “OK , this has been happening for the longest time ever in my lower leg like that muscle under the knee (not directly on the knee but down on the leg part) is always twitching and throbbing and it lasts for a few minutes then comes back often. What is going on?”

A: “Do you feel the need to move it (get up and walk, shake it, rub it) to get it to subside? You may have restless leg syndrome (RLS). Look it up and see if any of the literature sounds familiar. If it does, there is medication that works wonders for it with no side effects. Both my elderly mom and my 20 year-old daughter have it, but medication helps them both. “

Watch Video: What causes painful leg cramps?

Dr. Group talks about the causes of leg cramps and provides information on how to treat it.

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