Few things like tossing and turning can disturb your peaceful sleep. If this has happened to you, you will know what I mean. It feels like someone has grabbed the ends of your muscles and twisted them into some new, exciting shape. Often occurs in the calf, but pain in the legs and thighs is not excluded.
If you’re one of the 60 percent of American adults (and 7 percent of children) who pull their feet, you know how damaging it can be. Sorry ladies, but research shows that women pull their legs more than men. The risk of leg cramps increases with age. About 33 percent of people over 69 develop the disease, and the risk increases to 50 percent in people over 80.
The good news is that only 20 percent of patients (which are common with swollen feet) are concerned enough to seek medical attention.
Signs and symptoms of leg swelling
Sometimes referred to as “Charlie Horse”, the official medical term is nocturnal leg cramps. Health professionals will tell you that leg cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of one or more leg muscles. This uncontrolled (and unwanted) contraction can cause severe pain and make it almost impossible to use the lower leg.
Most leg cramps occur in the calf muscles. It extends from behind the knee to the heel. However, you may experience swelling and tightness in the hamstrings (back of the thigh) or quadriceps (front of the thigh).
More good news! Most leg cramps go away on their own within 10 minutes. The bad news is that leg cramps can last up to 24 hours.
What causes leg swelling at night?
The sad truth is that experts don’t know what causes leg pain at night. Some studies suggest that it is hereditary, especially when the problem starts in childhood and continues into adulthood, and it is frequent. While most experts agree that there is no absolute answer to the root cause of leg swelling, some suggest triggers that make it more likely.
Inactivity or inactivity. Our muscles are designed to work hard. They need to be stretched to keep them healthy. Sitting for long periods of time increases the likelihood of leg pain at night. This includes people who spend 8 or more hours a day at a computer or other sedentary work.
Too much activity. Some people take the phrase “work hard or go home” too seriously. Being fit and in shape is great, but there is such a thing as too much physical activity. If you work out too much in the gym or work hard for long periods of time, you can almost count on having leg pain at night.
Sitting wrong. We’ve mentioned before that too much sitting is a recipe for disaster. Some positions cause the legs to be pulled to the side. Bending and scratching in high heels (we’re talking about you ladies) can cause cramps.
Stop for a long time. Some jobs and other responsibilities require you to be on your feet for hours at a time. Unfortunately, this is another trigger for swollen feet. Walking for at least a few minutes every hour can help reduce the risk.
Pregnancy. Your body changes and your hormones change and change throughout pregnancy to accommodate this little person growing inside of you. Pregnancy is a miracle, but it is the main cause of swollen feet. During the last six months of pregnancy, the likelihood of leg pain increases.
some drugs. Statins (used to treat high cholesterol) and diuretics (used to lower blood pressure) are two of the most dangerous causes of leg swelling. Birth control pills, osteoporosis medications, and asthma medications can trigger them. Another common cause is estrogen, which some women use to treat menopause symptoms.
Alcohol consumption. For years, scientists have suspected alcohol consumption as a risk factor for nighttime leg pain. A 2018 study confirmed their suspicions.
How to prevent leg pain at night
Our bodies need restful sleep for many reasons. Swollen legs at night are debilitating and often disrupt your sleep. There are ways to reduce the likelihood of encountering them as often (if at all). Take care of yourself and eliminate some
can contribute to leg pain later on. Drinking sports drinks designed to replenish electrolytes is beneficial. Nutritionists also recommend eating bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt, and nuts. These foods are rich in muscle-friendly minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Stretch before bed. It never hurts to get up and stretch your legs, especially if you sit a lot during the day. If you want to avoid pain while sleeping, you should stretch before going to sleep. A few different stretches can help. If you suffer from calf cramps, the best way to do this is to stretch your calf vertically. Execution: Stand facing the wall, elbows straight and both hands on the wall at chest level. Bend one leg forward from the knee and pull the other leg back and straighten it. Make sure both feet touch the floor. Lean against the wall and hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds, if you can handle it, the maximum stretch time is 30 seconds. Stretch 2-3 times on each leg.
Riding an exercise bike. Take a light walk for five minutes before bed. It warms up the leg muscles, gives them a little relief, and reduces the likelihood of swelling.
