Nocturnal leg cramps can lead to a rude awakening! You're suddenly sleepless and in pain in the middle of the night. Symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps include excruciating contractions of the calf muscles, and sometimes of the foot muscles as well.
Nocturnal leg cramps are true cramps and not spasms. The muscle remains in a cramped and contracted position, which accounts for the intensity of the pain. If you touch the affected calf, you may be surprised to discover that your muscles feel very hard, almost like concrete, a measure of the power of the cramp.
Studies have shown increased electrical activity in the affected muscles, but doctors still don't know what causes nocturnal leg cramps. In some cases, it may be a fluid imbalance or a vitamin deficiency.
Treatment for leg cramps is straightforward and easy to follow. Avoid tight bed covers, which can lead to pointing of the toes and subsequent cramps. Stretch your calf muscles for about two to four minutes nightly, with the easy-to-use, FLEX-N-GO Board before getting into bed. Always check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new therapy or exercise program.