Wednesday, October 18, 2017

When You Wake In The Night

     Or when I wake in the night, at least, there's a pretty good chance it's because a calf cramp is coming on.

     I'm usually a bit fuzzy and I lay there, trying to remember: which way should I move my foot?  One direction will forestall or at least reduce the pain; the other will make it far worse, and the clock is ticking.  Any second, the cramp will spasm and then it will be too late.

     This week, I have been walking considerably more than usual, since I don't want to park my car where globs of thick, dark-colored grease will fall on it from a great height. Yesterday evening, feeling spry, I added to the total with a brisk walk down the Monon for a snack.  Three times last night, incipient cramps woke me.  Each time, I was just a little late remembering to move my foot so as to stretch the muscles of my calf ahead of the cramp.  After the second one, I put the heating pad under my calves and went back to sleep.

     Gentle stretching exercises are the order of the day. 


Anonymous said...

God, I hate those leg cramps that wake you up from a deep sleep. Why don't the muscles just relax like the rest of your body ? Roll over and suddenly feel that ankle then calf muscle tense up. For me, stretching ankle towards inside and bending knee a bit usually slows or kill the cramp. Great - now I'm up.

And when I sleep with the window open and close it in the morning, one of my back thigh muscles will suddenly develop a cramp which requires me to get off the bed and stand up to stretch it out.

I get leg cramps just from eating a single banana at night. Maybe its too much potassium for my body to handle. Dunno.

Hope you figure out what is the cause of this.

fast richard said...

When I have problems with leg or foot cramps, I take it as a sign that I'm a bit dehydrated. The combination of being on my feet for extra vigorous walking and climbing, along with getting a bit dehydrated, makes the upcoming deer hunting season a prime time for me to have problems with calf or foot muscles locking up very painfully.

Joe said...

I used to suffer from constant middle of the night cramps. My doctor said to loosen the sheets. Worked for me. As always, your results may vary.

Raz Raxxaffian said...

I get these nasty things frequently. I call them 'screamers' because that's what I try NOT to do while untangling myself from the bedsheets and getting to the wall to do stretches. Heaven forbid I don't make it in time because once they set it, unknotting the calf muscles is verrrry hard.

I've tried the normal remedies of bananas, extra water, B12, and baying at the moon but so far no joy. Hopefully you can get to the bottom of the issue and tell everyone the secret.

Yours in Pain,

Anonymous said...

Leg cramps >could< be a sign of blood clots (DVT) which can lead to pulmonary embolisms (and how do I know?). I went to the hospital for a "charley-horse" and ended up staying for 4 days.

Get it checked ASAP ... could be nothing - but better to find out.

RandyGC said...

I've had them for years. Recently my Doctor told me to try drinking some tonic water before going to bed. Gaaak! that stuff is awful, so I only drink it if I have a "feeling" tonight might be a bad one, and keep a small bottle bedside to drink if I wake to a cramp or (if lucky)at the onset. It seems to help, at least in knocking down recurrences. Otherwise it's out of bed and walk it off.

Anecdotal evidence worth what you pay for it. YMMV. Hope you can get something to work for you.

Anonymous said...

I know you hate internet medical advice, but when I get leg cramps at night, it's usually a sign I need new shoes.

Jeffrey Smith said...

I've been told taking extra magnesium keeps the cramps at bay, and it seemed to work for me. The downside is that magnesium is a laxative....

Rich in NC said...

potassium depletion causes cramps. Take a potassium pill with dinner and those pesty cramps will not bother you at night.

brought to you by internet medical research inc
[or something]
Rich in NC

PS My wife has restless leg syndrome and night cramps and potassium and Geritol Iron helps with both.