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Leg cramps are a common condition that affects the muscles in feet, thighs, and calves. Leg cramps occur when the muscles in your legs contract involuntarily, which can cause pain and tenderness in the affected area. The pain can last between a few seconds to a few minutes, but the tenderness can remain for several hours. 

Majority cases occur when the person is either sleeping or resting. Leg cramps are usually harmless but can be linked to underlying medical conditions like diabetes and vascular diseases.

Leg Cramp Symptoms

When the muscles in your leg involuntarily contract, you will experience sudden, shooting pain, and you may even feel a knot in the muscle tissue in the affected area. The muscles in the affected area become tight, and the pain can be uncomfortable. A cramping episode can last between a few seconds to ten minutes. It is more common to get cramps in the calf muscles than the thighs and feet. 

Causes of Leg Cramps

Leg cramps cannot be traced to one single cause. However, here are some factors that can contribute to leg cramps:

  • Insufficient blood supply:

    Sometimes, the blood supply to muscles can be restricted due to the narrowing of the arteries. It can lead to cramps in your legs and feet, especially when exercising. Abnormal nerve activity: It is very common to experience leg cramps while sleeping at night. This is mostly triggered by increased nerve activity, with the nerves carrying too many signals to the muscles, making them feel knotted or contracted.

  • Abnormal nerve activity:

    It is very common to experience leg cramps while sleeping at night. This is mostly triggered by increased nerve activity, with the nerves carrying too many signals to the muscles, making them feel knotted or contracted.

  • Sedentary lifestyle:

    An inactive lifestyle can lead to leg cramps. This happens as the muscles do not get the regular stretching they need to function well.

  • Shortening of tendon:

    With age, the tendons connecting the bones and muscles tend to shorten, leading to muscle cramps. Sedentary lifestyle: An inactive lifestyle can lead to leg cramps. This happens as the muscles do not get the regular stretching they need to function well. 

  • Dehydration:

    Not drinking enough water can prevent the muscles from functioning, which can lead to cramps.

In some cases, the cause of leg cramps can be linked to medical conditions. For example:

  • Neurological disorders like motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Pregnancy can put an added strain on the leg muscles, leading to cramping.
  • Bacterial infections, like tetanus, can cause muscle spasms in the legs.
  • Neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson’s disease.
  • Diseases linked to kidneys, liver, and thyroid.
  • Heart conditions like peripheral vascular disease. 
  • Metabolic conditions like diabetes.  

Treatment for Leg Cramps

  • Exercises

    When having cramps, gently massage and rub the affected muscle to help it loosen and relax. For cramps in your calf muscles, try stretching and straightening your leg with your toes pointing upwards. Hold the leg in this position until the cramp has passed. Walking on your heels for a couple of minutes will also help relieve the cramp.

  • Medications

    If a cramp is severe and the muscle tenderness persists even after stretching and exercise, you may require an over-the-counter painkiller. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or Paracetamol can help relieve the pain. 

Are you looking for a vascular clinic and vein treatment center in Johns Creek & surrounding North Atlanta areas? Our renowned physicians at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic in Johns Creek can get you all the assistance you need! Call us immediately at 770-771-5260.


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North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center

North Atlanta Vascular Clinic is a vascular surgery center located in Johns Creek, Cumming, Roswell, and Lawrenceville, Georgia. We stand out in professionalism and kindness. Our expert doctors and health care providers are known for their clinical excellence, experience, and can help you with the care you need. Our vein disease specialists offer a comprehensive examination that includes a physical examination, review of your symptoms, and discussion of your medical history. We use advanced venography techniques and provide effective treatment for several health conditions like DVT, Spider Veins, Leg Cramps, MTS, and more. Visit our website, connect with us on social media, or contact us to get accurate diagnosis and treatment for all your vascular diseases.