5 Causes of Leg Cramps at Night

5 Causes of Leg Cramps at Night

You may have foot or leg cramps at night due to one or more muscle fibers or muscles in your foot squeezing suddenly and failing to relax. Leg cramps at night, also called nocturnal leg cramps, often affects adults and can last seconds or minutes. However, foot cramps at night can also be severe and painful, interfering with sleep. In that case, you should know that Dr. Erin Koprince can treat serious symptoms of foot cramps at night or other common foot problems. The board-certified podiatrist can help ensure that you are not dealing with restless leg syndrome and that you find pain relief.

When you have foot cramps at night, some symptoms you are likely to experience include muscle twitching, an uncomfortable tingling or prickling sensation, fatigue, and muscle weakness in your legs. Consequently, below are the common potential causes of your leg cramps at night.

1.Sedentary lifestyle

If you often sit for long periods or remain physically inactive, your leg and feet muscles are more inclined to contract and tighten painfully.

Also, a poor posture when standing, sitting, or lying down can misalign your musculoskeletal system, inhibit blood flow to the feet, and cause nerve compression, leading to muscle spasms in your legs.

Moreover, the position of your feet as you sleep may also contribute to nighttime leg cramps. The movement of the foot in a downward motion away from your body as you sleep, referred to as plantar flexion, can cause nerve issues and poor blood circulation, causing muscle cramps in your feet at night.

2. Straining of leg muscles

Regularly performing strenuous exercises or walking or standing for an extended period in your workplace may strain the muscles in your feet. As a result, the tired muscles dysregulate the nerve impulses controlling muscle movements, causing leg cramps you can experience as you sleep.

3. Deficiency in nutrients

According to the National Institutes of Health, you are at risk of hypokalemia if you do not have adequate potassium in your body. Potassium is an essential electrolyte for nerve and muscle cell functioning.

Also, insufficient levels of other vital nutrients in your body, such as vitamins B-12, thiamin, folate, calcium, and magnesium, may promote the destruction of nerves, causing leg and foot cramps at night.

Your doctor can test your blood to know whether or not you have sufficient nutrients.

4. Excessive alcohol consumption

Excessive consumption of alcohol can be toxic and dangerous to nerve tissues, especially in your legs and feet. Hence you may have a condition called alcoholic neuropathy, which has various symptoms, including muscle spasms and weakness, and tingling sensation in your legs or arms.

5. Pregnancy

Especially during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy, you may be more prone to leg and foot spasms or cramping at nighttime. Still, research has not established how pregnancy causes leg cramps at night.

Other potential causes of leg cramps at night may include medication side effects, medical conditions, and wearing tight shoes.

You can prevent leg cramps at night by performing light exercises, stretching before and after workouts, staying hydrated, eating healthily, and avoiding uncomfortable shoes.

Contact AIRE Podiatry Studio today to schedule an appointment with board-certified podiatrists & sports medicine specialists.

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