Leg Cramps (Muscle Cramps) – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Leg cramps are also called as muscle cramps that cause painful contraction involuntarily due to stiffness of muscles. Generally it is observed when you are sleeping or just awakened. It causes intense pain in the calf muscle or thigh muscles in the form of sudden spasm. It is quite common to get these cramps in our day-to-day life. There are certain medications that induce muscle cramp. Leg cramps can be managed by taking nutritious diet and following active lifestyle.

During leg cramps, the muscle will not relax and return to original position as it does during normal course. Muscle cramp is a group of fibers that contract involuntarily causing spasm. Leg cramps will normally lasts for few seconds but sometimes it may extend up to several minutes or hours. Leg cramps are quite common and almost every person would have experienced it at least few times.

Leg Cramps Causes :

Leg cramps can be triggered due to various reasons given below :-

  • Trauma or injury to the muscles such as fracture may cause leg cramps. Sudden injury may restrict the movement of muscles causing spasms and leg cramps.
  • When you vigorously involve the muscles of your legs during sports activities it may cause cramps later. If you are sitting in the same posture for extended hours, it would minimize the free activity of muscles causing cramps. Aged people are more prone to leg cramps due to less frequent usage and less activity.
  • Rest cramps are a type of cramps that happens during night. Nocturnal cramps can be very painful and intense, causing disturbance to your sleeping pattern. It may occur repeatedly on the same night causing severe pain. The exact cause of such cramps is not known.
  • Dehydration is also another cause for leg cramps. Excess of loss of fluid may predispose cramps on your legs. Taking diuretic drugs may result in frequent urination and loss of fluid can cause cramps.
  • Sometimes, excess of fluid accumulation in liver may also cause leg cramps, indicative of liver or kidney failure.
  • When the level of magnesium and calcium in blood becomes low it can affect the nerve endings of the muscles leading to cramps.

Symptoms Of Leg Cramps :

There may be intense or severe pain in the affected area. The individual may not able to carry on with the activity he was doing when he experience leg cramps. Severe cramps may cause swelling and soreness in the area for several days.

Pictures of Leg Cramps :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Leg Cramps

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Treatment :

When you feel leg cramps, you have to gently massage the muscle by stretching your legs. Just get up and walk around. Simple exercise like stretching the calf muscles will help to overcome pain. You can also manage pain by flexing the legs by gently pulling the toes upward lying in bed. Any action that facilitates blood flow will provide immediate relief. Applying ice or hot pad on the affected legs can reduce the pain and discomfort.

If you have frequent pain, try using Ibuprofen and acetaminophen for reducing inflammation. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep you hydrated. It is the best remedy suggested for people who are indulging in vigorous physical work, since they are likely to lose fluids fast. Muscle relaxant drugs like baclofen and cyclobenzaprine can be taken. Many people restore taking Botox injection but it has to be repeated frequently for getting positive effect. If the leg cramps are very severe then you need to consult your doctor without any delay to facilitate finding the underlying problem. There may be issues with blood circulation and nerve disorder and other medical problems.

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