Leg Cramps at Night
(referenced from Yale's Podiatric Medicine)
During an office visit, it's not unusual for a patient to casually ask me if there is anything they can do about legs cramps when they are in bed at night.
Cramps in the legs usually occur as a result of abnormal muscle positions and impaired circulation. It manifests as involuntary muscular contractions with pain and partial, or complete, loss of function. Circulation is usually disrupted. Other causes of night cramps include deformities of the feet, nutritional deficiency-especially vitamin B deficiency and potassium imbalance. Night cramps are common in pregnancy, calcium-phosphorus imbalance and fatty metabolism. Excessive urination is also a common cause.
Unnatural anatomical positions, in certain occupations, result in cramps, aching pains, moderate shortening of the calf muscles or hamstrings.
Treatments naturally depend upon the cause. Often the control of foot strain and pull on the calfs can be relieved with orthotics, proper foot wear and stretching. Vitamins and minerals may be helpful. Quinine capsules, muscle relaxants, and tranquilizers may be helpful, as well as antihistamines such as Benadryl. Large doses of aspirin also appear to help the condition. For smokers, cessation of tobacco use may also help. If symptoms persist, blood chemistry studies may be in order.
If you or a family member is suffering from foot or leg pain, relief may be only a call away.
Evan Kelner DPM
(732) 988-0070 or (732) 286-9200