Joint disorders

Leg Cramps

Leg Cramps

Cramp it is an involuntary muscle contraction that is often accompanied by pain. Cramps are:

  • clonic seizures;
  • tonic convulsions.

In clonic seizures there is a sharp movement like a nervous tick. With tonic seizures the muscle hardens, and this condition is accompanied by pain syndrome.

Most often tonic contractions occur in the legs and calves. Convulsions may disturb people of different ages, but most often it affects people middle-aged and older.

Usually, leg cramps occur when the violation of the biochemical and electrolyte composition of blood. If there is insufficient number of substances regulating the activity of the neuromuscular apparatus may cause seizures. This condition can develop for a number of diseases or of malnutrition.

Causes

Lack key elements necessary for normal functioning of muscles, can be caused by the following reasons:

  • Some medications. Adsorbents and antacids prevent normal absorption of magnesium and calcium. And when you receive diuretics from the body is boosted by leached potassium. A lack of magnesium, calcium and potassium lead to dysfunction of the neuromuscular apparatus, which causes the development of seizures.
  • Pregnancy. One of the common symptoms of concern to pregnant women, are the cramps feet. This is due both to a lack of key minerals and poor circulation in the legs and pelvic organs, and that becomes the cause of the seizures.
  • Stress. When we are nervous, the blood is ejected a large amount of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone helps us to “regroup” and prepare for hazards (mechanism, developed in the course of evolution). However, this hormone there are side effects. One of them is impairment of absorption of calcium in the intestine and increased excretion of this mineral by the kidneys.
  • Heavy perspiration People who are prone to severe sweating, lose with sweat a lot of minerals, including the calcium, potassium and magnesium. In this regard, the development of seizures is increased in hot weather, as well as overweight people, who sweat when making even minor physical activities.
  • Lack of vitamin D. Long known that calcium absorption requires adequate amounts of vitamin D. This vitamin is produced in the body by ultraviolet radiation. Quite a 20-30 minute walk in the Sunny weather that the body has developed a sufficient amount of this vitamin. In autumn and winter, when day length is reduced, many people suffer from a lack of vitamin D that can cause leg cramps.

Related diseases

Leg cramps can indicate certain diseases, including:

  • Varicose veins, resulting in deteriorating muscle nutrition.
  • Chronic poor circulation in the lower extremities and chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Metabolic Diseases, such as diabetes.
  • Endocrine Diseases, for example thyroid disease.
  • Kidney Disease.
  • Hemorrhoids(often hemorrhoids leg cramps bother you at night).
  • Sciatica.
  • Flat feet and injuries of musculoskeletal system.

First aid for leg cramps

If you often have leg cramps, here are some tips that will help you to quickly cope with the problem:

  • Relax your leg. If this is not your first cramp, then you probably will feel in advance of it happening.
  • During the spasms pull the sock over, then ease cravings. If the court is not passed, the procedure must be repeated.
  • If the court is not passed after try the sock, it is recommended to walk barefoot on the floor (preferably NOT on the carpet to keep feet feeling cool).
  • gently massage the muscle. To enhance the effect, you can use the ointment with a warming effect. If massage does not help, the muscle can pinch or even prick with a needle (sterilize it beforehand!).
  • After the leg cramp has passed, it is recommended a little lie down with raised legs to keep blood better swollen back. This will help to avoid the recurrence of spasm.

Treatment

Treatment of seizures depends on the cause of development of this pathology. If leg cramps are caused by banal lack of minerals, then the patient is prescribed a balanced diet and vitamin-mineral complexes. Typically, this is enough to make leg cramps more person is not bothered.

If the cause of leg cramps is intake of certain medications, a physician may change a drug to another or to appoint replacement therapy. For example, when receiving diuretics, the patient is also prescribed potassium supplements to compensate the loss.

At diseases of metabolism and endocrine disorders is necessary to adjust a hormonal background of an organism. In such cases, it is necessary to consult a endocrinologist who will help to eliminate the true cause of leg cramps.

Varicose veins and problems with blood circulation in the lower extremities, use of special drugs (for example, venotonic, drugs, strengthen blood vessels, etc.). This treatment should only be doctor.

Leg Cramps: why your legs cramp at night and how to stop it from happening ever again

Prevention

If you are prone to cramps in the legs, you should ensure that cramping was bothering you as little as possible. Among the preventive measures against convulsions of the lower extremities are most effective are:

  • Balanced diet. to Avoid the occurrence of muscle spasm by using a balanced diet. You should increase consumption of foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. the Minerals contained in many fruits and vegetables. A lot of calcium in dairy products and broccoli.
  • breaking bad habits. One of the elements of the prevention of cramps of the lower extremities is the rejection of bad habits. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption impairs absorption of key nutrients and trace elements, as well as bad impact on the condition of the walls of blood vessels.
  • Moderate physical activity. in order For muscles to work well, they need to obtain daily dynamic load. Will be useful fast walking, swimming, Jogging and other kinds of loads. Try to avoid prolonged static loads (e.g., prolonged standing, seats, etc.).
  • The correct selection of shoes. Footwear should be high lift and tight ankle support. The fair sex is better to give up high heels in favor of a small, but stable. In such shoes your feet will not get tired, which will reduce the likelihood of seizures.
  • Contrast procedure. If you are prone to foot cramps, before going to sleep is recommended contrasting procedures – the bath or shower. In the foot bath can add a decoction of herbs that have anticonvulsant action, such as mint, or Valerian horsetail.
  • Massage of the feet. foot Massage have to do with light massage movements. Start with strokes, then go to slipcam and kneading the area which is in spasm.
Reviewed by the QSota Medical Advisory Board