Leg Cramps

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Leg cramps are powerful contractions of the muscles which cause great pain. They often occur in the middle of the night. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about leg cramps in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Leg cramps are sometimes called charley horses or muscle spasms. They happen when your leg muscles tighten and it is hard to relax them.

Leg cramps come and go, sometimes for hours, and usually occur at night. They mostly affect the lower legs, but can also happen in your feet or thighs.

There are other conditions that cause symptoms similar to leg cramps. Your doctor can review your symptoms to be sure you have leg cramps.

It is unclear what causes leg cramps. They could be caused by tired muscles or damaged nerves. Some medications may cause leg cramps, but this is uncommon. Leg cramps are more likely in older people, pregnant women, and people who have certain medical problems, like heart disease, nerve conditions, cancer, and liver or kidney problems.

Stretching and exercise might be helpful and could keep you from having more leg cramps. Some medicines, like muscle relaxants, also may help. Talk with your doctor about what treatment is best for you.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.