I've had a problem with leg cramps ever since childhood. For a few years, I did catch a break and didn't have hardly any!
These only happen at night while I'm asleep. I ask about this now because I suffered from one last night and passed right out when I stood up! This was the worst one and I was alone when it occurred, so nobody could help me!
I get a "fuzzy" warm feeling (yes, while I'm asleep in my bed) and then if I move a muscle, my leg will seize up on me. My foot extends downward and my calf muscle is rigid and extremely painful. I've tried standing upright and putting weight onto my foot to flex the muscle back out, but it's a searing and burning pain. Sometimes, it's nearly impossible to flex my foot back up. Last night I braced my foot against the wall next to my bed and literally forced the joint to bed and I saw stars and passed right out. When I came to, I was drenched in sweat, felt like a freight train had passed through my head and my leg felt like it had been torched! I fell right back to sleep within minutes as though I hadn't slept in a week and now my leg just feels pulled and sore.
What could be the cause? Is there some better way to deal with the spasm? Will this cause long-term damage to my leg muscle? I think the passing out is from the pain and nothing else, but it's just so horrible! Help!
Thank you so much!
I'd slowly wiggle toes n do slow movements when possible. Be sure You are streching proberly and getting enough excercise. Vitiman C is good for cirulation. Pop into your local GnC or Vitman Shop and look into joint and Muscle Vitmans thses may help. Potassium is excellent for leg cramps try eating a babna some time before bed.
Provided there are no neurological or neurodegenerative causes such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral
palsy, stroke, or spinal cord injury - extra calcium is usually the solution for muscle spasms or muscle
cramps in many nocturnal cases. The extra requirements for calcium may be a result of high protein or
(high Mg/Ca ratio, low pantothenic acid), celiac disease or other intestinal conditions that interfere with
calcium absorption, prescribed medications that promote calcium loss, random self-supplementation
of the wrong vitamins and minerals, and others
When high calcium is suspected but no resources are available to measure cellular calcium levels
(serum calcium cannot be used for that purpose), an acidifying approach may be tried such as taking a
very large amount of Vitamin C for a few days. If the muscle spasms or cramps get worse, then at least
one can assume that calcium was likely on the low side, and one needs to increase its dietary intake,
and/or use calcium supplementation.
If on the other hand the muscle cramps or spasms improve, then calcium is likely too high and requires
co-factors to make it more bioavailable by supplementing either magnesium, or a phosphorus source
such as lecithin, a higher daily intake of Vitamin C, or one could increase one's protein intake as
One-sided leg cramps or spasms can help with the decision of what to supplement, whereby the left
side is usually indicative of calcium, while the right side is generally an indication of magnesium being
needed, although some individuals require a calcium / magnesium combination for relief as a result
of both being low. If right-sided muscle cramps respond to calcium (rather than to magnesium or other
acidifying strategies), then dehydration is suspect, and extra sodium may be additionally required.
While electrolyte or other nutritional imbalances can be a cause or contributing factor for toe spasms
or cramping of one's toes also, if one never experiences spasms or cramps in other parts of the body,
then they may occur as a result of poor circulation, wearing tight shoes, or sitting in a particular position
(car, plane, theater) for longer periods of time. Briefly exercising one's toes, or taking a short walk
usually provides relief and resolves the problem.
If poor circulation causes muscle cramps, Vitamin E might be a good choice for its blood-thinning and
vasodilating properties. Gingko biloba also provides a blood-thinning effect and may be considered.
Sodium and/or potassium imbalances tend to become more of a problem during, or after physical
activity, but less so during rest, so for exercise-induced leg cramps or muscle spasms, their addition
in the form of a sports drink, or through extra Sodium / Potassium supplementation in tablet form may
be a consideration. However, sufficient hydration (taking in enough fluid) is equally important before,
during, and after a workout!
"Sleep Starts" (myoclonic or hypnagogic jerks) describes a type of involuntary muscle jerking that
takes place just before drifting off to sleep. While felt by most people at some point in their lives, these
sudden muscle twitches or jolts don't generally interfere with someone's sleep unless they occur on a
regular, nightly basis. When they start to take place seconds apart, they will seriously affect a person's
ability to fall, or remain asleep. Some individuals experience shorter bouts that only last a few weeks,
however other people are less fortunate and may suffer "sleep starts" for several months, or on an
There are some known medical conditions associated with myoclonus, including brain or spinal cord
injury, Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, drug or chemical
poisoning, organ damage, and others, however "sleep starts" is considered to be a type of 'Periodic
Limb Movement Disorder' that as of yet lacks a specific medical cause or has a known relationship to
a specific medical condition, although females are affected more than males, partly due to monthly
hormonal fluctuations that seem to aggravate this condition around the time of their menstrual cycle.
Standard treatments for "sleep starts" consist of clonazepam therapy (a benzodiazepine type of
tranquilizer), which - while able to help the symptoms, invites the usual long-term dependency
A leg cramp is a sharp pain that starts in your leg muscles. It occurs when your muscle contracts too much at once. We most often experience leg cramps in the calves, the muscles on the back of our legs below the knee. We also sometimes get cramps in the foot's smaller muscles. It varies from person to person which part of the leg actually experiences the leg cramps.
Most cramps last for a few seconds, but they can last for minutes at a time. They can also be quite intense. You may still feel the pain of the cramp for 24 hours or more afterwards. This contracting of the leg muscles usually happens when we are sleeping. For some people, leg cramps are a constantly recurring pain that interferes with regular sleeping. It can be difficult to get a good night's rest with this type of nightly interruption.
What Causes Leg Cramps
When you get a leg cramp, a muscle that is already shortened suddenly contracts too much. The muscle is already contracted, and contracting it more causes a spasm. It's most likely to occur during sleep, when your knees and feet are pointing toward the ceiling. In this position, the leg muscles are already flexed slightly. When the muscles are shortened even more, we experience a painful leg cramp. The key to preventing painful leg cramps is to keep a good posture during sleep.
Leg Cramp Relief
Here is what you should do when you experience a leg cramp to minimize pain:
- Walk around on the cramped leg. This will help to work out the actual pain. It might be difficult to do but it is certainly worth a try.
- Give the contracted muscle a gentle massage. The massaging of the muscle will help to loosen and relax the muscle to relieve some of the discomfort.
- Extend your leg and gradually flex it in the direction of you knee. When you do this, you will feel the contracted muscle slightly stretching.
- Apply ice to the cramped muscle. Be sure to have some type of protection between the ice pack and the skin.
For most ordinary leg cramps, the above tips will help provide relief. In extreme cases, where the pain lasts more than a few minutes, you may need to seek medical attention. If you have persistent pain, talk to your local health care provider.
Prevention is the best treatment. The best way to prevent leg cramps is to work on your sleeping posture. Your pillow could actually help prevent leg cramps. If you prefer to sleep lying on your back, keep your feet raised slightly from the bed. On the other hand, if you usually lay on your side during sleep, make sure that your legs are separated. Keep all of your body weight from resting on one leg. Too much all on one leg can increase your chances of getting a leg cramp at night.
Try ajusting your sleep posture and looking into an ortopedic pillow
hope this all hels you! ;]
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.