Leg Cramps

Follow these tips to help combat those painful lower leg cramps you get at night.

Sometimes the least serious ailments cause the most aggravation. Leg cramps are an example of this. These cramps usually occur in the lower leg, often at night. They can be quite painful and can interrupt your sleep. You may hear that leg cramps are caused by too little potassium or too much phosphorus in the diet, but those are myths. The truth is, doctors don't know what causes them, but it probably has something to do with your circulation slowing down when you're at rest.

The best treatment for leg cramps is to stand barefoot on a cold tile floor and lift your toes up. This stretches the calf and often brings relief. Daily exercise also helps.

Rarely, leg pain is the sign of a blood clot. If your leg pain increases in intensity, and if your leg feels swollen and tender to the touch, call your doctor right away.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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