Leg cramps at night
Causes of leg cramps
In most cases the reason of leg cramp is not known. One theory is that cramps take place when a muscle that is already in a shortened position is stimulated to contract. As the muscle is already shortened, to contract further may lead to the muscle to go into spasm. This regularly happens at night in bed as the natural position we lie in is with the knees slightly bent, and with feet pointing slightly downwards. In this position the calf muscle is somewhat shortened and prone to cramps. This theory explains why stretching exercises might cure the problem. With the above conditions the cramps would just is one of several other symptoms. Therefore, if you are otherwise well, and have no other unexplained symptoms, then the leg cramps are probable to be idiopathic.
Treatment for leg cramps
Stretching and massaging in the affected muscle can generally relieve an attack of cramp. Most cramps soon relieve off. Painkillers are not generally helpful for a sudden attack of cramp. However, a painkiller such as Paracetamol may help to relieve muscle discomfort and tenderness that sometimes persists for up to 24 hours after a cramp has gone. If cramps do not take place often, then no particular treatment is usually needed. However, if you have cramps most often, you may wish to consider ways of preventing them.
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