While we are sleeping we do not want to experience leg night cramps or nocturnal cramps. People usually experience this after inactivity. It commonly affects the calf, thigh and feet.
The cramp can last from seconds to minutes. Sore muscles will linger after the cramp passes. You may experience pain until the next day. Usually cramps affect people over the age of 50.
Night leg cramps are not associated with the restless leg syndrome.
Even though both of this things occur at night, natural cramps and RLS are different. There are many differences between them such as the following:
- There are no pain and cramps in RLS
- When you experience RLS, you are having discomfort in your legs.
- Nocturnal cramps limit movements while RLS is not associated with leg movements
. • Cramps block moves while moving in RLS gives relief.
Risk factors and causes of leg night cramps
Even though the real causes are not known yet, these are some of the risk factors:
- Sitting for a longer period of time
- Extended leg muscles
- Working on concrete floors
- Bad posture while sitting
- Alcohol abuse
- Parkinson’s disease
- Neuromuscular issues
- Having flat feet
- Endocrine issues
- Statins, diuretics, beta meds
Treatment and prevention
It is difficult to treat leg cramps. Drink more water if the cramp comes from dehydration. However, there are more methods you can use:
- For better blood flow use horse chestnut
- Before going to sleep take a relaxing bath
- Use heat pads
- Acupuncture to loosen muscles
- Include more foods that contain magnesium and potassium
- Before going to sleep, stretch your legs
- Water workouts
- Wearing ergonomic shoes
What to do next
You will feel paralyzed when this happens. You will be less sore after you experience a leg cramp if you handle the situation properly.
- Extend your legs in the front when you sit down on the floor. For better stretch, flex the feet and ankles, point the toes and tug the feet.
- You need to make sure that you get up slowly. Walk around.
- Using circular movements massage the affected area.
- Have loose sheets and blankets
- Have spoon mustard