There are various, provocative appearance of such an unpleasant phenomenon as leg cramps, causes. Treatment should begin only after you find out why this symptom appeared at all.
Most often, this problem is faced by people in mature and old age. And convulsions occur mostly at night, during sleep.
Why do cramps appear?
Of course, the correct diagnosis in each case can only be made by a doctor, after a thorough examination. However, we consider the main reasons why leg cramps may appear.
In certain cases, they can be a symptom of other diseases. Thus, regularly recurring seizures may indicate incipient atherosclerosis, varicose veins, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of the liver, and thyroid disease.
Improper nutrition can also cause problems. If the body lacks some minerals (in particular, calcium and magnesium), it is likely that soon you will encounter such a problem as leg cramps.
The causes, treatment and prevention of such conditions are very important. After all, if you do not pay attention to the problem of attention in a timely manner, it will not disappear by itself, but, on the contrary, will aggravate.
Another common factor that can trigger painful muscle contractions is local oxygen deficiency. It appears when the work of the vessels is disrupted in a particular area.
Spinal osteochondrosis can also be accompanied by convulsions. In this case, they appear when the nerve fibers are squeezed at their exit from the spine.
Sometimes even practically healthy people are faced with such a phenomenon as leg cramps. The causes, treatment and further preventive measures in these situations are obvious. There are convulsions after severe stress, physical exertion. Often they torment obese people leading an inactive lifestyle. In order for unpleasant symptoms to disappear, you need to join a healthy lifestyle and give yourself a rest.
Due to the increase in body weight and the load on the legs, cramps occur in pregnant women.
In addition, it can trigger certain uncontrolled muscle contractions with certain medications (for example, nifedipine, raloxifene, various diuretics and statins, nicotinic acid).
An oversupply of nicotine, caffeine and sugar in the body is another reason explaining leg cramps at night.
How are seizures treated?
First of all, it is necessary to establish the exact cause of their occurrence. After that, the doctor must prescribe a certain diet, and sometimes special medications that will help eliminate the cause of the convulsions and get rid of them.
Among the best drugs that help in such situations, we should particularly highlight the funds "Orthocalcium + Magnesium" and "Ortho Taurine Ergo."
Try to regularly eat beans, hard cheeses and cottage cheese. In order to improve muscle quality, improve their blood supply and normalize metabolic processes, you should perform special exercises for stretching them:
alternately bend and unbend the toes (10 seconds each),
several times to rise on the toes, and then abruptly fall on the entire foot,
standing or sitting cross-wise, leaning on the outside.
It is important to avoid overloading and wearing comfortable shoes. In the evenings, it is worth doing a contrast shower or bath for the legs (alternating water with a temperature of 40 degrees and 28-30 degrees).
Sometimes with cramps, it helps to simply lower the foot to the cold floor. However, if the unpleasant state is delayed, pinch the sore spot several times, massage it. After that, you can rub your leg with a warming ointment (if there is none, ordinary apple cider vinegar or vodka will do), and then put it on a roll from a blanket.
Now you know about leg cramps, causes, treatment and first aid for these conditions. Be healthy!
From the point of view of human physiology, the mechanism of muscle fiber contraction is a phenomenon that has long been studied. Since the purpose of this article is to highlight the issue of cramps in the legs, it will be wise to pay particular attention to the work only of the cross-striped (skeletala) muscles, without affecting the principles of smooth functioning.
Skeletal muscle consists of thousands of fibers, and each individual fiber, in turn, contains many myofibrils. The myofibrill in a simple light microscope is a strip in which tens and hundreds of muscle cells lined up are visible (myocytes).
Each peripheral myocyte has a special contractile apparatus, oriented strictly parallel to the cell axis. The contractile apparatus is a collection of special contractile structures called myofillaments. These structures can only be detected by electron microscopy. The main morphofunctional unit of myofibrils, which has contractile ability, is sarcomere.
Sarcomere consists of a number of proteins, the main of which are actin, myosin, troponin and tropomyosin. Actin and myosin are shaped like threads intertwining. With troponin, tropomyosin, calcium ions and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) there is a mutual convergence of the threads of actin and myosin, as a result of which the sarcomere is shortened, and, accordingly, the entire muscle fiber.
Muscle contraction mechanism
There are many monographs describing the mechanism of muscle fiber contraction, in which each author presents his stages in the course of this process. Therefore, the most appropriate solution would be to single out the general stages of the formation of muscle contraction and describe this process from the moment of transmission of the pulse to the brain until the moment of complete contraction of the muscle.
Muscle fiber contraction occurs in the following order:
- The nerve impulse arises in the precentral gyrus of the brain and is transmitted along the nerve to the muscle fiber.
- Through the acetylcholine mediator, an electrical impulse is transferred from the nerve to the surface of the muscle fiber.
- The spread of the pulse throughout the muscle fiber and its penetration deep into the special T-shaped tubules.
- Transition of excitement from T-shaped channels to tanks. Tanks are called special cell formations containing calcium ions in large quantities. As a result, the opening of calcium channels and the release of calcium into the intracellular space.
- Calcium starts the process of mutual convergence of actin and myosin filaments by activating and restructuring the active centers of troponin and tropomyosin.
- ATP is an integral component of the above process, as it supports the process of converging the threads of actin and myosin. ATP contributes to the detachment of the myosin heads and the release of its active centers. In other words, without ATP, the muscle cannot contract, because it cannot relax before it.
- As actin and myosin filaments come together, the sarcomere shortens and the muscle fiber itself and the whole muscle contract.
Factors affecting muscle contractility
Violation at any of the above stages can lead to a lack of muscle contraction, as well as to a state of permanent contraction, that is, seizures.
The following factors lead to prolonged tonic contraction of the muscle fiber:
- excessively frequent impulses of the brain,
- an excess of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft,
- lowering the threshold of excitability of the myocyte,
- reduced ATP concentration
- genetic defect of one of the contractile proteins.
Causes of cramps in the legs
Causes involve diseases or certain conditions of the body in which favorable conditions are created for the occurrence of lower extremity seizures. There are a lot of diseases and various conditions that can lead to convulsions, so in this case one should not deviate from the chosen direction, but, on the contrary, it is necessary to classify the diseases according to the factors listed above.
Excessive cerebral impulses
The brain, namely its special section, the cerebellum, is responsible for maintaining the constant tone of each muscle of the body. Even during sleep, the muscles do not cease to receive impulses from the brain. The fact is that they are generated much less frequently than in the waking state. Under certain circumstances, the brain begins to increase the impulse that the patient feels like a feeling of stiffness of the muscles. When a certain threshold is reached, the impulses become so frequent that they keep the muscle in a state of constant contraction. This condition is called tonic convulsions.
Leg cramps due to increased brain impulses develop with the following diseases:
- acute psychosis
- traumatic brain injury
- intracranial hemorrhage,
- cranial thromboembolism.
