Do you often wake up in the middle of the night because of painful leg cramps? It’s what experts refer to as nighttime leg cramps. There are many different possible reasons behind them, but most of the time they can be kept from striking through a few simple stretching exercises.
Continue reading to know more about nighttime leg cramps. Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites to let your family and friends who also suffer from leg cramps at night to know what to do.
Also sometimes known as nocturnal leg cramps, nighttime leg cramps often affect the calf muscles, which, as we all know, are very prone to cramping. However, it’s not unlikely for the muscles in the foot to be the ones affected, too. Some people report that they experience cramps in the thigh muscles at nighttime.
Usually, nighttime leg cramps happen when you are already asleep, and they will surely wake you up. However, it’s also possible for them to strike even while you are still awake in bed or in a resting position.
Pain brought about by nighttime leg cramps can vary in severity. Once over, it’s not unlikely for the affected leg muscles to feel tender, sometimes for the next 24 hours. Likewise, the length of time they bother you can greatly differ — it can last anywhere from just a few seconds to several minutes.
According to doctors, the reason why nighttime leg cramps happen is unknown. However, they believe that they can be due to certain factors such as overexertion of the muscles and improper sitting habits.
Nighttime leg cramps may also be brought about by dehydration or electrolyte imbalance — it’s the same reason why the muscles cramp when you are exercising a lot and you fail to replace lost fluids by consuming water or sports drinks. Certain drugs like diuretics can also be blamed for nighttime leg cramps.
There are certain medical conditions that can cause frequent bouts of nighttime leg cramps. Some of them are neuropathy, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Are you in the family way? Then you may encounter nighttime leg cramps frequently. Consuming too much alcohol is also linked to nighttime leg cramps.
Experts say that the structure of the body can also be blamed for certain cases of nighttime leg cramps. For instance, having flat feet is said to make you prone to experiencing them nightly.
If nighttime leg cramps are bothering you every night or on most nights, it’s a good idea for you to seek the help of your doctor. He or she will help you identify the root cause, and also provide the right treatment for it. Nighttime leg cramps can keep you from having a good night’s sleep, which comes with its own complications.
There are also exercises that you may try performing up to three times a day, and they are said to help a lot. Perform them in the morning and afternoon, and one more time before hitting the hay.
Doing wall push-ups is just like performing regular push-ups, but you are in a standing position. Stand about 2 feet away from a wall, and start doing push-ups for 10 to 12 times.
Place the balls of your foot on the edge of a step and slowly lower your heel to the floor, stretching your calf muscle. Hold the position for 30 to 45 seconds. Do on the other leg.
While sitting down, stretch both your legs in front of you. Flex one of your feet towards your knee and hold the position for 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat on the other foot.
Downward facing dog
Go on all fours and take your buttocks as high as you can. Straighten your knees and keep the soles of your feet flat on the wall. Hold the pose for a minute.