Information on Night Leg Cramps
Night leg cramps are a medical condition which involves sudden contractions of leg muscles which tend to be very painful at times. Most cases involve calf muscles, but there are also cases of cramps which involve feet muscles and thigh muscles as well. In most cases, the condition is completely harmless and it occurs for no particular reasons.
Only rare cases of night leg cramps can be associated with some severe underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. Night leg cramps mostly affect pregnant women and older people because the risk of having this condition gradually increases with the process of aging. There are three different areas which can be associated with the tension, tightness and painful sensations which are characteristic for this medical condition.
These three areas are one’s feet, thigh and the calf. Nocturnal leg cramps usually occur when a person is asleep so they actually cause sleep disturbance. It is usually impossible to go back to sleep after the occurrence of the cramping. Nocturnal leg cramping may occur at the same time with numerous different sleep disorders but it is usually not connected to any other medical conditions.
Causes of Night Leg Cramps
It commonly affects those who suffer from poor blood circulation in the limbs. Another reason for the development of nocturnal leg cramps may be dehydration due to insufficient water intake. Water transports numerous different substances through the human body and hydrates the muscles. Nocturnal leg cramping may also be triggered by mineral deficiencies.
Certain minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium are very important for the human body and if they are present in low levels that may lead to nocturnal leg cramping. Since, calcium deficiency commonly causes muscle twitching and muscle tremors it may also be responsible for the nocturnal leg cramping.
A person may fix that by taking foods and supplements that are rich in calcium. Supplements that do not contain phosphorus are the best option, even better than milk and other daily products because they still do contain some phosphorus. Potassium is a mineral that is of utmost importance when it comes to muscle activity because it acts as an electrolyte and balances the fluids in the human body.
In order to prevent the nocturnal leg cramping from occurring one must intake potassium, calcium and magnesium at steady, sufficient levels. Proper hydration is also very important. Stretching and massages can be of great help as well. Sugar and caffeinated products should be avoided.