Epilepsy is a serious disease characterized by the appearance of synchronous impulses in the brain. Normally, different parts of the brain emit waves of different frequencies and amplitudes. In an epileptic seizure, all the neurons of the brain begin to impulse synchronously. This leads to the fact that all the muscles of the body begin to contract uncontrollably and relax.
There are generalized and partial seizures. Generalized seizures are considered classic and correspond to the name. In other words, they are manifested by contraction of the muscles of the whole body. Partial convulsive seizures are less common and manifest as uncontrolled contraction of only one muscle group or one limb.
There is a special kind of seizures, named after the author who described them. The name of the data convulsions - Jackson seizures or Jackson epilepsy. The difference between this type of convulsions lies in the fact that they begin as a partial seizure, for example, with an arm, leg, or face, and then extend to the whole body.
This mental illness is characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations caused by many reasons. The pathophysiology of this disease has not been studied enough, but it is assumed that the substrate for the appearance of distorted perception symptoms is abnormal activity of the brain. With the failure to provide medication help, the patient's condition deteriorates dramatically. Raising body temperature above 40 degrees is a bad prognostic sign. Often, a rise in temperature is accompanied by generalized convulsions. Convulsions of the lower extremities are practically not encountered, but they can be the beginning of a generalized seizure, as in the case of the Jackson seizure mentioned above.
In addition, the patient may complain that his legs are knocked down due to a distorted perception. It is important to take this complaint seriously and to check whether it is true. If the limb is in a state of convulsions, its muscles are tense. Forcible extension of the limb leads to the early disappearance of painful symptoms. If there is no objective confirmation of lower extremity convulsions, the patient’s complaints are explained by paresthesias (sensitive hallucinations) caused by acute psychosis.
This pathological condition can occur during pregnancy and is a serious threat to the life of the pregnant woman and the fetus. In non-pregnant women and in men, this disease cannot occur, since the starting factor for its development is the incompatibility of certain cellular components of the mother and fetus. Eclampsia is preceded by preeclampsia, in which the pregnant woman increases blood pressure, swelling and worsening general well-being. With high blood pressure numbers (an average of 140 mm Hg. pillar and up) increases the risk of placental abruption due to narrowing of the blood vessels that feed it. Eclampsia is marked by the appearance of generalized or partial seizures. Leg cramps, as in the previous case, may be the beginning of a partial Jackson fit. During convulsions, sharp contractions and relaxation of the uterine muscles occur, leading to detachment of the fetal place and cessation of feeding of the fetus. In this situation, there is an urgent need for emergency delivery by caesarean section in order to save the life of the fetus and stop uterine bleeding in a pregnant woman.
Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injuries can cause leg cramps, but it must be admitted that this happens quite rarely. There is a pattern according to which the magnitude of the lesion corresponds to the severity of convulsions and the duration of their manifestation. In other words, a brain contusion with a subdural hematoma is more likely to cause seizures than a normal concussion. The mechanism of seizures in this case is associated with the destruction of brain cells. In the lesion, the ionic composition changes, which leads to a change in the threshold of excitability of the surrounding cells and an increase in the electrical activity of the affected brain region. Formed so-called foci of epileptic activity of the brain, which are periodically discharged convulsions, and then again accumulate charge. As the injured area heals, the ionic composition of the brain cells is normalized, which inevitably leads to the disappearance of the high seizure focus and cure of the patient.
Intracranial hemorrhage is often a complication of hypertension, in which aneurysms form over time in the brain vessels (sections of the thinned vascular wall). Almost always, intracranial hemorrhage is accompanied by loss of consciousness. With the next rise in blood pressure, aneurysm ruptures and the blood enters the brain substance. First, the blood presses on the nervous tissue, thus violating its integrity. Secondly, a torn vessel for some time loses the ability to supply blood to a certain part of the brain, leading to oxygen starvation. In both cases, the brain tissue is damaged, either directly or indirectly, by altering the ionic composition of the intercellular and intracellular fluid. There is a decrease in the threshold of excitability in the lesion of the affected cells and the formation of a zone of high seizure activity. The more massive the hemorrhage, the more likely it will lead to the development of seizures.
Control of this disease is extremely relevant in modern society, because it is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, overweight, unhealthy diet, smoking and alcohol abuse. Through a variety of mechanisms, blood clots are formed in any part of the body (blood clots), which grow and can reach quite large sizes. Due to the anatomical features of the leg vein are the most common place for the formation of blood clots. Under certain circumstances, a blood clot comes off and, reaching the brain, clogs the lumen of one of the vessels. After a short time (15 - 30 seconds) symptoms of hypoxia in the affected area of the brain appear. Most often, hypoxia of a specific area of the brain leads to the disappearance of the function it provides, for example, to loss of speech, disappearance of muscle tone, etc. However, sometimes the affected area of the brain becomes a hotbed of high seizure activity, which was mentioned earlier. Leg cramps occur more often when a blood clot closes the blood vessels that feed the lateral part of the precentral gyrus, since this particular part of the brain is responsible for voluntary movements of the legs. Restoration of the blood supply to the affected lesion leads to its gradual resorption and the disappearance of seizures.
Excess acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft
Acetylcholine is the main mediator involved in the transmission of impulses from the nerve to the muscle cell. The structure that provides this transmission is called an electrochemical synapse. The mechanism of this transmission is the release of acetylcholine into the synaptic cleft with its subsequent effect on the membrane of the muscle cell and the generation of an action potential.
Under certain conditions, an excess of neurotransmitter can accumulate in the synaptic cleft, inevitably leading to more frequent and severe muscle contraction, up to the development of seizures, including the lower limbs.
The following conditions cause seizures by increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft:
- overdose of drugs group of cholinesterase blockers,
- miorelaxation with depolarizing drugs,
- magnesium deficiency in the body.
Cholinesterase is an enzyme that degrades acetylcholine. Благодаря холинэстеразе ацетилхолин не задерживается долго в синаптической щели, что в результате приводит к расслаблению мышцы и ее отдыху.Preparations of the cholinesterase blocker group bind this enzyme, leading to an increase in the concentration of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft and an increase in muscle cell tone. According to the mechanism of action, cholinesterase blockers are divided into reversible and irreversible.
Reversible cholinesterase blockers are used primarily for medical purposes. Representatives of this group are prozerin, physostigmine, galantamine, etc. Their use is justified in the case of postoperative intestinal paresis, in the recovery period after a brain stroke, with atony of the bladder. Overdose of these drugs or their unreasonable use leads first to a feeling of painful stiffness of the muscles, and then to seizures.
