Leg cramps are usually harmless but painful involuntary contractions of muscles. Cramps that happen at night often have no observable reason, while other times it may be related to exercise or exertion. In some cases, leg cramps can be a symptom of a more serious condition, for which you should seek medical care.
Premier Vein Clinic specializes in leg cramps, since dangerous cramps sometimes trace back to venous problems in your legs. Dr. David Naar and our team can examine your condition and set your mind at ease about the seriousness of your leg cramps. Here’s what you should watch for.
All in the Legs
Muscle cramps most often occur in the legs, and the calf is usually affected, though you can experience cramps in other spots. The primary symptoms are sudden, sharp pain with a hard lump of muscle tissue at the point of the cramp. You may be temporarily disabled, but most cramps pass in a matter of seconds. You may be out of distress as soon as the cramp eases, or you may have soreness in the muscle for hours after the incident.
Suffering from leg cramps while you sleep is very common and most of the time it happens without a known reason. You’re more likely to suffer from this type of cramp as you get older. Some pregnant women are prone to night cramps as well.
Some factors that may be connected with nighttime leg cramp occurrences include:
- Electrolyte abnormalities (Low calcium, potassium, or sodium)
- Nerve damage, such as from cancer treatments or diabetes
- Tired muscles
- Parkinson’s disease
When to See a Doctor
There are many other conditions and diseases that may cause leg cramps as a symptom. Many of these have other symptoms of which you may be aware, so the leg cramps can be anticipated.
Make an appointment with Premier Vein Clinic when your leg cramps disturb your sleep enough that you have trouble getting through the day, or when you notice that the muscles that cramp seem to be getting weaker overall.
Urgent medical care may be necessary if your cramps become severe and don’t ease up quickly. If you’ve been exposed to toxins, including lead for example, and night cramps suddenly appear, you might be dealing with a poisoning condition that also requires prompt care.
Other warning signs that might suggest the need for medical care include:
- Swelling at the site of the cramp
- Redness or other changes to the skin in the area
- Significant muscle weakness
- An increase in the frequency of cramping
- Cramps don’t ease up with self-care steps
- Recent changes to medications
- Other signs of vein problems, such as varicose or spider veins, slow-healing wounds, or skin ulcers near the cramping muscles
Contact Premier Vein Clinic when you have any issue with your legs or other body parts that could be related to blood flow. Dr. Naar and our team rule out serious conditions and help you with your symptoms. You can call the Westlake Ohio office directly or request an appointment online. Arrange your consultation today.