Muscles in all parts of the body may cramp and feel tense. If you have long periods of inactivity (i.e., during a long flight or car ride), blood clots can form in the lower leg and travel through the blood stream to the lungs. Nighttime leg cramps may be related to foot position. We use a team approach with cutting edge treatment plans as we ask one simple question with every patient. Here’s what the research has to say. Sound familiar? The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, originating in the lumbar spine and traveling across the buttocks and down the hips to end in each foot. We’ll show you ways to loosen up tight hamstrings, plus provide tips for preventing hamstring tightness and improving flexibility. Even if the causes are the same, the types of pain you feel may vary from person to person (and even from night to night!). Thigh muscle cramps tend to last the longest. Most leg cramps occur in the calf muscles and, less commonly, in the feet and thighs. Leg cramps during sleep are more common among women and older adults. One main reason for the pain is because blood flow to the muscle is restricted. Cramping is a prolonged contraction of the muscles, most often affecting the feet and calves. Atherosclerosis of the leg blood vessels will often cause left leg pain at night. 60% of people experience nocturnal leg cramps, 875 N Greenfield Rd #110 More than just a break from the challenges of the day, sleep helps the body heal and better deal with life’s daily stresses. There are, however, known factors that can increase your risk. Tightness and pain can range from mild to severe, and can last a few seconds or several minutes. Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication that causes pain in the lower legs at night, following by tingling sensations and finally numbness. Shin splints are best treated with a period of rest and ice, as well as the proper use of NSAIDs for pain and inflammation. Leg cramps, although usually harmless, can be extremely painful.Hashimoto’s and Calf Pain is common, when leg cramps occur at night they interrupt sleep and can leave you feeling exhausted. If you experience calf pain at night, a full measure of shut-eye may prove elusive. Gilbert, AZ 85234. Calf muscle pain at night is often caused by nocturnal cramps which will usually wake you up. Find out what causes leg cramps here. Most of the time, the muscle relaxes itself in less than 10 minutes. sometimes (rately) just knees down. Many pregnant women also experience sciatica in the lower legs as the baby grows and compresses the sciatic nerve. Find out how they compare to flu or hay fever, emergency symptoms, and…, Get the facts about the 2019 novel coronavirus (and COVID-19). Fortunately, they’re usually not a sign of a serious problem. Strains, sprains, and broken bones in the legs can all result in calf pain at night that ranges from a dull ache to a sharp pain. Varicose veins occur when the walls and valves of your veins weaken and expand, sometimes due to age and sometimes as a result of another condition. If you are experiencing calf pain at night that seems unrelated to minor muscle overuse or that changes over time, talk to your doctor. Note that new calf pain after long periods of inactivity or travel can be caused by a blood clot, and this is an emergency medical situation that requires immediate attention. Leg cramps that occur during night can certainly disturb your sleep. Muscle soreness is another very common type of lower leg pain at night. Often the first indication of an Achilles tendon tear or strain (tendinitis) is pain in the calf. Imagine you’re lying down and your lower leg seizes. Not only does it have to bear the entire weight of the body, it also has to contend with impact when we walk and run. Some expectant mothers report good pain relief (and better sleep) when they use a transdermal magnesium spray, stretch regularly, and use a heating pad to relax tight, sore muscles. We often sleep with our feet and toes extending away from the rest of our bodies, a position called plantar flexion. In addition to pain, calf pain at night caused by sciatica may be accompanied by tight muscles and restricted movement and numbness or tingling. They can last for a few seconds or stretch on for agonizing minutes. You can try the following at home to try to relieve a cramp: If frequent cramps are disrupting your sleep, make an appointment with your doctor. They're also more common in children with flexible joints (double jointed). Learn more about the causes, treatments, and natural…. Your peripheral nerves that signal to your brain whether it’s cold or hot can also send pain signals. Coronavirus Vaccine: Will Medicare Cover It? Stretching the calf and hamstring muscles before bed may help to prevent nocturnal leg cramps. During the acute phase of injury, applying ice in a 20-minutes-on, 20-minutes-off schedule can provide relief and decrease inflammation. Leg pain isn't always due to an injury. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also need to consider physical therapy, braces, or surgery with your doctor. Like when sitting or sleeping. The source of most nighttime leg pain is cramping. Skeletal muscles in our calves, thighs, and in the arch of the feet are prone to muscle cramps. We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. 1. “Is this the treatment I would want for my own mom or dad?”