Irreversible cholinesterase blockers are otherwise referred to as organophosphates and belong to the class of chemical weapons. The most well-known representatives of this group are the warfare agents sarin and soman, as well as the familiar insecticide, dichlorvos. Sarin and soman are banned in most countries of the world as an inhuman type of weapon. Dichlorvos and other related compounds are often used in the household and cause household poisoning. The mechanism of their action consists in the strong binding of cholinesterase without the possibility of its independent detachment. Associated cholinesterase loses its function and leads to accumulation of acetylcholine. Clinically, spastic paralysis of the entire muscles of the body occurs. Death occurs from paralysis of the diaphragm and violation of the process of voluntary breathing.
Myorelaxation with depolarizing drugs
Myorelaxation is used when performing anesthesia before surgery and leads to better anesthesia. There are two main types of muscle relaxants - depolarizing and non-depolarizing. Each type of muscle relaxant has strict indications for use.
The most well-known representative of depolarizing muscle relaxants is suxametonium chloride (ditilin). This drug is used for short surgeries (maximum 15 minutes). After exiting from anesthesia with parallel application of this muscle relaxant, the patient feels muscle stiffness for some time, as after heavy and prolonged physical work. Together with the other predisposing factors, the above feeling can turn into convulsions.
Magnesium deficiency in the body
Magnesium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. One of its functions is to open the channels of the presynaptic membrane to re-enter the unused mediator at the end of the axon (central process of the nerve cell responsible for the transmission of electrical impulse). With a lack of magnesium, these channels remain closed, which leads to accumulation of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft. As a result, even a light physical activity after a short time provokes the appearance of convulsions.
Magnesium deficiency often develops with malnutrition. This problem befalls mostly girls, seeking to limit themselves to food for the benefit of the figure. Some of them in addition to the diet use adsorbents, the most famous of which is activated carbon. This drug is certainly extremely effective in many situations, but its side effect is the removal of useful ions from the body. With one-time use of his convulsions does not occur, however, with long-term use, the risk of their appearance increases.
Reduced threshold of excitability of myocytes
A muscle cell, like any other cell in the body, has a certain threshold of excitability. Despite the fact that this threshold is strictly specific for each type of cells, it is not constant. It depends on the difference in the concentration of certain ions inside and outside the cells and the successful operation of the cellular pumping systems.
The main reasons for the development of seizures due to a decrease in the excitability threshold of myocytes are:
- electrolyte imbalance
The difference in the concentration of electrolytes creates a certain charge on the cell surface. In order for a cell to be excited, it is necessary that the impulse it received be equal to or greater in strength than the charge of the cell membrane. In other words, the impulse must overcome a certain threshold value in order to bring the cell into a state of excitement. This threshold is not stable, but depends on the concentration of electrolytes in the space surrounding the cell. When the electrolyte balance in the body changes, the threshold of excitability decreases, weaker impulses cause muscle contraction. The frequency of contractions also increases, which leads to a state of constant excitement of the muscle cell - convulsions. Violations that often lead to changes in electrolyte balance are vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, shortness of breath and intoxication.
Vitamins play an extremely important role in the development of the organism and in maintaining its normal working capacity. They are part of enzymes and coenzymes that perform the function of maintaining the constancy of the internal environment of the body. Vitamin A, B, D and E deficiency affects the contractile function of the muscles. The integrity of the cell membranes suffers and, as a result, the excitability threshold decreases, leading to convulsions.
Reduced ATP concentration
ATP is the main chemical carrier of energy in the body. This acid is synthesized in special organelles - mitochondria, present in each cell. The release of energy occurs during the splitting of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and phosphate. The released energy is spent on the work of most systems that support cell viability.
In the muscle cell, calcium ions normally lead to its reduction, and ATP is responsible for relaxation. If we consider that a change in the concentration of calcium in the blood rarely leads to convulsions, since calcium is not consumed and is not formed during muscle work, then a decrease in ATP concentration is the direct cause of convulsions, since this resource is consumed. It should be noted that convulsions develop only in the case of the utmost depletion of ATP, which is responsible for muscle relaxation. Restoring ATP concentration requires a certain time, which corresponds to the rest after hard work. Until the normal ATP concentration is restored, the muscle does not relax. It is for this reason that the overloaded muscle is firm to the touch and rigid (poorly extensible).
Diseases and conditions leading to a decrease in ATP concentration and the appearance of convulsions are:
- inferior vena cava syndrome
- chronic heart failure
- atherosclerosis obliterans,
- early postoperative period,
- excessive exercise
Diabetes mellitus is a severe endocrine disease, leading to a series of acute and delayed complications. Diabetes requires a patient of high discipline, since only the right diet and timely medication at the required concentration can compensate for the lack of insulin in the body. However, no matter how much the patient puts effort to control the glycemic level, he cannot completely avoid surges in glucose concentration in the blood. This is due to the fact that this level depends on many factors that are not always controllable. These factors include stress, time of day, the composition of food consumed, the type of work that the body performs, etc.
One of the terrible complications of diabetes is diabetic angiopathy. As a rule, with good disease control, angiopathy develops no earlier than the fifth year. There are micro and macro angiopathy. The mechanism of the damaging effect is in the defeat, in one case, of the main trunk, and in the other - of small vessels that feed the tissues of the body. Muscles that normally consume most of the energy begin to suffer from insufficient blood circulation. With a lack of blood circulation, less oxygen is supplied to the tissues and less ATP is produced, in particular in muscle cells. According to the mechanism mentioned earlier, lack of ATP leads to muscle spasm.
Syndrome of the inferior vena cava
This pathology is characteristic only for pregnant women and develops, on average, since the second half of pregnancy. By this time, the fetus reaches a size sufficient to begin to gradually shift the internal organs of the mother. Along with the organs, the large vessels of the abdominal cavity are also compressed - the abdominal aorta and the inferior vena cava. The abdominal aorta has a thick wall and also pulsates, which does not allow the development of blood stasis at this level. The wall of the inferior vena cava is thinner, and the blood flow in it is laminar (constant, not pulsing). This makes the venous wall vulnerable to compression.
As the fetus grows, compression of the inferior vena cava increases. At the same time, circulatory disorders of this segment are progressing. There is stagnation of blood in the lower extremities and edemas develop. Under these conditions, the nutrition of the tissues and their oxygen saturation gradually decrease. These factors together lead to a decrease in the amount of ATP in the cell and an increase in the likelihood of seizures.
Chronic heart failure
This disease is characterized by the inability of the heart to adequately perform the pumping function and maintain an optimal level of blood circulation. This leads to the development of edema, starting from the lower limbs and rising higher as the progression of cardiac function progresses. Under conditions of stagnation of blood in the lower extremities a deficiency of oxygen and nutrients develops. Under these conditions, the performance of the muscles of the lower extremities decreases markedly, ATP deficiency occurs more rapidly and the likelihood of seizures increases.
