What are Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps occur when the muscle is suddenly and strongly contracted. The most common muscles contracting in this way are muscles that pass through two joints.
These muscles (passing through the ankle and knee) are the calf muscle, the knee (passing through the knee and the thigh) and the quadriceps muscle (again passing the knee and thigh).
Leg cramps usually last less than a minute, but may take a few minutes until the contractions pass. In some patients, leg contractions occur mainly at night and may awaken the patient from sleep.
What are the causes of Leg Cramps?
The exact cause of leg cramping is not well understood, but some risk factors are considered to affect this situation:
- Muscle fatigue
- Heavy workout
- High weight (not necessarily obesity)
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Drugs (statins, prednisone, others
The most common cause of leg cramps is exercise in an unusual way, ie either more activity or a different exercise. Leg cramps are young (adolescent) and elderly (over 65 years). More severe patients are more prone to developing leg cramps. Also, some medications can cause leg cramps side effects.
Dehydration and muscle cramps are not fully known, but dehydration is known to prepare for leg cramps. For at least three full glasses of water each day, one without bedtime. Also for exercise, before, during and after exercise.
Stretch regularly: Flexing muscle fibers can relax. A good stretch of flexion after exercise can help you relax your muscles and prevent cramps. After exercise, always unwind and do not exercise with compulsive exercise just before sleep.
Exercise slowly: slowly create an exercise program and avoid increases in effectiveness. The ın 10% Rule ’is a generally accepted rule: Do not increase your exercise within one week by more than 10% over the previous week. Sudden changes in activities may cause leg cramps.
How are Leg Cramps Passed?
When a leg cramp starts, usually the instinct is superior and you can massage and stretch the painful muscle. This is a perfect instinct and usually solves the problem. The best steps are:
- Massage the cramped case.
- Stretch the muscle (softly !)
- Take a hot shower or bath and loosen the muscle.
When should a doctor be examined?
If the leg cramps become a permanent and recurring problem, you should be examined by your doctor. Since the electrolyte imbalance can cause cramping, some blood can be checked to check whether the potassium and other electrolyte levels are normal.
Muscle cramps, especially if you have problems at night, there are prescription drugs that can be prescribed. As a result, your medications and medical history should be reviewed to investigate possible factors affecting your leg cramps