What cause leg and foot cramps
13 Causes of Leg Cramps–and How To Stop Them
Aug 01, · Some, for instance, "those that affect how the body moves electrolytes," Dr. Miranda-Comas says, can cause leg cramps. Others, like peripheral . A cramp is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction or overshortening; while generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause significant pain and a paralysis-like immobility of the affected lovetiktokhere.com cramps are common and are often associated with pregnancy, physical exercise or overexertion, age (common in older adults), or may be a sign of a motor neuron disorders.
If you haven't already, you will probably experience leg cramps at some point in your life. They can hit at the worst possible moments; causr you're lying in bed at night or taking a run on the treadmill, that sharp stabbing pain can feel totally debilitating. If leg cramps, also called charley horses, persist, they can become even more irritating, perhaps knocking you off your typical exercise or sleep routine. A leg cramp is a sharp, cranps contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, which usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.
If a cramp does anf, you can ease it in the moment by stretching the muscle gently. To find a long-term solution to leg cramps, however, you might need to take a closer look at their many potential causes. To keep leg cramps at bay, make sure you're nourishing your body and getting enough rest.
You'll also want to rule out any underlying ofot that could be contributing to leg cramping, such as peripheral artery disease or thyroid issues. See a doctor when cramps prevent you from exercising, or if they seem to happen spontaneously without a trigger.
Here, experts weigh in on the major reasons you nad be experiencing leg cramps, craamps you can keep those muscles whah of charley horses for good. One of the classic causes of leg cramps is dehydration. Peterson, PhD, craamps assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School, "especially during the summer months, in the heat without enough liquid. It may be that fluid depletion causes nerve endings to become sensitized, "triggering contractions in the space around the nerve and increasing pressure on motor nerve endings," he says.
This depletion is exacerbated lg hot conditions or exercising, since ofot lose more fluid through sweat. It's not just water that you sweat out. What is the elevation of france electrolytes can also contribute to leg cramping.
If you're low in certain electrolytes and other minerals, that imbalance can caus spontaneous cramping. An imbalance in sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium could all lead to leg cramping, says Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, associate program director of the sports medicine fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Sports drinks can help reduce cramps thanks to their sodium, as can eating wisely. Bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt, and nuts are rich in those muscle-friendly minerals and may ward off the deficiencies that could cause leg cramps.
Pregnancy increases a woman's risk for leg cramps, especially during the second and third trimesters. If you're pregnant and experiencing leg nadstay hydrated and consider taking a magnesium supplement —with your doctor's approval. Independent of an exerciser's hydration status, many experience leg cramping due to overuse. Rest and stretching is extra important in these situations. When you're trying to kick your routine up a notch—increasing your biking mileage, starting to swim for triathlon training —your muscles aren't automatically used to the new intensity and movement.
Miranda-Comas explains. You may be more prone to leg cramps when you're already overtired. You might be more lax in your diet or forget to hydrate effectively, or, if your body hasn't had enough time to properly recover from your last bout of exercise, your muscles might already be in rough shape. Miranda-Comas says. In other words, a tired muscle loses more nutrients than it uses, so it's not functioning at its peak. Nighttime or nocturnal leg cramps, which affect more than half of causscan also be triggered by tiredness.
Sontag explains. Muscles whah made to move, contract, camps rest, so if you're doing anything out of the ordinary—sitting at a conference all day, standing in line at an amusement park—you might experience root leg cramping. Standing for a prolonged period of time can understandably contribute to muscle fatigue, which in turn can cause fot, Dr. Sontag says. But too much sitting isn't necessarily better. Prolonged sitting "may predispose the muscles to malfunction," he explains, as the muscle fibers may become hyperactive.
When the muscle is "on" and can't relax, you end up getting a cramp. If you get leg cramps from standing, make sure to take a seat before your muscles feel too tired.
And if you cramp from sitting for long periods of time, try to spend at least a couple of minutes walking around per hour that you're seated. If there's no obvious cause of your leg cramps, then you might want to take a look at any recent additions to your medication list, Dr. Diuretics, a class of medications used to lower blood pressuremay trigger cramps because they deplete the body of fluid and ane, he explains. Other medications that may cause leg cramps include osteoporosis drugs like raloxifene and teriparatide; intravenous iron sucrose used to treat anemia ; asthma medications like albuterol; conjugated crqmps used to wnd menopause symptoms ; and pain meds like naproxen and pregabalin.
Commonly prescribed statins are also associated with muscle cramps in general, he adds. Talk to your doctor if you started taking a new medication at the onset of your leg cramps; Dr. Sontag says he is usually able to find an alternative medication for his patients. If your leg cramps seem spontaneous and not exercise-related, it's important to see your doctor to rule out underlying concerns.
Some, for instance, "those that affect how the body moves electrolytes," Dr. Miranda-Comas says, can cause leg cramps. Others, like peripheral artery diseasewhen cholesterol clogs blood vessels in the legs, affect blood flow. PAD can trigger cramps since there may not be enough blood getting to the legs. Leg cramps can also be a symptom of the nervous system disorder multiple sclerosis. Some people with MS experience spasticity, which can include a range of involuntary muscle spasms and twitches, as well as leg cramps.
