Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Nocturnal leg cramps are sudden contractions of the lower leg and foot muscles. They often awaken you from sleep. The calf muscles are most often involved. The cramps are harmless. They do not mean that you have a serious disease.
The Calf Muscles
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The specific cause of nocturnal leg cramps is unknown. These cramps may be related to imbalances in local muscle chemistry. Many activities and diseases are associated with nocturnal leg cramps:
- Overexertion of the muscles
- Standing on hard surfaces
- Prolonged sitting
- Certain leg positions while inactive
- Blood pressure medicines
- Statins (that lower cholesterol)
Last reviewedOctober 2012by John C. Keel, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.