Leg cramps (or widely known as night leg cramps)  are not rare syndromes in our daily life. Researchers show that three out of every five people suffer from leg cramps at day and night. The cramps are one of the most annoying syndromes that frequently come without any notice and hindrance. Defined as “the sudden pain that you get when the muscles in your legs contract” (Oxford dictionary), leg cramps have received many attentions from health professions and specialists. Even though these syndromes are proved normally harmless; their appearance is still a warning signal of the body’s problems. The first thing people have to know when they look at these syndromes is the causes of leg cramps. “Why do leg cramps appear?”, “What are the underlying meanings of their symptoms?” and “Why do some people suffer from leg cramps more often than these other?” are common questions that related to the sources of this syndromes. Only when we find out the causes will we have the right treatments and further healthcare actions.
To help readers have an overview of these syndromes, AllRemedies.com would like to provide some useful information about the causes of leg cramps in details. Let’s spend some minutes to figure out the why they become so common in our daily life and what problem of your health that lays under leg cramps.
I. Possible Symptoms Of Leg Cramps
Before discovering two main causes of leg cramps, the main part of our article, we would like to show you some possible symptoms of leg cramps, initially. Leg cramps happen mostly on the calf muscles. Sometimes, they can also develop in the feet or thighs. An episode of leg cramps varies from a few seconds up to about ten minutes, and thigh cramps often last the longest. When leg cramps occur, the significant symptoms are the pain in affected muscles that will be tightened. Besides, feet and toes will be firm and inflexible. The pain and tenderness result from leg cramps may last for several hours even when the cramps have passed out.
If you only experience leg cramps occasionally, there is no need for concern. However, the high frequency of leg cramps is believed to reflect the life’s quality as well as the health condition of sufferers. At that time, you are recommended figuring out the causes of leg cramps at night, while sleeping, during pregnancy, and ask your GP for advice and instruction.
II. Top 2 Main Causes Of Leg Cramps At Night, While Sleeping, During Pregnancy, And Their Treatments
So, what are the causes of leg cramps? There are several factors leading to the leg cramps, but generally, they are categorized into certain groups based on the types of cramps:
1. Unknown (Idiopathic) Leg Cramps
People experience idiopathic leg cramps frequently and actually, the exact causes of these leg cramps remain an unsolved question for health specialists. No official answer has been given out, but some potential theories have been built up as an effort to access the problem.
Many people often have leg cramps during their sleep. Nerve compression is supposed to be the reason. The natural position that you sleep with your knee bent and feet pointing downward can shorten the muscle, which results in the cramps in your calf. Stretching at the time is believed to make sufferers feel better.
Another theory assumes that one of the causes of leg cramps can relate to the blood supply. It is said that leg cramps will happen if there is a restriction in the blood supply. For example, when you do some certain exercises, the amount of blood supply to your leg can be inadequate. The unexpected blood limitation negatively affects muscles and produces pain, which might make you unable to move your leg.
It is also noticed that leg cramps often appear at certain times when exercising, such as running or swimming. The reason is that during these extensive activities, an excessive strain will be placed on leg muscles, which leads to the cramps. Therefore, the advance preparation is advised and required before exercising to prevent unexpected leg cramps.
Besides these theories mentioned above, health specialists also suggest that there is another factor that may answer the question of what the causes of leg cramps are. Muscles and bones in your body are attached together by tendons . In fact, according to the Oxford Dictionary, tendons are “the strong bands of tissue in the body that join a muscle to a bone.” They play an essential role in the functioning of muscles as well as the movement of the whole body. If tendons, for some reasons, become less flexible, the movement will be affected. Pain and discomfort may happen as well. Tendons naturally will be shortened and less bendy when people get older. The following result is that the old often suffer leg cramps more frequent than the young do. Due to that fact, people are advised to keep exercising when they reach the higher age as a way to protect themselves from cramps and other bad syndromes.
2. Secondary Leg Cramps
While most of the leg cramps happen out of the concern and remain harmless, some of them may contain medical information about your health condition, which requires you to pay more attention.
