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What causes leg cramps at night?

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Posted on Thu, 27 Mar 2014
Question: I am woken at night by burning/ stinging lower leg pain, what could cause this I am 59 yrs old
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Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta (23 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Description below Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your query. After going through the description, I understand your concern regarding your symptoms. Most of the time, night leg cramps occur for no known reason, and they're usually harmless. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. Infact, till date there is no clear cut evidence for the cause of muscle cramps. But the most common cited theories include - - Altered neuromuscular control - Dehydration - Electrolyte depletion - Poor conditioning - Muscle fatigue - Doing a new activity In rare situations, night leg cramps can be associated with an underlying disorder, such as peripheral artery disease — in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs, Diabetes or spinal stenosis. Self-care Activities that might help prevent night leg cramps include: • Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration • Stretching your leg muscles or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before you go to bed • Massaging the cramped muscle with your hands or with ice • Walking or jiggling the leg • Taking a hot shower or warm bath. • Foods such as bananas, potatoes, prune juice and dried fruit may be helpful in relieving muscle cramps • Including calcium fortified foods like seafood and fish, almonds, flaxseed, oats, parsley, prunes, sesame seeds, tofu and XXXXXXX can help to stave off muscle spasm. Vitamin D supplements will also help in relieving myalgia's I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query. Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Saurabh Gupta

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 5930 Questions

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What causes leg cramps at night?

Brief Answer: Description below Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your query. After going through the description, I understand your concern regarding your symptoms. Most of the time, night leg cramps occur for no known reason, and they're usually harmless. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. Infact, till date there is no clear cut evidence for the cause of muscle cramps. But the most common cited theories include - - Altered neuromuscular control - Dehydration - Electrolyte depletion - Poor conditioning - Muscle fatigue - Doing a new activity In rare situations, night leg cramps can be associated with an underlying disorder, such as peripheral artery disease — in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs, Diabetes or spinal stenosis. Self-care Activities that might help prevent night leg cramps include: • Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration • Stretching your leg muscles or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before you go to bed • Massaging the cramped muscle with your hands or with ice • Walking or jiggling the leg • Taking a hot shower or warm bath. • Foods such as bananas, potatoes, prune juice and dried fruit may be helpful in relieving muscle cramps • Including calcium fortified foods like seafood and fish, almonds, flaxseed, oats, parsley, prunes, sesame seeds, tofu and XXXXXXX can help to stave off muscle spasm. Vitamin D supplements will also help in relieving myalgia's I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query. Take care