Spasticity might feel like a mild tightness or tingling in the muscles to some people or more severe cramping and pain to others. Left untreated, spasticity can cause frozen or immobilized joints, so talk to your doctor if you have symptoms fkot MS. Much like overexcited nerves can cause overuse-related leg cramps, nerves that malfunction for other reasons can lead znd cramping too.
Causfthe most common type of arthritis, is usually categorized by stiff and achy joints. But people with the painful condition may also experience muscle spasms and leg cramps.
These leg cramps are usually linked to osteoarthritis of the spine, which, when severe, could lead to pinched nerves or other nerve damage. Too-high blood sugar levels crxmps people with type 2 diabetes can lead to damage to the nerves in the legs, feet, arms, and hands called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This nerve damage often leads to feelings of numbness fiot tingling, but it can also produce qhat twitching and full-blown leg cramps when the nerves in the legs aren't functioning properly.
Diabetes treatment can help prevent any further nerve damage, but a doctor might recommend pain medication or anticonvulsant drugs to tamp down the leg cramps. Thyroid conditions may also contribute to leg cramps, Dr. People with hypothyroidism produce too little thyroid hormone, and overtime that deficiency can damage the nerves that send signals from your brain and spine to your arms and legs. Some people with underactive thyroids will feel tingling or numbness in their muscles, while others might experience leg cramps.
Always check with a doctor if you have unresolved leg cramps, especially with adequate what to do to prevent prostate cancer, hydration, and stretching. To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. By Jenna Birch Updated August 01, Save Pin ellipsis More. These sudden, involuntary muscle contractions are common and usually harmless, but they can be excruciatingly painful.
We asked experts to explain what causes leg cramps and how you can avoid them in the future. Start Slideshow. Replay gallery. Pinterest How to check market value of property. Up Next Cancel. By Jenna Birch. Share the Gallery Pinterest Facebook. Skip slide acuse Everything in This Slideshow. View All 1 of 14 What are leg cramps?
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What is the treatment for a leg cramp?
In Depth Explanation: According to Dr. Oz, Dr. Weil, the Mayo Clinic, and other leading authorities, magnesium deficiency is the major hidden cause of muscle cramps throughout the entire body (including leg and foot cramps), and no prescription medication can fix it. Dec 17, · Leg cramps can strike out of the blue and cause excruciating pain. It can last for less than a minute or torture you for much longer. Many people suffer from leg cramps primarily at night. It occurs due to involuntary contractions or spasms of the muscles in your legs. It . Jan 22, · Leg cramps are common and most common in the calf muscles. They can occur in any muscle group. The cause is not known in most cases. However, some medications and diseases sometimes cause leg cramps. Regular calf stretching exercises may prevent leg cramps. Quinine tablets may be advised as a last resort if you have cramps regularly.
A cramp is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction or overshortening; while generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause significant pain and a paralysis -like immobility of the affected muscle.
Muscle cramps are common and are often associated with pregnancy, physical exercise or overexertion, age common in older adults , or may be a sign of a motor neuron disorders. Skeletal muscle cramps may be caused by muscle fatigue or a lack of electrolytes such as sodium a condition called hyponatremia , potassium called hypokalemia , or magnesium called hypomagnesemia .
Some skeletal muscle cramps do not have a known cause. Motor neuron disorders e. A cramp usually starts suddenly and it also usually goes away on its own over a period of several seconds, minutes, or hours.
Restless leg syndrome and rest cramps are not considered the same as muscle cramps. Muscle contraction begins with the brain setting off action potentials , which are waves in the electrical charges that extend along neurons. The waves travel to a group of cells in a muscle, letting calcium ions out from the cells' sarcoplasmic reticula SR , which are storage areas for calcium.
The released calcium lets myofibrils contract under the power of energy-carrying adenosine triphosphate ATP molecules. Meanwhile, the calcium is quickly pumped back into the SR by fast calcium pumps. Each muscle cell contracts fully; stronger contraction of the whole muscle requires more action potentials on more groups of cells in the muscle. When the action potentials stop, the calcium stops flowing from the SR and the muscle relaxes. The fast calcium pumps are powered by the sodium-potassium gradient.
The sodium-potassium gradient is maintained by the sodium-potassium pump and their associated ion channels. A lack of potassium or sodium would prevent the sodium-potassium gradient from being strong enough to power the calcium pumps; the calcium ions would remain in the myofibrils, forcing the muscle to stay contracted and causing a cramp.
The cramp eventually eases as slow calcium pumps , powered by ATP instead of the sodium gradient, push the calcium back into storage. Cramps can occur when muscles are unable to relax properly due to myosin proteins not fully detaching from actin filaments. In skeletal muscle, ATP levels must be large enough to bind to the myosin heads for them to attach or detach from the actin and allow contraction or relaxation; the absence of enough levels of ATP means that the myosin heads remains attached to actin.
