Nocturnal cramp and restless leg syndrome could happen overnight and this is the only similarity between those two conditions. There are variety of differences between the leg cramps at night and the restless leg syndrome, as:
- When you move the leg in Restless Leg Syndrome, you feel relive. But you shouldn’t move the leg in the nocturnal leg cramp, instead stretching as it is recommended.
- Restless Leg Syndrome does not cause any pain or cramping, while nocturnal leg cramp does.
- Restless Leg Syndrome is more like a discomfort or crawling feeling in your legs.
- If you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome you will want to move the leg, while the nocturnal leg cramps prevent moving.
Causes and risk factors of leg cramp at night:
The reason and the cause of the nocturnal leg cramps are still undiscovered.
However, the potential causes and the risk factors are well known:
Overexertion of the muscle in the leg
Standing or working constantly on concrete floors
Sitting for prolonged period of time
Medical conditions can also cause some nocturnal leg cramps, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Endocrine disorder such as diabetes
- Structural disorders such as flat feet
- taking diuretics, statins, beta agonists
- Neuromuscular disorder
The treatment and the prevention
The treatment for the cramps is linked with their cause. So, this means if the reason is dehydration, then the solution is to stay hydrated.
You must make sure that you do not suffer from magnesium or potassium deficiency. Magnesium and potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramping.
- Firstly, you have to stretch the legs before going to bed,
- Do more water exercises to make your leg muscles stronger.
- Wear ergonomic shoes and don’t wear high heels.
- Use horse chestnut, because it is proven to increase the blood flow in the legs.
- Take a relaxing, warm bath before going to sleep.That way you’ll get rid of any muscle tightness.
- Put warm pad to the affected areas.
- Try acupuncture treatment sometimes.
What to do when those spasms happen
It is the most important to know what to do when the spasm is suddenly happening during the sleeping. You can relieve the pain exactly in the moment and afterwards. These are a few tips that could help you in those moments:
- Put your both legs in front of you while you are sitting down on the floor. Then bend your feet and point your toes toward the knees. You may need to pull on your feet to stretch out better.
- Get up slowly and then turn around a little bit. Shaking the legs can also improve the blood flow.
- Carefully rub the region with gentle circular movements.
- Consume a tablespoon of yellow mustard once a day to relieve the discomfort.