There are various causes of leg cramps, but leg cramps hinder a comfortable sleep, such as “leg cramps while sleeping” and “calf pain and sleeplessness”. Not only sudden severe pain, but also long-lasting pain. We will explain the causes of leg cramps that occur in healthy people, preventive measures, and effective cures.
What is “leg cramps”… Calf fishing during sleep
Have you ever woken up because your calf muscles suddenly got stuck even though you slept comfortably? Many people experience this phenomenon, which is called “sleep-related leg cramps” in sleep medicine.
According to previous surveys, more than 16% of ordinary people and almost all people over the age of 50 experience leg cramps once in their lifetime. In addition, 33% of people aged 60 and over and 50% of people aged 80 and over experience leg cramps once every two months, that is, half of the people have leg cramps during sleep once every two months. It is. Of these, 6% over the age of 60 say they are attacked by leg cramps every night.
Symptoms and mechanism of leg cramps
Leg cramps occur in the same way whether you are sleeping or awake. For some reason, the calf and leg muscles contract for a few seconds to a few minutes. After that, for about 30 minutes, the pain and discomfort at the swelling remains.
If you have leg cramps during sleep, you may wake up, or even if you do not consciously wake up, an arousal reaction on the brain waves may occur. Therefore, sleep is divided and sleep time is shortened. Also, a sleep polygraph test on a person with chronic leg cramps will record muscle activity that is not normally seen. In other words, the muscles are in a state where they are easy to lift.
Side effects of illnesses and medicines that cause leg cramps
Even healthy people who use too much leg muscles during the day can cause cramps while sleeping. That’s why it’s after strenuous exercise, long walks, and swimming.
■ Nerve and muscle diseases that cause leg cramps
If you have a disease that damages your nerves or muscles, you are more likely to have leg cramps. For example, the following illnesses.
・ Cirrhosis・ Hypoparathyroidism ・
Hypothyroidism ・ Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ・ Arthritis ・ Lumbar spine disease ・ Abnormalities of body fluids and electrolytes
Women are more likely to have leg cramps when they become pregnant, but many people get better when they give birth.
■ Drugs that may cause leg cramps during sleep due to side effects
As a side effect of the drugs listed below, leg cramps may occur during sleep.
・ Antihypertensive drugs: diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers
・ Fibrates for hyperlipidemia
・ Female and male hormones
・ Insulin injection
Also, be aware that drinking too much alcohol is dangerous.
Prevention and countermeasures for leg cramps …… Sleeping posture and pressure points are also effective
If you think you’ve used your leg muscles too much, stretch your Achilles tendon enough before you go to sleep. It’s different just to massage carefully.
For those who repeat leg cramps every winter, taking a slow bath in a lukewarm bath or warming your feet with a hot water bottle will help prevent this. Also, if you lie on your back and sleep on a heavy comforter, your ankles will stretch and your calf muscles will loosen, making it easier for you to get cramps. In such a case, sleep sideways or change to a lighter comforter. The method for relieving poor circulation is “Cold sensitivity and sleep disorders … Make a good night’s sleep with good measures against cold . “
For some people, pressing acupoints is also effective. “Shoyama” and “Shosuji” are known as acupuncture points that are effective for leg cramps. Jyoyama rises in the middle of the Achilles tendon toward the knee, where the hard tendon turns into a soft muscle. The acupoints of the muscles are in the middle of the thickest part of the calf muscles. These acupoints not only prevent leg cramps, but also help when they are happening.
Effective cure & cure for leg cramps
If you have leg cramps, gently stretch to stretch the stiff muscles. For calf cramps, sit with one hand to extend your knees and wake up with your other hand to deflect your ankles. You can also hang a towel on the tip of your foot and pull it, or have your bed partner push the sole of your foot. You can also stretch your calf muscles by standing and taking an Achilles tendon stretch posture. Once the leg cramps have healed, a gentle massage of the muscles will speed up and relieve the pain.
If you have chronic leg cramps, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Although not covered by insurance, Chinese herbal medicines such as muscle relaxants, antiepileptic drugs, and shakuyakukanzoto are often prescribed. Magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E may also work.