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Leg Cramps at Night: Causes, Risk Factors, And How to Stop Them

Leg cramps – also known as night cramps – are painful spasms that usually occur in the calf muscles, which occur suddenly and last from a few seconds to a few minutes, usually in the legs. They often occur immediately after falling asleep or after waking up.

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

Muscle spasms can occur in a variety of conditions or activities, such as:

– Exercise, injury or overstressing the muscles
– Pregnancy – cramps can occur due to reduced amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, especially in the later months of pregnancy
– Exposure to low temperatures, especially to cold water
– Other medical conditions, such as problems with blood flow (peripheral arterial disease), kidney, thyroid or multiple sclerosis
– Standing on a hard surface for a long period of time, sitting for a long time…
– Lack of potassium, calcium and other minerals in the blood
– Dehydration
– Use of certain medications, such as antipsychotics, contraceptive pill, diuretics, steroids, and statins.

How To Stop Muscle Cramps?

You need to try a few different ways to stop muscle spasm before finding what works best for you

Some of the methods that you can try are:

– Stretching and massage muscles
– A warm bath or placing heated pads on the muscle
– Take painkillers, such as acetaminophen
– Drink plenty of fluids or sports drinks
– If you have a cramp in your leg, you can try the following:
– Walking or jiggle your leg
– Stretching the muscles while you sit or stand

If you experience muscle cramps caused by the use of certain medicines:

Talk to your doctor before taking the medicine. They may recommend another medicine or adjust the dose.
If you are taking medicines not prescribed by your doctor, stop taking them until you consult your doctor.


The following tips may help prevent leg cramps:

– Drink plenty of water and other liquids
– Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine, which promote dehydration of the organism
– Make sure you eat a healthy diet (especially during pregnancy), and especially foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium
– Ride a bike or stationary bike
– Stretch your muscles each day, especially before and after exercise and before going to bed
– Do not suddenly increase the intensity of exercise
– Take a daily multivitamin supplement.

What if muscle cramps keep coming back?

Make sure you talk to your doctor if you experience muscle spasms that are constantly returning or severe. These can be symptoms of other problems, such as restless legs syndrome.

If the spasms keep coming back, they bother you so much, your doctor will prescribe medication for muscle relaxation.


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