Change your sleeping position. Sorry, I’m sleeping on my stomach. Sleeping with your toes down (away from your head) can cause leg cramps. This disrupts blood flow and causes blood to pool in the lower legs. It is better to sleep on your back or on your side with your knees bent.
Open these pages. It may look neat, but sleeping with a firm bed sheet or a firm bed sheet over your legs can restrict leg movement. Raise the bed sheets and use a light blanket or comforter that allows your toes to show up at night.
Wear supportive shoes. If you’re standing or walking for long periods of time, it’s important to have comfortable, supportive shoes. Flip flops and heels look stylish, but they hurt your feet. Wearing the wrong shoes can put stress on the nerves and muscles of the feet and legs, causing cramps.
5 ways to stop leg pain at night
Leg pain at night is not a sign of a serious illness. That doesn’t make them any easier to bear when it happens. Here are five ways to relieve pain and help you sleep.
Massage the affected area
People tend to rub something when it hurts. It turns out that we have this instinct for a reason. It is working. Moderate massage of spasmodic muscles relaxes them and reduces discomfort. Gently massage the affected area with both hands to soothe it.
Stretching muscles that are actively contracting, such as stretching before bed, can help relieve pain. If your calf muscles are tight, place a sheet (or blanket) on your leg and gently pull your toes.
Make a lung
Cross your legs and run forward using the night stretch mentioned earlier. Use the wall to balance yourself if necessary.
It may seem strange, but this movement activates the muscles opposite the calf, which helps to relax the calf.
Humid heat is good for muscle stiffness. Apply a hot, damp towel, heating pad, or heating pad to the affected area. If the spasm is severe, a hot bath will help.
If you notice leg swelling during the day after nighttime spasms, over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever. Be careful not to overdo these treatments, as this can lead to other health problems. People who often suffer from foot pain may consider using natural remedies instead.
Magnesium: A miracle cure for swollen feet?
Magnesium is sometimes called a miracle cure for leg pain. Some evidence supports its effectiveness in relieving leg pain during pregnancy. The news is not good for others. Magnesium has been found to have little or no effect on leg cramps in the general population.
The only exception is people with magnesium deficiency. Half of the US population falls into this category. One symptom of magnesium deficiency in adults is muscle stiffness and cramps. If a person is deficient in magnesium, more calcium flows into the neurons. When this happens, the nerves in the muscles become overstimulated. Seizures and convulsions may occur as a result. Your doctor can determine if a magnesium deficiency is contributing to your nighttime pain
A more natural solution to leg pain that works well for some people.
Some athletes and health educators recommend using apple cider vinegar to relieve muscle spasms. It is rich in potassium and prevents leg pain. If you want to live, dissolve 2 teaspoons of honey and drink. This mixture isn’t the best you’ll ever try, but it’s worth it if it helps reduce leg cramps. Be sure to use only organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. They contain proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria for additional health benefits.
Local anesthesia is great for pain relief. The most effective brands use menthol as a key ingredient to relieve muscle tension and pain. A product like Premiere’s Roll-on Pain Spray is perfect if you want to experience the benefits of menthol. Blended with 7 percent menthol, it provides almost instant relief. The roller applicator allows the product to be applied evenly to the skin without rubbing.
Acupressure is another popular way to relieve leg pain. It is so effective in treating leg and other muscle spasms that medical professionals recommend its use in certain conditions. You can do acupressure yourself, which is an inexpensive and natural solution. Press your fingers on these three points: (1) between the upper lip and the nose; (2) in the lower part of the lower leg with a leg clip); and (3) on the top of the foot, between the big toe and the second toe (bunion).
Homeopathic remedies for leg swelling include magnesium phosphorus and sublingual granules. Boiron is a reliable source for any homeopathic remedy. Recommended capacity is 6X or 30C. Some homeopathic pharmacies sell magnesium phosphorus as an aerosol that is absorbed through the skin.
A final word on leg swelling
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for following along! We provide a lot of information and useful solutions to prevent and treat leg pain at night. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step to pain relief. Fast and reliable problem resolution is your second line of defense. Good luck!