Varicose dilatation is a section of the thinned venous wall protruding beyond the normal contours of the vessel. It develops more often in people whose occupation is associated with hours of standing on their feet, in patients with chronic heart failure, in patients with obesity. In the first case, the mechanism of their development is associated with a constantly increased load on the venous vessels and their expansion. In the case of heart failure, blood stasis develops in the vessels of the lower limbs. With obesity, the load on the legs increases significantly, the volume of blood increases, and the diameter of the veins is forced to adjust to it.
The speed of blood flow in varicose veins decreases, blood thickens, and blood clots form that clog those same veins. In such conditions, the blood is looking for another way outflow, but soon high pressure and there leads to the emergence of new varices. This closes the vicious circle, which results in the progression of blood stagnation in the lower limbs. Blood stasis leads to a decrease in the production of ATP and increase the likelihood of seizures.
Thrombophlebitis is an inflammation of the venous vessel. As a rule, thrombophlebitis accompanies varicose veins, since the mechanisms of their formation overlap. In both cases, the trigger factor is the stagnation of blood circulation. With varicose veins, it leads to varicose veins, and with thrombophlebitis - to inflammation. The inflamed vein is compressed by edema and is deformed, which also suffers its throughput, aggravated blood stasis and inflammation progresses again. The next vicious cycle leads to the fact that it is practically impossible to completely cure thrombophlebitis and varicose veins by conservative means. When using certain drugs can reduce inflammation, but not the disappearance of the factors that caused it. The mechanism of seizures, as in previous cases, is associated with stagnation of blood in the lower extremities.
This disease is a scourge of countries with a high level of development, since its occurrence and severity increases with the level of well-being of the population. It is in these countries the highest percentage of people with obesity. With excess nutrition, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, atherosclerotic plaques form on the walls of the arteries, reducing the permeability of the vessels. Their most frequent localization is the iliac, femoral and popliteal arteries. As a result of plaque formation, the throughput of the artery becomes limited. If during normal exercise the muscle tissue receives enough oxygen and nutrients, then as the load increases, their deficit gradually forms. Lack of oxygen muscle produces less ATP, which after a certain time, while maintaining the intensity of the work will lead to the development of leg cramps.
Anemia is called a decrease in the number of red blood cells (red blood cells) and / or hemoglobin in the blood. Red blood cells are cells containing up to 98% of hemoglobin protein, and he, in turn, is able to bind oxygen and transport it to peripheral tissues. Anemia can develop for many reasons, such as acute and chronic bleeding, impaired red blood cell maturation processes, a genetic defect in hemoglobin, prolonged use of certain medications (pyrazolone derivatives) and much more. Anemia leads to a decrease in gas exchange between air, blood and tissues. The amount of oxygen supplied to the periphery is not enough to ensure optimal muscle needs. As a result, fewer ATP molecules form in mitochondria, and its deficiency increases the risk of seizures.
Early postoperative period
This condition is not a disease, but deserves close attention when it comes to seizures. Operations of medium and high degrees of complexity, as a rule, are accompanied by a certain blood loss. In addition, blood pressure can be artificially reduced for a long time for the specific stages of the operation. These factors, combined with complete immobility of the patient for several hours of surgery, create an increased risk of blood clots in the lower extremities. This risk is increased in patients with atherosclerosis or varicose veins.
The postoperative period, which in some cases takes quite a long time, requires the patient to observe strict bed rest and low physical activity. Under these conditions, blood circulation in the lower extremities is significantly slowed down, and blood clots or blood clots are formed. Blood clots partially or completely block the blood flow in the vessel and cause hypoxia (low oxygen content in the tissuesa) surrounding muscles. As in previous diseases, a decrease in the oxygen concentration in the muscle tissue, especially under conditions of increased stress, leads to the appearance of convulsions.
Hyperthyroidism is a disease associated with increased production of thyroid hormone. By reason of occurrence and developmental mechanism, primary, secondary and tertiary hyperthyroidism are distinguished. Primary hyperthyroidism is characterized by a disorder at the level of the thyroid gland itself, a secondary one at the level of the pituitary gland and a tertiary one at the level of the hypothalamus. An increase in the concentration of thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones leads to tachypsy (acceleration of thought processes) as well as to restlessness and a state of constant anxiety. These patients are much more active than healthy people. The threshold of excitability of their nerve cells is reduced, which leads to an increase in the excitability of the cell. All of the above factors lead to more intense muscular work. Together with other predisposing factors, hyperthyroidism may well cause seizures.
Unbearable and prolonged physical exertion for an unprepared organism is definitely harmful. Muscles are quickly depleted, the entire supply of ATP is consumed. If you do not give the muscles time to rest, for which a certain amount of these energy carrier data is newly synthesized, then with further muscle activity, the development of seizures is very likely. Their probability increases many times in a cold environment, for example, in cold water. This is due to the fact that cooling the muscles leads to a decrease in the rate of metabolism in it. Accordingly, the consumption of ATP remains the same, and the processes of its replenishment are slowed down. That is why cramps often occur in the water.
This pathology is the wrong formation of the arch of the foot. As a result, the pivot points of the foot are in places that are not physiologically suitable for them. The muscles of the foot, located outside the arch, have to bear the burden on which they are not designed. As a result, their rapid fatigue occurs. Утомленная мышца лишается АТФ и вместе с тем теряет способность к расслаблению.
Помимо поражения самой стопы плоскостопие косвенно отражается на состоянии коленных и бедренных суставов. Поскольку свод стопы не сформирован правильно, он не выполняет амортизационной функции. Вследствие этого вышеуказанные суставы подвергаются большему сотрясению и скорее выходят из строя, вызывая развитие артрозов и артритов.
Genetic defect of one of the contractile proteins
This category of diseases is incurable. It is comforting that the frequency of the disease in the population is low and the probability of the disease manifestation is 1: 200-300 million. This group includes various fermentopathies and diseases of abnormal proteins.
One of the diseases of this group that manifest seizures is Tourette syndrome (Gilles de la Tourette). Due to the mutation of specific genes in the seventh and eleventh pairs of chromosomes, abnormal connections are formed in the brain, leading to the appearance of involuntary movements in the patient (ticks) and shouts (more often obscene). In the case where a tick affects the lower limb, it can manifest itself in the form of periodic seizures.
Drug treatment of frequent seizures
Drug treatment of seizures is conditionally divided into the interruption of seizures and treatment aimed at their prevention.
Drug intervention is performed only if the patient has a partial or generalized epileptic seizure. In cases of convulsions of other origin, their interruption is carried out using the manipulations indicated in the section “First Aid with a Seizure”
What to do?
There are special techniques, the so-called first aid, if you sharply grabbed a cramp. So, how to help yourself?
- If the cramp started at night, then you should sit down in bed, then lower your legs down and try to get up carefully, preferably not on the carpet, but on the cool bare floor. The body should be in the maximum vertical stress, legs together. Usually after a few minutes the blood circulation is restored, and with it the muscle tone normalizes.
