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Leg Cramps

more about Leg Cramps

  • Leg cramps ("Charlie horse") are painful Muscle Spasms in the legs that usually occur at night. Dehydration, excessive exercise, and use of diuretic ("water pills") medications may trigger or worsen leg cramps.

  • Acute painful episode:
    1. Stretch slowly, then massage your leg while pointing your toes upward.
    2. Stand up and gently put pressure on the affected leg.
    3. Cold or warm packs may help.

  • Daily stretching before bed.  While standing, place hands on the wall, heels on the floor, lean toward the wall while bending one knee, and hold this position for 10 seconds.  Repeat with the other knee. Repeat 5-7 times with each side.
  • Keep well hydrated -- 6-8 cups of fluid per day.  Make sure some of the fluids contain Electrolytes (e.g., sports drinks).
  • Quinine sulfate before bed may be prescribed for frequent nighttime leg cramps.
  • Vitamin E (400 I.U./day) has been reported to help prevent leg cramps as well.

  • Warning

If leg cramps occur while walking, this may mean there are blockages of the arteries of the legs.  If you have this symptom, see your doctor soon.

more about Leg Cramps

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