The muscle must be allowed to recover resynthesize ATP , before the myosin proteins can detach and allow the muscle to relax. Skeletal muscles work as antagonistic pairs. Contracting one skeletal muscle requires the relaxation of the opposing muscle in the pair. Causes of cramping include  hyperflexion , hypoxia , exposure to large changes in temperature, dehydration, or low blood salt. Muscle cramps can also be a symptom or complication of pregnancy ; kidney disease; thyroid disease; hypokalemia , hypomagnesemia , or hypocalcaemia as conditions ; restless legs syndrome ; varicose veins ;  and multiple sclerosis.
As early as , researchers observed that leg cramps and restless legs syndrome can result from excess insulin , sometimes called hyperinsulinemia. Under normal circumstances, skeletal muscles can be voluntarily controlled. Skeletal muscles that cramp the most often are the calves , thighs , and arches of the foot , and are sometimes called a " Charley horse " or a "corky". Such cramping is associated with strenuous physical activity and can be intensely painful; however, they can even occur while inactive and relaxed.
It may take up to a week for the muscle to return to a pain-free state, depending on the person's fitness level, age, and several other factors. Nocturnal leg cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that occur in the calves , soles of the feet, or other muscles in the body during the night or less commonly while resting. The duration of nocturnal leg cramps is variable, with cramps lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
Muscle soreness may remain after the cramp itself ends. These cramps are more common in older people. Besides being painful, a nocturnal leg cramp can cause much distress and anxiety. Potential contributing factors include dehydration , low levels of certain minerals magnesium , potassium , calcium , and sodium , although the evidence has been mixed ,    and reduced blood flow through muscles attendant in prolonged sitting or lying down.
Nocturnal leg cramps almost exclusively calf cramps are considered "normal" during the late stages of pregnancy. A lactic acid buildup around muscles can trigger cramps; however, they happen during anaerobic respiration when a person is exercising or engaging in an activity where the heartbeat rises.
Medical conditions associated with leg cramps are cardiovascular disease, hemodialysis, cirrhosis, pregnancy, and lumbar canal stenosis. Differential diagnoses include restless legs syndrome , claudication , myositis , and peripheral neuropathy. All of them can be differentiated through careful history and physical examination.
Gentle stretching and massage , putting some pressure on the affected leg by walking or standing, or taking a warm bath or shower may help to end the cramp. There is limited evidence supporting the use of magnesium, calcium channel blockers , carisoprodol , and vitamin B Quinine is no longer recommended for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps due to potential fatal hypersensitivity reactions and thrombocytopenia.
Arrhythmias , cinchonism , and hemolytic uremic syndrome can also occur at higher dosages. Smooth muscle contractions may be symptomatic of endometriosis or other health problems. Menstrual cramps may also occur during a menstrual cycle , as a result of uterine contractions as the uterus sheds its lining. Severe pain is less common but still significant. Various medications may cause nocturnal leg cramps:  . Statins may sometimes cause myalgia and cramps among other possible side effects.
Raloxifene Evista is a medication associated with a high incidence of leg cramps. Additional factors, which increase the probability for these side effects, are physical exercise, age, female gender, history of cramps, and hypothyroidism.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation can be helpful to avoid some statin-related adverse effects, but currently there is not enough evidence to prove the effectiveness in avoiding myopathy or myalgia. Stretching, massage, and drinking plenty of liquids may be helpful in treating simple muscle cramps. The antimalarial drug quinine is a traditional treatment that may be slightly effective for reducing the number of cramps, the intensity of cramps, and the number of days a person experiences cramps.
Quinine has not been shown to reduce the duration length of a muscle cramp. Due to its low effectiveness and negative side effects, its use as a medication for treating muscle cramps is not recommended by the FDA. Magnesium is commonly used to treat muscle cramps. Moderate quality evidence indicates that magnesium is not effective for treating or preventing cramps in older adults. With exertional heat cramps due to electrolyte abnormalities primarily potassium loss and not calcium, magnesium, and sodium , appropriate fluids and sufficient potassium improves symptoms.
Adequate conditioning, stretching, mental preparation, hydration, and electrolyte balance are likely helpful in preventing muscle cramps. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Cramps.
Pathological, often painful, involuntary muscle contraction. For other uses, see Cramp disambiguation. Not to be confused with Seizures or Spasm. Medical condition. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Muscle contraction. See also: Exercise-associated muscle cramps. See also: Charley horse.
Michael; Musini, Vijaya M. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. ISSN X. PMID Retrieved October 14, Hypomagnesemia is an electrolyte disturbance caused when there is a low level of serum magnesium [ Retrieved on Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Archived from the original on 28 December Retrieved 26 October Br J Sports Med.
PMC Med Sci Sports Exerc. American Family Physician. Archived from the original on Mayo Clinic. Retrieved Claiborne New York Times. Br J Clin Pharmacol. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. S2CID Proposed mechanisms and management". Sports Med. J Sci Med Sport. ICD - 10 : R
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