. Most people who experience them don’t need medical treatment. If your legs are cramping at night try improving your diet, stretching, drinking more water or taking potassium supplements. The key to preventing calf pain at night caused by diabetes is to work hard to get your blood sugar under control. Calf pain at night may be fleeting, or it may occur regularly. Shin splints affect the front of the calf and occur when the muscles and the tendons on the shins are overworked. Icing and elevating the … Treat this as a serious medical emergency, especially if you’re feeling other pulmonary embolism symptoms. Of all of the causes of calf pain at night, there is one that is very simple to treat: dehydration. At a minimum, talking to your doctor about calf pain at night can set your mind at ease and help you get a good night’s sleep. You can feel this pain right up the front of your calf. Ensuring that you get adequate amounts of water during the day for your body and activity level is crucial and is an easy treatment for pain caused by an electrolyte imbalance. Gentle massage to the afflicted area helps to reduce the pain. Vascular Disease. For active people with tendinitis, torn Achilles tendon, or other injuries that lead to calf pain at night, the recommended treatment may be the hardest for them: rest. Poor circulation is most common in your extremities, such as your legs and arms. Nerves all over the body are damaged by continually fluctuating blood sugar levels that come with diabetes. Although painful to live with, cramps are generally harmless. You can see these larger veins clearly at the surface of the skin as twisted, sometimes raised, and deep purple. When your nerves are damaged, your brain may translate the change in cooler temperature to feelings of … In addition to sciatica, other potential causes of leg pain when lying down include peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and muscle cramps. 1. If the pain of your varicose veins becomes unbearable, talk to your doctor to explore other treatment options. Other treatments like soaking in an Epsom-salts bath and gentle massage and stretching can also help to prevent calf pain at night. They tend to settle fairly quickly if you stretch the calf muscles. They are, however, associated with the following conditions: Though leg cramps at night can be intensely painful, they aren’t typically serious. Cramps can last from a few seconds up to 10 minutes. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sudden bursts of strenuous physical activities like running will understandably result in leg pain by the end of the day if you are accustomed to it. It can also be caused due to strenuous exercise or as a side effect of medicines. But does it work? Nocturnal Leg Cramps: Night-time Calf Muscle Pain Nocturnal leg cramps can lead to a rude awakening: You’re suddenly sleepless and in pain in the middle of the night. Calf pain at night can interfere with sleep and make for a miserable day. If you’re in Arizona, contact the team at Arizona Pain for more help with your calf pain at night.Â. Pickle juice has become a popular remedy for leg cramps over the years. Leg cramps occur when the calf muscles contract and spasm involuntarily. If lower leg pain at night is keeping you up, it may be time to talk to a pain specialist. Referred pain is pain that does not necessarily originate from the calf itself but the calf is affected by it at night. Schedule an appointment today and be seen by a double-board certified pain doctor. Learn more about the symptoms and causes of poor circulation. Find out whether it’ll be covered, when it might be available, whether COVID-19 tests are covered…, Learn COVID-19 and coronavirus symptoms like fever and shortness of breath. Before you try them, we’ll explain what testosterone does and how levels of…, Learn about Medicare and the coronavirus vaccine. Here are some common causes of calf pain at night, along with suggestions to prevent and relieve it. Additionally, wearing supportive, properly fitted shoes can help exercise safely and in comfort. This can create muscles soreness that you notice at night when you lay down to rest. Simple activities like walking on flat ground may be restricted by painful shin splints. Why muscles cramp, or go into spasm, is not always evident. You may have heard that testosterone supplements can help in the bedroom. The sufferer will usually experience calf pains at night. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in your lower spine. We may not even realize it’s there until we turn out the light and lay down. Lack of oxygen or an electrolyte imbalance can also cause cramping. Causes of lower leg tingling include neurological issues of the back, restless leg syndrome, or diabetic neuropathy. i'm on enalapril." Different causes will need different approaches for treatment, but many can be done in the comfort of your own home. However, they can also affect the muscles at the front of each thigh (quadriceps) and the back of each thigh (hamstrings). Common symptoms that you may experience when you have calf pain, includes dull aches to sharp stabbing pains, swelling, fluid retention, stiffness and weakness around calf, redness, and difficulty in standing on your toes. However, it can also indicate an underlying medical issue, including deep vein thrombosis or diabetic neuropathy. In addition to pain, this typically feels like your calf muscles are tight or knotted and can be so severe as to make it hard to flex your feet. If you’re dehydrated, you may feel tired and your urine may be dark yellow (instead of the pale straw color of proper hydration). Frequent calf cramps at night can disrupt your sleep. The muscles and flesh along the edge of the shin bone become inflamed, so it hurts to walk, run, or jump. Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary, intense muscle pains usually in your calf, foot, or thigh. Leg cramps occur when the gastrocnemius muscle of the calf spasms involuntarily. Long-term use of even over-the-counter NSAIDs can cause serious side effects. Most leg pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. These sudden bouts of pain, including muscle cramps at night, can last for a few seconds to a couple of hours. Calf muscle pain at night can also indicate restless leg syndrome, where you have an overwhelming urge to keep moving your legs. What Causes Leg Pain at Night? Artery blockages are a serious reason for leg pain at night. Important treatments for this include losing weight and increasing activity. Our trustworthy, compassionate doctors are ready to help you! Symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps include excruciating contractions of the calf muscles, and sometimes of the foot muscles as well. If you have varicose veins and are on your feet throughout the day, you may experience an aching soreness in your lower legs at night. Lower leg pain in this instance may be a result of injury to another part of the body that forces the calf to compensate all day, resulting in soreness at night. A leg cramp is an episode of sudden pain in the muscles of the leg caused by an involuntary contracting (shortening) of the leg muscle. Muscle soreness has many causes and can range from mild and fleeting to severe and debilitating. Children experience night leg pains that are referred to as growing pains. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Otherwise, physical therapy and stretching can relieve pain, as can regular exercise. If a herniated disc is causing sciatic pain that extends into your calf, treating that may immediately relieve your pain. Calf pain that occurs at night or while resting Calf pain that persists beyond a few days Swelling of the calf or ankle joint area Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth You can be awake or asleep when a leg cramp strikes. Treatments for Calf Pain When compared with the wrong foot position during sleep, the more of a role trigger leg cramps at night is a disease, deficiency of certain substances, or hormonal abnormalities. PAD interferes with the flow of blood to the legs and feet, which can cause pain or numbness in the legs. These contractions can affect any muscle group in the body, including the lower legs. Work with your doctor to find that balance, and then follow your treatment recommendations going forward. If leg pain makes it difficult to fall asleep or keeps waking you up at night, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You might also know them as a “charley horse.” Sometimes the cramp may cause your leg to spasm – to tighten uncontrollably. Some common causes of leg pain include: Peripheral artery disease leg pain can occur anywhere in your leg, but the most common places to feel pain are in the muscles of your calf, thigh or buttocks. Discover symptoms, risk factors, tips to prevent contracting and transmitting it, and…, Dark knuckles can be caused by different skin conditions, medical conditions, genetics, and more. The pain might last between one to 15 minutes. The resulting inflammation can be painful, especially at night. But for most of us it occurs when we stand or walk for long periods. But foot and leg cramps do happen at night also. Activity can cause further inflammation and irritation to an already-inflamed and irritated muscle or tendon. What Causes Pain in Left Leg at Night? The cramp, or charley horse, is due to the muscle contracting (shortening and tightening) in a sudden and violent way. Your leg might feel sore or tender for up to a day afterward. Taking time off from vigorous activity gives the injury time to heal properly. Whil… Weekly updates on conditions, treatments, and pain medicine. Each cause of calf pain at night is as unique as the person experiencing it. If you’re suffering from severe pain, you may need to decrease your training program or switch to a few weeks of low impact exercise instead. © 2006-[print_year] Arizona Pain PLLC, a Pain Doctor Company. Leg pain is a great indication of vascular illness, where the build-up of fatty deposits in the veins and arteries leads to swelling and weakness in these capillary.. Atherosclerosis of the leg capillary will typically trigger left leg pain in the evening and the feeling of the leg dropping off to sleep. Can Testosterone Supplements Improve Your Sex Drive? Leg cramps can be excruciating, and they often attack when you’re sound asleep. If you need to be sitting for long periods of time, compression socks can help prevent clots. In many cases, leg cramps at night will resolve themselves shortly after the baby is born. Usually, when there is a sudden pain in your calf, you might feel a tear, a pop, or snapping. For all other conditions that can cause calf pain at night, here are some treatment options, broken down by each cause. The cause of diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels. This shortens the calf muscles, making them more susceptible to cramping. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Leg cramps can vary from patient to patient, so awareness of your symptoms is key. Arizona Pain was founded on a single premise–provide world class care that we would want for our own mom or dad. For calf pain caused by overuse or mild-to-moderate trauma, here are a few tips: R.I.C.E. While it may be easily related to an underlying medical condition, it is possible that lower leg pain at night could be a symptom of something serious. 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