Health

Night Leg Cramps in Seniors: Causes and Symptoms

Cramping can occur at any time, including when you are asleep anyway. As it turns out, nocturnal cramping conditions like this are experienced by almost 60% of adults where when cramps attack, the part of the body that experiences cramps will be painful, tight, and painful. For more information learn about Night Leg Cramps in Seniors: Causes and Symptoms.

 

What night leg cramps in seniors?

The causes of leg cramps that occur at night is called nocturnal leg cramps. Cramping is also said to be one of the main causes of sleep disorders, namely insomnia. Generally, leg cramps at night occur in the calf muscles, occur suddenly, and last for several minutes.

After that, the pain will usually be reduced. However, some feel persistent pain and aches. Adults or seniors over the age of 50 tend to experience leg cramps more often than young people.

The doctors suspect, the reason is that the age is more often sitting. When you don’t stretch much or use muscles, it tends to experience more cramping at night.

 

What is muscle cramping?

Muscle cramping is a strong contraction or tightening of the muscles, which aches and appears suddenly, which lasts for a while. Often this condition occurs in the legs.

Leg muscle cramps at night are usually a sudden spasm or tightening of the muscles in the calf. The condition can also sometimes occur in the thighs or legs. Often cramps appear when you are asleep or just waking up.

 

What are the symptoms of muscle cramps?

In contrast to muscle pain that can occur in any part of the body muscles, muscle cramps are relatively more common in the legs, especially in the calf.

In addition to the sudden pain, you may be able to feel or see muscle tissue protruding under the skin. There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above but take it easy I will explain them. If you have concerns about a particular symptom, consult a doctor.

 

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You might even examine Pneumonia Symptoms For Seniors, and Symptoms of Pneumonia in Adults tend to be overlooked as generally, the first signs of the illness appear mild.

Pneumonia in the elderly can cause quite significant complications, even deadly if not treated immediately.

 

Can leg cramps be experienced by children or pregnant women?

Leg cramps during sleep are more likely to be experienced by adults than children or adolescents. Especially during pregnancy is usually experienced when the womb has entered the trimester because the condition of pregnancy cramps is common in pregnant women.

 

What causes leg cramps during sleep?

Leg cramps generally affect the muscles of the calf, thighs, or entire leg. This can happen on one or both sides of the foot. Experts mention that the cause of leg cramps during sleep can not be known for sure (idiopathic).

However, several factors can increase the risk of causing leg cramps during sleep.

In general, leg cramps during sleep can be caused by the position of the legs when lying down. Some people may sleep with their legs bent or known as plantar flexion positions. This can shorten the calf muscles, making you more prone to cramping.

Leg cramps during sleep at night can occur due to the leg muscles that are suddenly tense causing excruciating pain. This muscle tension usually occurs when the legs rest, including when sleeping at night.

In addition to the position of the legs during sleep, there are various causes of leg cramps during sleep that occur suddenly, including:

 

Sedentary lifestyle or lazy motion

One of the causes of leg cramps during sleep is habits or daily sedentary lifestyles.

Sitting for long periods can make leg muscles more prone to cramping. Therefore, leg muscle stretching needs to be done several times while you are on the move.

 

Incorrect sitting position

The habit of sitting for long periods plus incorrect sitting positions are often the cause of leg cramps during sleep.

For example, a sitting position with crossed legs can shorten the calf muscles resulting in leg cramps, including during sleep.

 

Too long-standing

Prolonged standing is also a cause of leg cramps during sleep. A study showed that people who stand too long in a work environment are more at risk of experiencing leg cramps at night.

 

Exercise is too heavy

The cause of leg cramps during sleep may occur when you often do heavy exercise. Overweight exercise can cause leg cramps during sleep because the muscles of the bodywork too hard.

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Age

As you get older, you may become more at risk of leg cramps at night.

According to the results of the study, as many as 33 percent of people over the age of 50 experience leg cramps at night. This is what causes leg cramps during the next sleep.

 

Health conditions

The causes of leg cramps during sleep at night can also be experienced by some people with certain health conditions below:

  • Pregnant women
  • Diabetes
  • Nervous disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Alcohol drinkers
  • Liver, kidney, and thyroid disorders
  • Musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis
  • Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease

 

Dehydrated

In some cases, dehydrated people also cause leg cramps.

This is because the need for fluid intake in the body before bed is lacking to make the function of leg muscles can not work optimally.

 

Can medications also cause leg cramps?

Other causes of leg cramps during sleep are side effects of taking certain medications, for example:

  • Statins
  • Diuretic
  • Naproxen
  • Pregabalin
  • Raloxifene
  • Teriparatide
  • Levalbuterol
  • Albuterol/ipratropium.

 

How to deal with sudden relapse of leg cramps at night?

To solve this, you can do the following steps as a way to overcome leg cramps at night that suddenly relapse, namely:

Night Leg Cramps in Seniors

Massaging leg muscles by hand

One way to overcome leg cramps at night is to massage cramped muscles with your hands. This method aims to make cramped and stiff muscles feel relaxed and sagging.

 

Stretch your muscles

The way to overcome leg cramps while sleeping the next night is to stretch the cramped muscles.

You can stop the activity that is being done and stretch the leg muscles by straightening both legs.

 

Move your feet on the foot

You can get out of bed and move your feet slowly as a way of overcoming leg cramps the next night.

 

Warm shower

If the way to overcome leg cramps while sleeping above does not eliminate the symptoms, you can take a warm bath to eliminate them.

You can also use a warm water compress as a way of overcoming leg cramps at night.

To do this, wet a towel or clean cloth using warm water. Then, attach it to the area of the leg that has cramps.

 

When to see a doctor?

Although the cause of leg cramps at night causes discomfort, pain, and disrupts sleep quality, generally this condition is nothing to worry about.

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Most people who experience it do not need further medical care.

Taking precautions and how to overcome leg cramps during sleep as mentioned above can relieve the recurrence of conditions that can cause sudden pain.

However, if the frequency of leg cramps at night is too frequent, interferes with daily activities, and causes pain, consult a doctor immediately to find out the exact cause of leg cramps during sleep.

This also applies when leg cramps spread to other parts of the muscle, making the condition worse.

Thus, you get the right treatment according to the cause of leg cramps during sleep at night experience.

 

Is there a way to prevent leg cramps during sleep at night?

How to prevent leg cramps while sleeping at night are as follows:

 

Drink plenty of fluids before bed

One way to prevent leg cramps during sleep is to drink plenty of fluids before going to bed

Adequate intake of fluids in the body before bed can make the function of leg muscles work optimally. With this, leg cramps during sleep can be avoided.

 

Stretch your muscles

The way to prevent leg cramps during sleep is to stretch the muscles.

Stretching your calf and hamstring muscles before bed can reduce the frequency and severity of leg cramps that occur.

 

Pay attention to the sleeping position

The way to prevent leg cramps during sleep is to avoid sleeping with the position of the bent leg.

It is best to try to straighten the legs during sleep, if necessary place a pillow below your knees.

 

Avoid wearing blankets or thick bed covers

If you often experience leg cramps during sleep at night, it is best to avoid wearing a blanket or a thick bed cover to cover your feet.

Using a thick blanket while sleeping can potentially make your feet cramp during sleep.

 

Use the right footwear

Wearing uncomfortable footwear on the go can worsen your nerves and leg muscles. Therefore, it is important to use proper footwear as a way of preventing leg cramps while sleeping at night.

 

Do light exercise

Doing light exercise before bedtime can help prevent the appearance of leg cramps.

You can walk or use a static bike indoors for a few minutes as a way of preventing leg cramps during sleep.

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