Calf Cramps at Night Time : Causes & Treatment

Knowing major causes of calf cramps at night time is the first step toward finding treatment options.

Calf Cramps at night

by Joi under CC BY


If you have experienced the sharp calf pain at night, then you will be happy to discover this list of treatments. The terminology ‘cramp’ refers to a painful and involuntary contraction of muscles. The involuntary contraction can occur in either one muscle or a muscle group. Spasms mainly occur in the legs of elderly patients or animals.

But most of us experience night leg cramps at some point. Getting a leg cramp at night is considered very common and even a normal condition. On the other hand, nighttime calf cramps may in certain circumstances be a sign of a chronic infection of the motor neuron.

Calf cramps while sleeping come with certain symptoms that you should take note of. If you experience this condition at bedtime, you will be able to detect the condition early enough and in good time before it gets worse.

Some of the symptoms of nocturnal calf cramps at night time may include signs such as muscle pain and fatigue. A professional medical practitioner will be able to detect the condition and offer a remedy after conducting examinations and blood tests.

The cause of nocturnal leg cramps has not been clearly established. In fact, there seems to be no certain cause of the condition. On certain occasions, the cramps are caused by overexertion of the muscles, standing for too long on concrete, structural disorders, prolonged sitting, dehydration and inappropriate leg positions.

Other common causes of a leg cramp at night may include diabetes, hypoglycemia, Parkinson’s disease, anemia, thyroid or endocrine disorders, and certain medications. However, the condition can also be caused by other viral and bacterial infections similar to when one experiences a muscle spasm.

Additional causes may include circulation anomalies and rheumatoid arthritis.

Even with these possible causes, it is still not very easy determining the exact cause of severe leg cramps at night. The condition can begin by a simple instant firing of special nerve groups that are accompanied by the contraction of some muscle fibers.

In instances when you experience leg cramping at night often and it is only specific to a certain muscle group, it may be a result of an infection in the nerve root.

Night Calf Cramps Treatment Methods

Different treatments are administered to a person experiencing severe leg cramps condition. Among the treatments considered to be the most effective is quinine bisulphate. This can be obtained on prescription from a doctor in tablet form.

After conducting an examination, your doctor will be able to give you a prescription. The standard dosage for quinine is one tablet each night for one week.

After taking the dosage, it is advisable that you stop after the lapse of muscle cramps at bedtime for one week. However, if the condition recurs, the medication can be taken again.

This kind of treatment is referred to as empirical treatment. Some people say that drinking tonic water each evening is able to prevent the occurrence of the condition. This is because tonic water contains quinine. However, when symptoms persist, it is advisable to see a doctor.

Many people have found these tips useful in the treatment of mild and severe calf cramps at night.

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