Chủ Nhật, 13 tháng 10, 2013

Leg Cramps – Causes, Remedies and Treatment

Leg Cramps – Causes, Remedies and Treatment

Causes of Leg Cramps


The exact reason leg cramps develop is not understood very well, but risk factors which are believe to subsidize this problem include:



  • Fatigue in the muscles

  • Dehydration

  • Exercising heavily

  • Excess weight – not necessarily obesity

  • Imbalances with electrolyte

  • Medications such as prednisone, statins, others


The more common reason seen in individuals who suffer with leg cramps is exercising in some unusual manner, meaning either a new exercise or more activity than normal. These leg cramps are most frequent in young or adolescent ages and older or over 65 individuals. Individuals who weigh more are most prone to leg cramps development. There are also some drugs or medications that can cause leg cramping as a side effect.


Night leg cramps also have no exact cause. But, night leg cramps can often be associated with the following medical conditions:



  • Alcoholism

  • Addison’s disease

  • Cirrhosis

  • Type-2 diabetes

  • Diuretics

  • Diarrhea

  • Gastric bypass surgery

  • Flatfeet

  • Chronic kidney failure

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Second trimester of pregnancy

  • Peripheral artery disease


Self-care Remedies


Activities that might help to prevent leg cramps, especially at night, include:

  • Wearing proper supporting shoes

  • Drinking lots of fluids in order to prevent dehydration

  • Stretching leg muscles

  • Untuck the bed covers at the foot of the bed


Activities which might help to relieve specifically night time leg cramps include:



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  • Flexing the foot up toward the head

  • Massaging the cramped muscle with hands or with ice

  • Walking or jiggling the leg

  • Taking a warm bath or hot shower


Treatment of Leg Cramps


Many leg cramps may be stopped if the muscle can be stretched. Cramps of the legs and feet can be stopped faster if this stretching may be accomplished by walking around and standing up.


Massaging gently the muscle will most of the time help the muscle to relax, as also will applying warmth from a hot soak or heating pad. If the cramp is linked to fluid loss, as often is the case with physical activity that is vigorous, fluid as well as electrolyte replacement is important. Medications are generally not needed for the treatment of ordinary cramps since most cramps subside naturally before the drugs could be absorbed.


Recently, injections of doses of botulism toxin or Botox have been successful for some muscle disorders that are localized to a certain group of muscles. An injection can last for several months.


The treatment of muscle cramps associated with some medical problems are normally focused on treating the underlying condition.


Now, of course, when cramps are severe, persistent, frequent, don’t respond to treatment, or are not linked to any obvious cause, then the individual and their primary care physician need to consider more intensive treatment or that the leg cramps are caused by another disease. As mentioned before, the problem could be with nerves, circulation, hormones, metabolism, medications as well as nutrition.













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