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Do you suffer from leg cramps?

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

If you commonly experience sudden sharp pains in your lower legs, you’re not alone.

50-60% of adults report suffering from leg cramps and 60% of adults suffer from nocturnal leg cramps, or leg cramps during the night.

There are a variety of reasons these leg cramps could be occurring.

The most common cause of nocturnal leg cramps are:

- Tight calf muscles (due to lack of stretching, inactivity, or edema)

- Dehydration

- Electrolyte abnormalities (commonly low magnesium or potentially potassium)

- Certain neurological disorders

- Certain medications

- Excessive, intense exercise

Notably, there are also some serious conditions that are associated with leg cramps.

These could include:

- Diabetes

- Cardiovascular disease

- Liver cirrhosis

- Certain kidney diseases

- Lumbar stenosis

- Osteoarthritis

- Pregnancy

Some simple, yet effective treatments that could help to relieve leg cramps include:

- Drinking plenty of water

- Stretching the muscles before bed

- Supplementing with a Bisglycinate form of magnesium, if indicated

- Not consuming stimulants (caffeine, nicotine)

- Deep tissue massage

- Certain supplements

It’s always important to work with a healthcare practitioner to determine the cause of your nocturnal leg cramps and the best treatment approach.

Dr. Samantha Allen, ND




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