- Another way is also very effective, albeit a bit painful. For this it is necessary to take a deep breath, to wrap the foot with both hands, and then, holding the toes, pull the foot over yourself, regardless of the pain. The leg that the spasm has overcome must be stretched well. At the same time do not forget to make swinging movements of the legs. When the spasm is almost gone, do a gentle massage of the affected muscle.
- If the above actions do not help, then you can try to pinch the affected muscle several times and then gently massage and slap, moving from the fingertips to the heel, and from it to the knee. Then you can lie down, and put your sore leg on a hill - a pillow or a rolled up towel - so you will ensure the outflow of blood, which will help prevent repeated convulsions.
- You can relax the increased muscle tone with a hot bath or warm moist compresses. Such procedures reduce nervous sensitivity and relax muscles.
- If such problems arise constantly, then it is necessary to move to a more serious treatment of cramps in the legs. To do this, first of all, you need to fill the lack of nutrients and minerals in the body.
- This is achieved through dietary changes, diet, and drug therapy. It is necessary to draw up a nutrition plan that will be rich in foods containing calcium, magnesium and other vitamin.
What foods can be included in the diet?
If you want to enrich your body with magnesium, this can be done with the help of fresh vegetables, parsley and dill, cereals and legumes, seaweed and dates, prunes and dried apricots will do. In order for magnesium to be well absorbed, it must be ingested in a pair with vitamin B6, which is found in fish and meat, walnuts and peanuts. Calcium can be found in dairy products, different types of cabbage and sesame, it can be retained in the body due to honey.
What drugs can help?
It is best to use the secrets of traditional medicine, which, as always, come to the rescue. For example, the most popular remedy for leg cramps is lemon treatment. To do this, juice is squeezed out of it, with which it is necessary to lubricate the soles, and after drying the juice, cotton socks are put on the feet.
You can also use the extract of pharmaceutical chamomile or dry birch buds, and boiled potatoes in the uniform, which is applied at night to the calves of the legs, can help. Of course, there are also specialized drugs that can be purchased at a pharmacy, but before that it is better to consult a doctor.
Mechanism of seizures
Muscle contractions are regulated by nerve impulses. The work of skeletal muscles is subordinate to the brain and is an arbitrary process. But sometimes they can shrink involuntarily, which is called a cramp. In this case, the muscle tenses for a while, usually from several seconds to several minutes. It becomes hard, there is a sharp pain. At the same time movement in this part of the body is limited.
Most often there are convulsions in the calves of the legs, in the feet, in the hip muscle or in the hands. There may be spasms of the facial muscles, less often - the muscles of the body. Such single muscle contractions are called tonic spasms. They are not dangerous and can occur in everyone. In contrast, clonic convulsions, or generalized spasms of most muscles of the body, are a serious pathology. They occur only in severe diseases, such as epilepsy or tetanus.
Tonic convulsions occur due to irregularities in the transmission of nerve impulses. This can occur due to pathologies of the nervous system, hormonal disruptions. But most often the cause of seizures is a violation of the electrolyte composition of the blood. After all, the minerals contained in it, ensure the normal functioning of the muscles. So that they are normally reduced and relaxed, they should be provided with magnesium, potassium, calcium. In addition, sufficient blood supply is necessary to remove metabolic products. That is why most often there are cramps in the legs at night, when blood circulation slows down.
What causes cramps
Doctors believe that the main cause of tonic convulsions is a lack of mineral substances in the blood. This leads to disturbances in the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles. That is why so often leg cramps occur in pregnant women. After all, trace elements in their bodies almost all are spent on the needs of the child. Lack of essential minerals can also occur when dehydrating or taking certain medications.
Another common cause of cramps in the calves of the legs is a violation of blood circulation. Varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, atherosclerosis and other pathologies cause congestion and a lack of nutrients in the muscles.
In addition, leg cramps can occur for the following reasons:
- physical overload
- endocrine diseases
- severe intoxication of the body.
How to treat leg cramps
When there was a spasm, it makes no sense to drink some pills. The cramp seldom lasts longer than 2 minutes, so it will stop itself before the onset of the drug. In this case, emergency measures are required. For example, rubbing muscles, stretching it, hot compress. Pills for cramps in the legs are necessary when they are repeated more than once a week or when severe pain is caused.
Only a well-chosen treatment can save the patient from the pathology. Usually drugs are used in combination with other means: massage, gymnastics, ointments. The duration of treatment is determined individually, but usually it is not more than 2-3 months. Only in epileptic syndrome, life-long therapy is necessary.
Drugs used in convulsions
With such a problem, rarely anyone goes to the doctor. People try to get rid of it on their own. And coming to the pharmacy, they ask for anticonvulsant pills. But drugs with this effect are used for epilepsy. They are not suitable for cramps in the legs. The pills in this case are not special, but those that eliminate the cause of the violation of muscle contractions. Therefore, it is better to still be examined by a doctor and find out why there are convulsions. After all, inappropriate drugs can only aggravate the situation.
Modern medicine is still exploring the question of how to treat leg cramps. There is no such medicine that would get rid of them. Therefore, doctors often prescribe complex therapy. Such groups of drugs are used:
- painkillers only reduce the intensity of the pain syndrome and can relieve unpleasant feelings after the cramp has passed,
- venotonic drugs that eliminate blood stasis in the legs and improve muscle metabolism,
- multivitamin preparations, especially those with potassium and magnesium.
Cramps can cause severe pain. But they do not last more than two minutes, so during the spasm itself there is no point in drinking painkillers. But such drugs may be prescribed in complex therapy for often recurring spasms. “Analgin” or “Paracetamol” are commonly used. They have a moderate analgesic effect.
A commonly used drug is Aspirin. Acetylsalicylic acid has the ability to dilute blood and improve blood circulation, so that the drug has not only an analgesic effect. Therefore, in the complex treatment of seizures, it is often prescribed.
Why do you need vitamin preparations
The composition of multivitamins includes all the trace elements necessary for the normal functioning of muscle tissue. Most often convulsions occur with a lack of magnesium, potassium and calcium. Therefore, the most common means are drugs that contain only these trace elements.
- Most often, appointed "Panangin" or its analogue "Aspark". They contain magnesium and potassium asparaginate in easily digestible form. These drugs are well tolerated at any age.
- “Calcium D3 Nycomed” helps to fill the lack of calcium in the muscles. In addition, it contains vitamin D, which helps the absorption of magnesium and calcium.
- Magne B6 contains magnesium and pyridoxine. This combination is necessary because vitamin B6 improves magnesium absorption.
- Vitamin E is also necessary for the body to function normally. It is best to take multivitamin complexes Complivit, Vitrum and others to fill its deficiency.
In patients with varicose veins, leg cramps at night is a frequent occurrence. This is due to the lack of blood circulation in the muscles and with congestion. To eliminate such violations, various venoprotective agents are prescribed.
