Losing sleep can feel like a real-life nightmare — but, when you’re losing sleep because of leg cramps, it’s a painful one, too. Leg cramps, which typically feel like spasms or tightening sensations somewhere in the leg, can occur either before or during sleep. They may keep you from falling asleep at bedtime or jolt you awake in the middle of the night. Muscle cramps happen to a wide range of patients, from those who lead a highly sedentary lifestyle to those who exercise all the time. These involuntary sensations make it hard to sleep, cause small to major discomfort, and are typically related to muscle fatigue and nerve issues.
What Exactly is a Leg Cramp?
Leg cramps, most often located in the calf muscles but also possibly in the thighs or the feet, are uncomfortable tightening sensations frequently described as a feeling of tightness or being knotted. Nocturnal leg cramps are leg cramps at night that may last from several seconds to several minutes. The risk of having night leg cramps is higher as a person ages, and it is slightly more common for women than men.
Reasons People Experience Night Leg Cramps
While exactly what causes leg cramps is not known, certain behaviors have been linked with the condition, such as overexerting muscles, sitting for long periods of time, or standing on concrete floors. Nocturnal leg cramps can also be associated with other conditions, like pregnancy, alcoholism, an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular disorders, endocrine disorders and more.
Possible Leg Cramp Treatments
When you experience a leg cramp in the middle of the night, forcefully stretching the leg can alleviate discomfort; you may also be able to find relief by applying ice, walking, jiggling your leg, taking a warm shower or bath, or massaging the muscle. For cramps that happen once in a great while, these home remedies should provide enough relief. However, some patients deal with ongoing, persistent cramping, and in those cases, medical attention may be necessary. For frequent and/or severe leg cramps, it is often a good idea to get lab work done to rule out related conditions.
Why Come to Lakeview Immediate Care?
If you’ve been dealing with regular leg cramps at night, Lakeview Immediate Care is here to help. Conveniently located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, our clinic is your one-stop resource for fast and effective treatment options for a wide range of conditions — including night leg cramps. We’re easily accessible via CTA train, bus or car, set adjacent to a free parking garage. Even without an appointment, most patients are seen within an hour, depending on how long the line is at the time, and our prices are comparable with traditional doctors’ offices. From leg cramps to heart conditions, Lakeview Immediate Care is here for you. Come to us for compassionate, patient-centric care that makes your needs a priority!
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