Diseases And Treatments

Night Cramps - What It Is, Causes, Prevention and Treatments

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Atnight crampsare a common problem that occasionally can cause insomnia. They consist of muscle pains located in the feet and legs, usually in the calf, that appear as you are in bed with intense pain caused by involuntary contractions of one or more muscles, sudden and prolonged periods.Causes of Night Cramps:In most cases, the cause ofnight crampsis unknown. In some cases, it may be due to:

  • Problems of the feet or legs (flat feet or other abnormality).
  • The feet are in bad position during the day (prolonged session or in a bad position at work).
  • Diseases associated with muscle disorders or posture (Parkinson's, nerve or muscle disease).
  • Dehydration such as (excessive sweating without replacement of lost salt, diarrhea, intense exercise or treatment with hemodialysis).
  • Metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium in the hypomagnesemia (low levels of magnesium in the blood) or Hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood). blood).
  • Take certain medications, including diuretics (medicines for urination), beta blockers, contraceptives, inhaled bronchodilators, sedatives, and many others.
  • Associated with the exercise.
  • In pregnant women they may havecrampsbecause of the lack of magnesium.

Diagnosis of Night Cramps:Atnight crampsare painful, but are not important from the point of view of compromising health, cramps can become very irritating. If they are very frequent it is recommended to have a blood test to rule out problems, such as calcium deficiency, magnesium deficiency or potassium deficiency in the blood.

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Prevention of Night Cramps:At the momentnight crampsSome simple precautions should be recommended to prevent recurrence of seizures:

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  • Stretch the leg muscle or leg that is experiencing cramps.
  • Walk.
  • Good hydration.
  • Apply hot water over the area for several minutes.
  • An ice massage.

Treatments for Night Cramps:Most often, painful episodes are occasional, last for less than a minute, and disappear spontaneously. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories have no use in the treatment of cramps. However, in crises, some simple measures may represent the best form of treatment. below are two non-pharmacological measures (without drugs) and Pharmacological measures (with medicines):

Non-Pharmacological Measures:

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  • In patients who are sedentary it is recommended some exercise, such as a few minutes of exercise bicycle or walking.
  • Stretching exercises.
  • Wear proper shoes during the day.
  • Maintain good hydration (drink plenty of water) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
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Pharmacological Measures:Except quinine (Tonic Water), no medication has been shown to be effective. However, quinine may have serious side effects, so it is not recommended in patients with pain unless the situation is hopeless. Alternatively, you can try:

  • Use vitamin and mineral supplements in your composition with calcium, potassium and magnesium, as long as there are no contraindications. Cramps in pregnant women generally respond well to treatment with magnesium.
  • Avoid medications that can cause colic.
  • If the previous steps fail, you can try antihistamine (polaramine® or similar) or calcium antagonists.
  • In case of no response, if cramps are too annoying you can try treatment with chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine or gabapentin.
  • Quinine is indicated only in severe conditions.
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