- "Detralex" for convulsions caused by varicose veins, is used most often. It improves the elasticity of the blood vessel walls and prevents blood stagnation.
- "Venarus" has a similar effect. The drug improves metabolic processes in tissues and prevents venous stagnation.
- "Troxerutin" - tablets that have been used in this pathology for many years. They prevent blood clots, tone up the veins, remove the heaviness in the legs and cramps.
- "Diosmin" effectively helps to prevent night cramps in the legs due to circulatory disorders.
- "Venoflebin" is assigned with the same purpose. It strengthens the walls of blood vessels and is effective in thrombophlebitis, varicose veins.
In many cases, especially with leg cramps in the elderly, doctors recommend that patients take potassium and magnesium preparations. The most common of them is "Aspark". This preparation contains the correct dosage of magnesium and potassium, the lack of which is often the cause of seizures. Prescribe this tool should be a doctor, as it is necessary to take into account the level of blood in these trace elements. Useful "Asparkam" for heart disease, circulatory disorders, shock and convulsions.
Take the drug must be at least a month. Most often it is recommended to drink a pill three times a day. Usually, Asparks are well tolerated, but nausea and stomach pain are sometimes possible. This drug is contraindicated in cases of renal impairment. But often it is assigned to "Asparks" even for children and elderly people. Sometimes the drug is used by athletes during prolonged physical exertion.
To make up for the lack of magnesium, you need to drink special drugs for at least 1-2 months. But the person feels relieved after a few days - the convulsions cease. One of the best tools for this is Magnerot. The instruction notes that it should be taken in violation of the heart rhythm and muscle spasms. It consists of magnesium orotate dihydrate and auxiliary components.
The drug is well tolerated, but it is not recommended to take children and patients with impaired renal function. In addition, sometimes allergic reactions are possible. Assign "Magnerot" during the first week of treatment, 2 tablets three times a day, then enough to drink 1 piece. The course of treatment is set individually, but not less than a month. Sometimes a different regimen is recommended. If the patient is worried about night cramps, you can drink 2-3 tablets at bedtime.
Use of "Troxerutin"
This drug is used for convulsions caused by impaired blood circulation in the legs. Tablets "Troxerutin" prescribed by a doctor, as they are contraindicated in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes this drug can cause allergic reactions.
But "Troxerutin" and its analogue "Troxevasin" are effective in venous insufficiency, trophic disorders in the limbs, varicose veins. They improve blood circulation, relieve swelling, heaviness in the legs and cramps.
In many cases, seizures occur because the venous outflow in the legs is disturbed, and the muscles do not receive the necessary nutrients. Taking the drug for 2 months allows you to forget about these cramps for a long time. Tablets "Diosmin" are considered the best of venoprotectors, which, in addition, still has a natural composition.
The drug helps to tone and strengthen the walls of blood vessels, improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation. To take it you need 3 tablets twice a day. Sometimes "Diosmin" can cause allergic reactions, pain in the head, nausea
These pills for cramps in the legs are prescribed only as a last resort. The drug contains quinine, which has long been used in medicine, but for the treatment of malaria. This remedy also has the ability to relieve cravings for cramps. But Quinidine has many dangerous side effects. These tablets are especially toxic for a developing child. Therefore, they are never used for cramps in the legs of pregnant women.
"Quinidine" can be used only on prescription in a strictly individual dosage. When it is exceeded, the patient may begin problems with vision and hearing, heart rhythm disturbances, nausea, and headaches.
With intensive convulsive syndrome, special tools are needed. These are barbiturates, valproic acid preparations, various benzodiazepine-based sedatives. They are required for epilepsy, nervous disorders, as well as generalized convulsions caused by certain infectious diseases. With conventional spasms of the muscles of the legs, such agents are not recommended.
What is cramp and what are the reasons for its occurrence
Cramps - involuntary muscle contractions, which are usually accompanied by pain. They are divided into several types:
The first type is sharp and fast muscle contractions like a nervous tic, which are sometimes the result of overstrain. Tonic convulsions often occur at night when the muscle of the leg seems to harden, and there is a sharp pain. Such cramps usually occur in the calf muscles or lower leg. Sometimes the toes are affected, both feet and hips. Generalized convulsions are the most unpleasant and dangerous when all muscle fibers come to a tone and are sharply reduced. A person may lose consciousness, then urgent hospitalization is necessary.
Convulsive syndrome occurs at any age, and it is important to determine the causes of this phenomenon. This may be a violation of the electrolyte, as well as the biochemical composition of the blood, when there is a deficiency of potassium, magnesium, calcium or vitamin D, A, E and all components of group B. These trace elements and vitamins are washed out:
- In stressful situations, when the hormone cortisol is actively produced. It adversely affects the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract and actively excretes it by the kidneys.
- When taking certain drugs, such as diuretic, adsorbents that reduce the full absorption of calcium, as well as trace elements such as potassium and magnesium.
- During pregnancy. The body of the future child takes vitamins and microelements if the mother consumes them not enough. In this case, seizures in women also occur when the movement of blood through the vessels of the legs deteriorates.
- As a result of excessive protein intake, calcium is lost. Glucose in the human body is secreted mainly from carbohydrates. With their lack of cells take it from fat, and the amount of ketones in the blood increases, causing the leaching of calcium through urine.
- When excessive sweating is lost potassium. Врачами замечено, что судороги чаще появляются летом и после активных занятий спортом.
- Если не хватает витамина Д, который вырабатывается кожей под влиянием солнечных лучей, а он участвует непосредственно в усвоении клетками кальция.
Самой болезненной из всех является икроножная судорога. К ее появлению нельзя быть готовым. It occurs suddenly at any time, often at night, forcing a person to rub a sore muscle and take pain pills. Often convulsive syndrome is a symptom of:
- excessive exercise
- varicose veins,
- thyroid disease,
- diabetes mellitus
- blood flow disorders in the leg vessels,
- muscle damage, including injuries,
- chronic kidney disease
Such diseases must be properly diagnosed and treated in order to get rid of leg cramps.
What to do if a cramp suddenly appears
Emergency help yourself with the coming strong spasm can the man himself. At the first unpleasant sensations, it is better to relax the leg as much as possible. In the event of a spasm, the toe of the foot is pulled towards itself, gradually loosening the thrust and straightening the foot, and again make such a movement. After the cramp, you can stand up and walk along a hard surface by removing your shoes.
Take off the cramp with a massage of the painful flattened muscle. To enhance the effect, rub warming ointment.
Read more about first aid for leg cramps - read here.
Why do night cramps appear
In most cases, convulsive muscle contractions are manifested precisely at night, when all the natural processes in the body, including blood circulation, slow down. The main organs responsible for vital activity continue to work actively. These are lungs, heart, diaphragm, brain. The muscles of the person are relaxed. If, as a result of any abnormalities, blood circulation in the legs has deteriorated due to metabolic disorders, overload, hypoxia, then at night spontaneous convulsions are felt. If this is rare, then treatment is not necessary.
