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Nocturnal Leg Cramps
(Muscle Cramps; Nocturnal Muscles Cramps; Age-Related Cramps)
|The Calf Muscles|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Overexertion of the muscles
- Prolonged standing on hard surfaces
- Prolonged sitting
- Blood pressure medications
- Statins taken to lower cholesterol
- Staying in certain positions for a long time
- Flat feet or other foot or ankle deformities
- Neurologic diseases
- Certain medications
- Parkinson's disease
- Hormone disorders such as thyroid disorders
- Chemical imbalances in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and others
- When cramps occur, stretch your leg muscles.
- Standing on the affected leg and walking often stops the cramping.
- Massage and hot or cold treatments help the muscles relax.
- Quinine sulfate
- Muscle relaxants
- Calcium channel blockers
- Stretch during the day and just before going to bed.
- Exercise feet and legs regularly.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.aaos.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Allen RE, Kirby KA. Nocturnal leg cramps. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Aug 15;86(4):350-5.
Butler JV, Mulkerrin EC, et al. Nocturnal leg cramps in older people. Postgrad Med J. 2002;78:596-598.
Garrison SR, et al. The effect of magnesium infusion on rest cramps: randomized controlled trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011;66(6):661-666.
Nocturnal leg cramps. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 7, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2013.
2/11/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: El-Tawil S, Musa T, et al. Quinine for muscle cramps. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(12):CD005044.
- Reviewer: Peter Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 12/16/2013