Leg cramps may be the most frustrating problem for athletics and people who enjoy doing exercises, especially who love extreme sports. The causes of leg cramps that connected to exercise can be explained in a simple way. During the intense activities, people often put themselves in a harder way than normal to get expected the result. This effort will put your muscle under excessive pressure, and leg cramps will appear as a consequence. The more intensity you place on your body, the more chances for cramps to occur.
There is an interesting fact that the old and pregnancy women experience leg cramps more regularly than other groups of people. If tendons, which have been mention above, are one of the causes of leg cramps for the old, the weight will explain why people in pregnancy often get cramps. When women are having babies, they will gain a lot of extra weight due to the baby inside and a special diet. These additional weights will put pressure on the muscles, especially the leg, leading to the cramps. The more weight a woman gain for nine months, the more pressure she and her leg muscles have to take. Therefore, if you are a husband with a pregnant wife please reads this article carefully and learns how to help your wife when she has a leg cramp during pregnancy.
The performance of the liver can be one of the possible causes of leg cramps. When the liver gets diseases or problems, and it is unable to work properly, the whole body will be affected. Toxins in the body will be piled up, and researchers also pointed out that people with a high level of toxins in the blood are easier to suffer leg cramps than the others are. A large number of poisonous elements like lead or mercury will prevent muscle from performing well and result in cramps.
Leg cramps may also be the result of some kinds of bacterial infection. People who are infected with, for example, tetanus  often have severe cramps in many parts of the body, including legs. Therefore, taking care of your health to stay away from infection will also reduce the risk of leg cramps.
Water is very important for our life because it accounts for up to 70% of the human body. When there is the water deficient in our body, the level of salt, which contributes to the performance of muscles, will drop in. As a result, people with a low level of water will experience leg cramps more often. So do not forget to drink a sufficient amount of water every day to protect yourself from these frustrating syndromes.
Medication will contribute to the causes of leg cramps for some people. There are some certain substances used in treatment may lead to leg cramps for users, but the family doctors don’t tell you. They include: Diuretics that are used for patients with high blood pressure or those who suffer heart failure and kidney disease because it helps to eliminate fluid), Raloxifene  (For those women who have suffered the menopause, Raloxifene is used to avoid osteoporosis), Nicotinic acid  (one of the common substances used in high cholesterol treatment) and so on.
III. Natural Treatments For Leg Cramps At Night
To help you get a deep understanding about leg cramps, one of the most common syndromes that affect our life, besides the causes of leg cramps at night, while sleeping, during pregnancy, we will introduce some ways to fight against or even get away from these syndromes.
One of the most common ways that are recommended by health specialists is doing exercises. This method can be applied during the time of leg cramps to reduce the pain and during daily life to lessen the likelihood of leg cramps. Exercise during the cramps includes some activities like stretching and massaging the part of the body that experiences the cramps. Straighten the leg or try to walk on the heel for some minutes are proved to relieve the pain of cramps.
Prevention is always better than cure. Even the is no perfect way to stay away from leg cramps, some exercise can reduce the time cramps appear if they are applied frequently. Stretching the muscle is highly recommended at three times a day. It is suggested that if these exercises are helpful, let do them as many as you can. Exercising can prepare your body well to lower the risk of leg cramps.
2. Painkillers And Quinine
Painkillers along with quinine  are also mentioned as a way to reduce the level of pain if the exercise during the leg cramps does not work. However, the proper dose should follow the instruction and permission of the general practitioner because the side effects of these medications can be harmful and dangerous for patients, such as blind or even death.
Leg cramps are not an urgent health problem, but they cannot be ignored due to their frequency. With the causes of leg cramps provided above, we hope readers now can understand more about these syndromes and your own underlying health condition. Remember these symptoms, as well as the recommended treatments, can be very useful when you have to experience leg cramps.
Check also: 10 Natural Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Pain
Keep in mind that prevention should be carried out as soon as possible to keep yourself from the cramps and their negative consequences. Please leave your questions below and share with us your opinion about the causes of leg cramps. For more information, you are supposed to visit our main site How To