What Causes Leg Cramps
Learning what causes leg cramps can help you if you are affected with this symptom. A leg cramp or "charley horse" is felt in an instance, where the uncontrolled contraction produces a pain in the leg. Here are some causes for leg cramps.
Direct cause. A leg cramp is basically caused when a muscle in your leg suddenly contracts. This commonly occurs in muscles that cross two joints, most notably the calb, hamstring, and the quadriceps.
Typical causes of leg cramps. Muscle fatigue, dehydration, high weight, diarrhea, pregnancy, heavy exercising, and certain medications (antipsychotics, birth control, diuretics, statins, and steroids) often cause leg cramps. Unusual exercise habits have also contributed to leg cramps. Additionally, leg cramps are more common in adolescents and individuals over 65 years of age. The precise cause of leg cramps is not well understood, however.
Conditions that can cause leg cramps. Some leg cramps are caused by medical conditions. Thyroid disease, peripheral artery desease, spinal stenosis, and many others have been linked to leg cramps.
Nighttime leg cramps. Very closely related to leg cramps are those that occur at nighttime. Many individuals who have leg cramps experience them at night. These normally have the same set of causes and symptoms.
Ways to prevent leg cramps. Drinking plenty of water, limiting alcohol and caffeine, foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and stretching are some of the ways that can help prevent leg cramps, whether during the day or those classified as nighttime leg cramps.