I have been getting awakened 3 or 4 times a night with cramps at the front of my right leg at the shin bone, then it travels down to my foot and toes. Anyone else have this trouble?
Try calcium, Magnesium, zinc.
That was happening with my mom, she found somewhere that it could be caused by lack of potassium, so now she eats a banana every night. Sounds weird, but it works. If I were you, I'd go to the doctor to rule out anything more serious.
I learned, while working in home care nursing, that night cramps can be caused by lack of calcium in the muscles. They begin to contract from this. Try taking calcium before bedtime. Warning: if this helps, stopping the calcium will bring them back again.
Leg cramps are also caused by dehydration. Be sure you are drinking enough water. Not soda, coffee, or tea. Those do not count. You must drink water.
When I have this problem it starts in the top bones of my foot and then travels up the shin bone, then some times around to the calf in a cramp. It doesn't happen every night and only in one leg at time, it isn't consistant in just one leg. I don't have a remedy, I do know several people that have the problem.
Karen, are you by any chance wearing backless shoes? I had this problem once and my doctor told me they were the cause. He said that when I wore backless shoes, my toes were over-compensating in order to hold the shoe on my foot. I had pain in my toes, the top of my foot, and up my leg. A few weeks in shoes with either backs, or straps along the back, solved the problem.
Thank you for your responses. No, I only wear Dearfoam soft slippers in the house, and when I go out, I wear "walker" type gym shoes with orthotics. I have a lot of arthritis and don't get much exercise. For years, I have been taking a large daily regimen of pills and vitamins, none of which have changed for a couple of years. This nightly pain just started about 10 nights ago and wake me up 3-4 times a night.
I have fibromyalgia and I get severe leg cramps. Day or night, I never know when they will strike. My massage therapist told me that when it happens I need to drink a little bit of pickle juice, or take a spoonful of plain old yellow mustard. It's trial and error to get the amount of pickle juice that works for you. They both work, but the pickle juice works faster and keeps the cramps away. Sounds crazy but it works for me.
Margaret from Denton, Texas
Karen, it really would be best to talk to a doctor about this and especially if you take medications and/or have, or might have, any health issues. My leg and foot cramps were caused from medications I need to take that deplete both potasium and sodium. It really isn't wise to try self help with vitamins, minerals, etc without knowing the cause and knowing the correct dosage of what you need. Over use of some vitamins and minerals can actually cause internal damage and what you try to use to stop the cramps can also affect the effectiveness of medications.
An old Indian remedy for leg cramps: Put a bar of soap under your bedsheet down by your feet or shins.
If you are on cholesterol lowering medication, this can be a side effect. Even if you have previously had no problems, the medication can have a cumulative effect. Check with your doctor and change to a non-statin medication. I had the pains that you describe, but they stopped after ceasing the statin medication (Lipitor, Crestor and Simvastatin). I now take Ezetrol, so far with no problems.
The only thing that helps me is getting out of bed and walking and rubbing my legs and feet. Keeping them warm helps also, so I wear wool socks to bed and will use a warm pack or heating pad on low (use caution there). Still, I get them almost every night and they are extremly painfull. I do have restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia and a lot of arthritis. I still look for better ways to help me with this problem of leg and feet/toe cramps. Shirley
Dr Oz mentioned eating a banana before bed helps to relax the muscles.
I have also read that calcium works well or you might try asking the Pharmacist for an over the counter remedy
I suffer from restless legs sydrome. I take potassium every night before bedtime this has helped me a lot. Banana's are high in potassium.
I have had that problem for years. Most of the time it happens @ night & wakes me from sleeping. I cannot get up & put my leg on the floor as it feels like it has been in a vice & the cramp starts tightening & gets tighter & tighter & then throbs uncontrollably. I once watched the clock & it lasted 20 minutes. Talk about pain. OMG I was almost crying with the severe pain. Occasionally it happens while walking & has happened in the supermarket or while shopping in a clothing store & it goes all the way down to my toes & then the toes go into a sort of contraction where the toes separate & just freeze. I have to just stand still & wait for it to subside as I can't walk while it happens. It is so embarassing & painful. I've talked to my Dr. about it over the years & he said they do not know what causes it. He suggested I take a small glass of quinine water before retiring but that doesn't help. There are so many other positive things in my life that I feel blessed & don't like to complain but when this happens it cancels out everything that is positive. I can certainly emphathise with you & hope, unlike me, that you can find a solution. Best of luck.
I too suffer with excruciating shin cramps. They are unbearable and last at least 10 minutes. I cannot lift my foot to walk or stretch the muscle. The cramps are from 1/2 way down my shin onto the top of my foot, and they are paralyzing. The pain is so severe, I think I'd rather go through childbirth again than have another shin cramp! From time to time I also get foot or leg cramps, but shin cramps are a breed unto themselves.
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