Most of us might have experienced a leg cramp or a muscle cramp and dealt with the pain that comes along with it. A leg cramp can be classified into a clenched, contracted muscle tightened into a knot. It can range from uncomfortable to even unbearable pain. The muscles in the area might hurt for hours, even after the cramp goes away. As per studies, it is seen that low sodium is probably the biggest driver of muscle cramping. Though these muscle cramps are generally harmless, they can make it temporarily impossible for the person to use the affected muscle or area.
Leg Cramps During Sleep
Leg cramps during sleep are defined as a spasmodic, painful, involuntary contraction of skeletal muscle that occurs during the night when a person is sleeping, causing sleep disturbances. Although they may occur simultaneously with other sleep disorders, nocturnal leg cramps do not have a causal link to any known underlying medical disorders.
Causes for Leg Cramps During Sleep
Though anyone can experience leg cramps during sleep, it is seen that they predominantly affect the elderly and pregnant women. These are two groups that tend to have relatively poor blood circulation in the limbs.
The various causes that can lead to leg cramps during sleep are:
- Restriction in the blood supply
- Drinking less water
- Involuntarily nerve discharge
- Too much high-intensity exercise
Muscle needs hydration to function properly; without it cramping is more likely to occur. That is why athletes who do not replenish their water lost from sports and exercise end up with a charley-horse (Usually, people associate leg cramps with the term “charley-horse”). Likewise, low water intake in an otherwise sedentary person can cause muscle twitches during sleep.
Leg Cramps During Pregnancy While Sleeping
Leg cramps happen a lot during pregnancy to some ladies due to poor blood circulation in the limps. This happens as growing baby puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that go into the legs. One must avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time. For expert help, one must contact a professional antenatal expert that helps in managing pains and leg cramps during pregnancy.
How to get rid of muscle cramps in your legs
The most effective way of getting rid of muscle cramps in your legs is to consume sufficient amounts of magnesium or potassium. Other preventive measures that one can take to prevent muscle cramps are:
- Drink plenty of water and fluids.
- Have a balanced diet-consume a high CARBOHYDRATE diet e.g. rice, bread. maintain optimal mineral and electrolyte intake, including CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, POTASSIUM, and ZINC, which apparently performs combined roles in the prevention of muscle injury and cramps.
- Gentle stretching the troublesome calf muscles and/or warming up and cooling down before and after exercise.
- Do stretching exercises regularly, particularly before bed. It is thought that regular stretching of the calf muscles throughout the day may help to prevent acute attacks. Some people recommend stretching 3 times daily, while others advocate stretching before going to bed.
There is physiotherapy for these leg cramps that have proven to be beneficial for most people suffering from them. This includes:
- Gentle stretching of the affected muscle may help to relieve pain and spasm.
- Ice packs or hot packs can also be used. If the weather is cold, then a hot pack should be the therapy for choice.
- Electrotherapeutic physiotherapy modalities like ultrasonic and TENS transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation can also be added to the treatment protocol along with the nutrient supplementation.
PhysioHeal is one leading physiotherapy centre in Gurgaon, offering impeccable and effective physiotherapy for leg cramps during sleeping. It helps release pain and spasm and provides a treatment that is long-lasting and efficient.