In mobile people convulsions appear with a long absence of activity and, on the contrary, for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, they occur at night after vigorous physical activity.
Exacerbations of chronic diseases - endocrine pathology, varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, prolonged stress can also cause frequent spontaneous convulsive activity at night. The relative deficit of essential minerals, as well as valuable vitamins, also leads to its appearance.
Leg cramps during pregnancy
Uncontrolled contractions of muscles with pain often appear during pregnancy, especially in recent months. Their main reason is clear - lack of potassium, calcium, magnesium. In the first trimester, their washout from the body of a woman is due to the manifestation of toxicosis - often abundant and prolonged vomiting.
Subsequently, the consumption of important trace elements by the growing fetus increases. In the later periods, it “pushes” on the blood vessels that approach the legs, and the blood circulation in the lower extremities is disturbed. Blood outflow is also disturbed, especially if lying down.
Diagnosis of convulsive syndrome
Before treating cramps of the femoral and calf muscles, the feet of both legs and toes, it is necessary to identify the factors that provoke them. First of all, we need a consultation of a therapist, laboratory and comprehensive diagnostics, which includes:
- blood test for sugar,
- general urine analysis and Nechiporenko,
- Ultrasound of the leg vessels,
- blood biochemistry.
If leg cramps are caused by a chronic or acute illness, then there is a direct route to the appropriate specialist.
Folk remedies for the treatment of leg cramps
Effective remedies for the elimination of convulsive syndrome are:
- adonis tincture,
- decoction of birch buds,
- broth Potentilla goose,
- tincture with linden flowers,
- decoction of walnut, mistletoe, lily of the valley, dill, barberry, blackberry, chamomile and black elderberry,
- a mixture of olive oil and crushed seeds of wormwood,
- decoction of chamomile
- spirit tincture with thyme,
- decoction of poppy petals with milk and honey.
For cramps in the legs, especially in the calves, they lubricate the legs with chamomile, garlic or bay oil or mustard powder. Often, traditional healers recommend rubbing fresh lemon juice or an ointment of saffron and egg white before bedtime and in the morning soles of the feet. With a lack of potassium, which causes cramps, it is recommended to take yeast with honey. Yeast drink is produced by fermenting rye crackers in boiling water with the addition of dry yeast. Plus homemade honey is useful in such a drink.
Diet for cramps in the legs.
Diet therapy is another way to relieve convulsive syndrome in the legs. In the diet must be:
- cereals, especially buckwheat and oatmeal, rich in zinc, potassium, magnesium and calcium,
- homemade milk, ryazhenka, kefir, cottage cheese, hard cheese and other dairy products,
- egg shells, ground into powder,
- quail eggs,
- chamomile tea,
- strawberries, oranges, avocados, bananas,
- beets, spinach, all varieties of cabbage, carrots,
- beef and fish
- green leafy vegetables, greens,
- whole grain crops,
- sardines, cod and salmon,
- figs and dates,
- sea kale,
- butter and egg yolk,
- pumpkin seeds and wheat germ,
- almonds and sunflower seeds,
- soya beans,
- dried fruits.
Cramps in the legs - what is it?
A severe contraction of one or a group of skeletal muscles, accompanied by severe pain, is called leg cramps. Occasionally, several such attacks may occur overnight. Most often there are leg cramps in the calves at night, in the morning or immediately after waking up.
This symptom may indicate a sufficiently large range of pathological conditions of the body, functional changes, as well as responses to certain stimuli. Often marked night cramps in the legs of the elderly, due to impaired venous flow of blood.
What diseases can signal leg cramps:
- varicose veins, beginning thrombosis,
- metabolic disorders, including diabetes,
- thyroid pathology, as one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism,
- diseases of the heart and blood vessels
- flat feet,
- pathological changes in the nervous system,
- back problems
- deficiency of trace elements, in particular, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, which are responsible for the transportation of nerve signals from the central nervous system to the muscles,
- Avitaminosis (vitamins of group B, D), as a rule, is observed in a complex with a lack of the listed microelements,
- local inflammatory processes
- hidden leg injuries.
Night spasms of the calf muscles and toes are companions of neurological diseases, such as tetanus, epilepsy, neurosis, and severe poisoning. To provoke a spasm in the leg may fever.
Causes of toe cramps
In addition to the calf muscles, spasms occur in the fingers of one or both legs. The causes of this phenomenon are varied. Often this symptom indicates chronic venous insufficiency, lack of certain electrolytes in the blood (sodium, calcium, potassium).
Sometimes the cause of seizures is taking certain medications.
Leg cramps at night - causes over the age of 50, treatment
Provocative causes of cramps in the legs at night at the age of the average and the elderly are present much more often. People over 45 have many chronic diseases. Over the years, metabolism slows down, hormonal failures and other disruptions in the work of the systems occur.
Every second elderly person faces the problem of night spasms. To reduce the number of seizures, it is imperative to treat associated diseases, be observed by specialists and lead a healthy lifestyle.
What to do when the legs cramp?
The main thing with cramp - do not panic. Pinch the muscle tightly or pierce the skin with a sterile pin / needle. Sit on the bed, put your feet on the cool floor, try to stand up straight - this leads to the normalization of blood circulation in the lower extremities.
When muscle spasm in the tissues and is the accumulation of the product of the oxidation of glucose - lactate. It is this substance that causes pain, which may occur even a certain period of time.
- Doctors in the event of convulsions recommend self-massage, combining patting movements on the muscle with rubbing. A warming foot with medical alcohol or vodka helps well.
- Another option for the treatment of calf spasm is lubrication of the legs with a warming cream / ointment. According to reviews of experienced aromatherapists, foot oil massage helps relieve pain and relieve muscle from lactate.
Well-proven in the treatment of cramps laurel oil: insist 50 grams of dried leaves of laurel in a quarter-liter of unrefined corn, nut or sunflower oil for two weeks, filtered. Rub the cramped muscles with an elixir, massaging the legs from toes to heels, from the heels to the knees and patting the skin.
Treatment of cramps in the legs
If night cramps are a symptom of a certain disease, then getting rid of them begins with an establishment of a diagnosis and adequate therapy. All therapeutic measures are prescribed taking into account the existing chronic diseases and the individual characteristics of the organism.
If venous insufficiency is suspected, the lower veins are examined by ultrasound (duplex scanning). After the ultrasound, the phlebologist prescribes a complex therapy.
Mandatory testing for blood sugar. If problems are found, observation of an experienced endocrinogol is required. The same specialist will help with diseases of the thyroid gland.
If convulsions are caused by diseases of the cardiovascular system, a cardiologist will prescribe therapy. The neuropathologist (neurologist) deals with diseases of the nervous system.
