We’ve probably all experienced leg cramps. They usually appear throughout the night period, while we sleep and cause great pain that awakens us. Night leg cramps usually appear because of the prolonged hours of inactivity of your body. Leg cramps mostly occur in the calf, but they can also cause a lot of pain in your thighs and feet. You can never know how long they will last. These cramps sometimes last for several seconds, but sometimes they can last up to several minutes. You may feel soreness in your muscle for the whole night or even the following day after they’ve passed. These night leg cramps appear to both men and women. They are most likely to appear in people over 50, but they also appear in younger people.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) can also appear when we sleep. These two conditions are pretty different: RLS is more of a discomfort or crawling feeling in your legs, moving the leg in RLS offers relief – moving the leg in nocturnal leg cramps does not, RLS is more of a discomfort or crawling feeling in your legs, RLS does not cause pain or cramping, etc.
The precise cause for nocturnal leg cramps still isn’t known, but here, we’re presenting you some potential risk factors, causes or even medical conditions that can lead to them:
- Sitting improperly
- Diuretics, statins, beta agonists
- Parkinson’s disease
- Endocrine disorders like diabetes
- Sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Standing or working on concrete floors
- Over-exertion of the muscles in the leg
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Structural disorders like flat feet
Cramps are really painful and uncomfortable when they appear. The person who suffers from them feels almost paralyzed. Next time we deal with cramps, try this trick: sit on the floor and extend both legs. Then, flex your feet at the ankles and point your toes toward your knees. Get up and walk around or gently massage the area. You’ll notice a great relief almost instantly.