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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes muscle cramps despite exercising?

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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11425 Questions

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Posted on 5 days ago in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: my right leg continually has a feeling of a XXXXXXX Horse starts a minute after walking and gets worse with every step.....I have had a number of tests including echo and sonic checking for blood clots the condition began a year ago...I was getting plenty of exercise until then...
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Brief Answer:

Can be electrolyte or B12 deficiency.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

The symptoms you have described are suggestive of muscle cramps. These are caused by hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles.

The cause of cramps is as following-

1. Low blood levels of either calcium or magnesium directly increase the excitability of both the nerve endings and the muscles they stimulate. Cramps can also occur in excessive vomiting, dehydration.

2. On drugs which causes excessive urination. Leading to low calcium, Magnesium, potassium level. Drugs given for asthma, angina and Parkinsonism also lead to cramps. Cholesterol-lowering drugs like statin also cause cramps on chronic use.

3. Several vitamin deficiency states may directly or indirectly lead to muscle cramps. These include deficiencies of thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6).

4. Can be due to a nerve root compression at the level of the lumbar spine.

Most cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched. For many cramps of the feet and legs, this stretching can often be accomplished by standing up and walking around.

Gently massaging the muscle will often help it to relax, as will applying warmth from a heating pad or hot soak.

If the cramp is associated with fluid loss, as is often the case with vigorous physical activity, fluid and electrolyte (especially sodium and potassium) replacement are essential. Certain drugs like baclofen are helpful.

A simple way to prevent cramp is to stretch your calf muscle before going to walk 3-4 times and each time holding for 10-15 seconds.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Praveen Tayal, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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