Almost everyone has experienced a leg cramp at least once in their lives. It’s a shocking, sudden, and painful experience that can happen at any time, whether you are walking, running, or even sleeping. The pain ranges from mildly annoying to excruciating and is only worsened by the shock of its sudden arrival.
Frequent mild nocturnal leg cramps are quite prevalent in the United States, affecting almost a quarter of the population. However, over 6% of adults reported experiencing moderate to severe leg cramps regularly. In most severe cases, nocturnal leg cramps make it difficult to fall asleep or maintain restful sleep – increasing the risk of health issues like heart disease and depression, and negatively impacting your health.
Possible Causes Of Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Experiencing frequent leg cramps at night can have roots in genetics, medication, lifestyle habits, and even your age. Common reasons for leg cramps include:
- Regularly participating in sports that require a lot of running.
- Weight training with legs
- Vascular disease
- Vein disease
- Deep vein Thrombosis
Some experts suggest that the leading cause of leg cramps is muscle fatigue. Sore and tired muscles have a higher chance of cramping, especially during hot weather or when you are dehydrated.
Some healthcare professionals have suggested that the angle of the legs can trigger a spasm. When our legs are slightly bent and pointing downwards while we are sleeping, it increases the chance of muscle cramps.
However, it’s important to understand that sometimes there is no explanation for leg cramps, and it can be a one-time occurrence.
Remedies For Leg Cramps
It’s always a good idea to consult a specialist for possible underlying conditions if you experience frequent leg cramps. However, there are certain remedies that you can try to relieve the painful condition temporarily:
The best way to relax cramping leg muscles is to stretch them out gently. Stop any activity that you were doing and massage your muscles while you stretch your legs as much as you can without feeling pain. This loosens the muscles and relieves the painful, cramping sensation.
Increase Magnesium Intake
A magnesium deficiency can also cause frequent muscle cramps all over your body. Once you are sure there is no secondary condition causing the leg cramps, increase your magnesium intake by adding foods like seeds and nuts to your diet.
Applying heat is an old school remedy often employed by coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists for cramped muscles. You can use both dry heating and hot soak method to get relief from painful cramps.
However, make sure the heat is controlled to avoid burning your skin. In some cases, icing the area can also relieve the leg cramp by increasing the blood flow to the area.
Hydrate Your Body
Dehydration makes the muscles seize up and increases the risk of cramping. Make sure you hydrate before, during, and after any strenuous activity or exercise.
You can consume sports drinks with electrolytes to replenish the water and minerals you lost during the activity.
You should also drink a glass of water before going to bed to prevent muscle cramps at night due to dehydration.
Leg cramps usually occur when your muscles contract involuntarily. By moving around and walking, you send a signal to the muscles to relax, which eases the leg cramps. If you can’t get rid of the cramp, consider getting a massage or physical therapy to loosen your tight muscles and work out any knots from your body.
Consult a Professional Vein Expert in New York:
Have you need experiencing frequent leg cramps at night or during the day?
Get in touch with the vein experts at Varicose Veins Doctors New York to find out the reason behind it.
We provide professional vein assessment to identify underlying causes of frequent muscle cramps and leg swelling. We also offer innovative and non-invasive treatments for various venous disorders, including restless leg syndrome, varicose veins, and blood clots.
Call 212-906-9111 today to schedule an appointment!