Food for people prone to cramps
Patients suffering from leg cramps, it is recommended to normalize the diet, including in the menu products rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium. First of all, we are talking about sour-milk products, cottage cheese and hard cheeses, spinach, cabbage, almonds, and poppy seeds.
Calcium absorption is promoted by bee products. A lot of potassium in apricots, dried apricots, dried apricots, potato skins (it is recommended to use home-grown tubers baked with the skins), bananas, avocados, fish and meat.
To provide the body with magnesium daily, include legumes, mushrooms, greens, oats, rye bread, seeds, and roasted nuts in the diet. To replenish the supply of vitamins D, use egg yolks, caviar and fatty fish. Be sure to drink a drinking regime (at least 8 glasses of free clean water per day).
It should be borne in mind that caffeinated beverages remove water from tissues, so after a cup of strong tea or coffee, it is advisable to drink about 200 ml of liquid.
Prevention of leg cramps
- A full diet, rich in all necessary biologically active substances.
- Normalization of weight. With overweight, the load on the lower limbs and the heart increases many times over.
- Refusal or minimization of the use of energy drinks, coffee and strong tea.
- Wearing comfortable shoes. Women who prefer to wear high heels should regularly give rest to their feet, removing uncomfortable shoes once an hour.
- Contrast foot baths with the addition of decoctions of medicinal herbs (nettle, chamomile, yarrow) or with essential oils (lavender, orange, rosemary, geranium).
- Relaxing exercises for the feet before bedtime.
- Self-massage of the lower extremities with oils (4 to 5 drops of pure esters of chamomile and ginger are added to 30 ml of base from the oil of peach seeds, jojoba, almond).
- A course of professional massage with essential oils will help minimize nightly convulsive cuts.
- Rubbing your feet with mustard oil before bedtime, you effectively prevent the occurrence of seizures.
- Good morning and evening exercises for the legs.
If you are faced with the problem of cramps in the legs, then our tips will help you decide on the further course of action. Indeed, in some cases, the problem can be solved only by radically changing the lifestyle and abandoning bad habits.
What are the causes of leg cramps?
The reasons why leg muscle cramps develop at night lie in the electrolyte imbalance of muscle cells, inadequate blood supply to soft tissues, or neurological problems.
These three groups of causes can occur both in isolation and in various combinations, accompanying congenital anomalies or acquired diseases. It is not so important as the patient's age, since the mechanisms of development of myoclonia are almost identical for children, adults and the elderly (including those over 50).
- Muscle overstrain (for example, during long work in the garden near the beds or professional muscle cramps in the hands of the porn or, say, musicians),
- A sharp rise in temperature leads to hyperthermic convulsions. This condition can occur during heat, sunstroke, as well as in diseases accompanied by fever.
- Dehydration of the body. With active perspiration, there is a significant loss of trace elements that ensure healthy muscle function. Therefore, it is important to drink up to 2.5 liters of water per day, especially during the hot summer season and during active sports activities.
- One of the reasons that at night reduces the legs, may be beginning varicose veins. Other symptoms of this pathology are swelling, heaviness in the legs, fatigue.
- Infectious damage to the nervous system is also a fairly common cause of cramps in the legs. Such a defeat can be with the flu, as well as other infections.
- Stress. During an emotional stress, a nervous breakdown, there is an intense load on the entire human body, primarily on the nerve endings responsible for muscle contractions. An overabundance of the stress hormone (cortisol) leads to an imbalance of micro- and macroelements, leading to a lack of calcium in the body, which is necessary for healthy functioning, stress and muscle relaxation.
- Violations of the biochemical or electrolyte composition of the blood (with the loss of calcium, potassium, magnesium salts, vitamin D deficiency).
Lack of vitamins and minerals can be caused by:
- A stressful condition in which cortisol is produced in large quantities (it impairs the absorption of calcium in the intestine, promotes its excretion in the urine),
- Long-term medications that impede the absorption and further absorption of magnesium in the body. The antacid agents maalox and almagel, which are used for heartburn, lead to a similar effect. Their action is to cover the gastric mucosa to protect against the aggressive effects of hydrochloric acid. At the same time, the absorption of microelements and vitamins slows down. Euphyllinum and insulin deduce magnesium from cells.
- The use of proteins in large quantities (glucose is absorbed not from carbohydrates, but from the body's fat reserves, because of which ketones appear in the blood, which contribute to the excretion of calcium in the urine),
- Pregnant women with non-compliance with a balanced diet (lack of calcium, magnesium),
- Long-term lack of exposure to the body of sunlight (lack of vitamin D, leading to a deterioration in the absorption of calcium) - this affects people in northern latitudes,
- Increased sweating, which leads to the removal of magnesium together with sweat, as a result of which a deficiency of this trace element in the body is created.
Secondary seizures are more dangerous, since their appearance at night may be associated with a wide variety of diseases. Among them are diabetes, disorders of the central nervous system and the thyroid gland, varicose veins, as well as some infectious diseases.
Very often they bother pregnant women whose weight increases, which leads to an increase in the load on the muscles of the legs. We also note that the cause can be poisoning with drugs, lead, mercury.
Legs at night, from what and what to do?
If the night leg cramped, then you need to hold several activities to help eliminate cramp. First you need to stand with your affected leg on something cold. At the same time, you should try to pull the sock out as far as possible. Then you can try to slightly sit down, relying mainly on the leg that cramped. The spasm is reduced by lightly massaging the affected area.
It is also advised to strongly pinch the tense muscle or slightly prick with a sharp object, for example, a needle or a pin - the spasm should stop. To prevent recurrence, smear the sore spot with a warming ointment or rub it with alcohol.
In order to avoid cramping your legs at night, regardless of the causes of convulsive contractions of the lower limbs, it is useful to do some simple exercises before going to bed:
- Press heels to the floor, stand for 10-20 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise, keeping socks together, heels apart.
- Repeat the exercise, but now socks apart, heels together.
After a working day, try to relieve the accumulated tension with the help of such exercises:
- Bend your toes slowly down, and then quickly straighten them.
- Walk on the outer-inner sides of the feet.
- Sit on the bench, lift your legs and “write” the numbers from 1 to 10.
And one more exercise option:
- Sitting, bend the legs and pull 8-12 seconds on the toes of the feet towards us, stretching the calf muscle. Repeat 3-6 times with a break of 5-10 seconds.
- Standing, we rise on our toes, stretch our arms up, breathe deeply. Затем опускаем пятки на пол. Повторяем по 3-6 раз с перерывом по 5-10 секунд.
- Стоя, наклоны туловища и тянемся руками к носочкам, не отрывая пятки от пола, растягивая икроножные мышцы. Повторяем по 3-6 раз с перерывом по 5-10 секунд.
In case of heavy physical work, when you have to stand on your feet for a long time, find an opportunity to rest for 5-10 minutes: sit down or take a prone position with your legs elevated. At the same time, you can do the following exercises.