Night leg cramps, also known as nocturnal leg cramps, are painful muscle contractions or spasms which usually occur during the night. Generally, it appears in the lower leg but it can also appear in the feet and thighs. The pain is sharp and severe and it can wake you up in the middle of the night. It usually lasts for a few seconds but sometimes even for several minutes. The muscle soreness is felt even after the pain is gone, and it can last the following night and the following day.
Men and women can suffer from leg cramps and they usually appear over the age of 50.
Leg cramps vs. restless leg syndrome
Although both syndromes appear while people sleep, they are actually very different.
Restless legs syndrome is in fact a neurological disorders which is characterized by an uncontrollable and overwhelming urge to move your legs. When you move your legs during the RLS, it gives a sense of relief, which is not the case with nocturnal leg crumps.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE REASONS OF APPEARANCE OF LEG CRAMPS:
- Some medications
- Standing on concrete floors
- Sitting for a longer period of time
- Certain exercises
- Improper sitting posture
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME ADVICES THAT WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THAT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL IN THE FIGHT AGAINST LEG CRAMPS:
- Take a warm bath before going to sleep
- Perform some exercises in the water in order to build your leg muscles
- Stretch your legs before going to sleep
- Take more magnesium and potassium
- Take horse chestnut to improve circulation in the legs
- Wear ergonomic shoes
- Place a heating pad to the area where the cramp or pain is felt