Why do leg cramps occur, and what should I do?

Cramps in the legs occur at any age, but most of all annoy all the same people aged 50. Cramps are involuntary contractions of the striated leg musculature, which can be caused by various causes. The contractions of skeletal muscles are paroxysmal and often intolerably painful.

Numerous causes of muscle spasms are well studied by medicine, easily adjusted, quickly treated. If you are constantly suffering from contractions of the limbs, then be sure to consult a doctor who will help you solve this problem.

In this article we will consider why the legs cramp, especially at night at the age of 50. What is the cause of this unpleasant symptom, and what will happen to do at home, so that the cramps are no longer disturbed.

What are the causes of leg cramps?

The reasons why leg muscle cramps develop at night are found in violations of electrolyte balance of muscle cells, inadequate blood supply to soft tissues or neurological problems.

These three groups of causes can occur both in isolation and in various combinations, accompanying congenital anomalies or acquired diseases. It is not so important as the age of the patient, as the mechanisms of myoclonus development are almost identical for children, adults and elderly people( including those over the age of 50).

  1. Muscle overstrain ( for example, when working in the garden for a long time in the beds or professional spasms of the muscles of the hands of porn or, say, musicians);
  2. The sudden increase in temperature of leads to hyperthermic convulsions. Such a condition can occur with a thermal, solar shock, as well as in diseases accompanied by an increase in temperature.
  3. Dehydration of the body .With active sweating, there is a significant loss of trace elements, which ensure healthy functioning of the muscles. Therefore, it is so important to drink up to 2.5 liters of water a day, especially in the hot summer season and during active sports activities.
  4. One of the reasons that at night reduces legs, may be the beginning varicose veins. Other symptoms of this pathology are swelling, heaviness in the legs, fatigue.
  5. Infectious lesions of the nervous system are also a frequent cause of leg cramps. Such a defeat can be with the flu, as well as with other infections.
  6. Stresses .During emotional stress, a nervous breakdown, an intense strain on the entire human body occurs, primarily on the nerve endings responsible for contracting the muscles of the body. An overabundance of the stress hormone( cortisol) leads to a disruption in the balance of micro- and macroelements, leading to a lack of calcium in the body necessary for healthy functioning, tension and relaxation of the musculature.
  7. Disorders of biochemical or electrolyte blood composition of ( with loss of calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D deficiency).

The lack of vitamins and minerals can be caused:

  1. The stress state of , in which cortisol is produced in large amounts( it worsens the absorption of calcium in the intestines, contributes to its excretion in the urine);
  2. Prolonged intake of medications that interfere with absorption and further absorption of magnesium in the body. To similar effect lead antacid agents Maalox and Almagel, which are used for heartburn. Their action is to wrap the mucous membrane of the stomach to protect against the corrosive effects of hydrochloric acid. At the same time, there is a slowdown in the absorption of trace elements and vitamins. Euphyllin and insulin release magnesium from the cells.
  3. The use of proteins in a large number of ( glucose is not digested from carbohydrates, but from body fat, which causes ketones in the blood that promote the excretion of calcium in the urine);
  4. Pregnancy of the woman at non-adherence to a balanced diet( lack of calcium, magnesium);
  5. Long absence of exposure to the body of the sun's rays ( lack of vitamin D, leading to a deterioration in the absorption of calcium) - this affects the inhabitants of northern latitudes;
  6. Increased perspiration , which leads to the removal together with the subsequent magnesium, resulting in a deficiency of this trace element in the body.

Secondary convulsions are more dangerous, since their appearance at night can be associated with a wide variety of diseases. Among them, diabetes, violations in the work of the central nervous system and thyroid gland, varicose veins, as well as some infectious diseases.

Very often they disturb pregnant women, whose weight increases, which leads to an increase in the load on the muscles of the legs. We also note that poisoning with drugs, lead, mercury can be the cause.

At night, reduces legs, from what and what to do?

If the leg has been brought down at night, then it is necessary to conduct several activities that help to cure the spasm. First you need to stand with your foot on something cold. In doing so, you should try to pull the sock as far forward as possible. Then you can try to sit down slightly, leaning mainly on the leg, which cramps. Spasm decreases with easy massaging of the affected area.

It is advised also to pinch a tight muscle severely or slightly prick with a sharp object, such as a needle or pin - the spasm should stop. To prevent relapse, you should spread a sore spot with warming ointment or rub it with alcohol.

Treating leg cramps

The main condition for successful treatment is to determine the cause of seizures. To find out why the legs cramp at night, the doctor can prescribe a blood test for magnesium and calcium, neuromyography and other tests.

Treatment includes:

  • effect on the cause( treatment of varicose veins, flatfoot correction, sedative therapy for stress);
  • diet, rich in vitamins and trace elements.

If at home the leg was brought down, then you have to massage it, thoroughly rub your muscles, get up, resemble. If muscle cramps are disturbing at night, then it's better to sleep in warm socks or golf. To relieve pain, use any "burning" ointment, for example, the finalgon.

When the cause of seizures is a lack of vitamins, reconsider your diet. It is important to eat foods rich in magnesium, calcium, vitamins D, B6 and so on. Therefore it is useful to eat bran, dried apricots, raisins, fish, bananas, peanuts. Every day, eat dairy products - cottage cheese, hard cheese, drink milk.


To prevent the legs from falling off at night, regardless of the reasons for convulsive contractions of the lower limbs, it is useful to do some simple exercises before going to bed:

  1. Press the heels to the floor, stand for 10-20 seconds.
  2. Repeat the exercise by sliding the socks together, the heels apart.
  3. Repeat the exercise, but now the socks apart, the heels together.

After a working day, try to remove the accumulated voltage with the help of such exercises and

  1. Bend your toes slowly down, and then straighten them straight.
  2. Look like the outer-inner sides of the feet.
  3. Sit on the bench, raise your legs and "write" the numbers from 1 to 10.

And one more exercise option:

  1. Sitting, bend your legs and pull for 8-12 seconds by the toes of your feet, stretching the calf muscle. We repeat 3-6 times with a break of 5-10 seconds.
  2. Standing, climbing to the toe, pulling our hands up, breathing deeply. Then we lower the heels to the floor. We repeat 3-6 times with a break of 5-10 seconds.
  3. Standing, torso torso and stretch your hands to your toes, without lifting your heels off the floor, stretching the calf muscles. We repeat 3-6 times with a break of 5-10 seconds.

In case of heavy physical work, when you have to stand on your feet for a long time, find an opportunity for rest for 5-10 minutes: sit down or take the position of lying down with raised legs. At the same time, you can do the above exercises.


To prevent leg cramps, you should adhere to prevention:

  1. Wear only comfortable shoes with a low heel - this will prevent not only convulsions, but also the widening of veins;
  2. Avoid physical activity associated with prolonged standing on the legs or prolonged walking.
  3. Reduce the consumption of coffee and sugar to a minimum, especially before going to bed;
  4. Do not smoke.
  5. Daily, in the evenings, contrast baths, as well as baths with sea salt and decoctions of medicinal herbs, which have
  6. anticonvulsant action( horsetail, peppermint, valerian).

It is also very important to eat right and get enough vitamins and minerals. The lack of potassium in the body can cause seizures in the calves and feet. Dehydration can also cause seizures. The body needs water and other fluids, especially those that provide it with electrolytes.

Vitamin D is also important for the health of the feet and bones. Smoking and drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration.

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