Pain in Legs at Night


It must have been very uncomfortable waking up because of pain in legs at night. Do you often experience these tingling feeling, burning sensation, cramping, and great discomfort which result to sleepless nights and more fatigue? These pains are caused by many different reasons and may range from mild to severe. To help you better understand this kind of pain, here are the different causes of pain in legs at night.

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Causes of Pain in Legs at Night

• Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Nocturnal leg cramping is one of the most common causes of pain in legs at night. Leg cramps are not muscle spasms but are true cramps in which the affected calf muscle remains cramped or in a contracted position. When you touch the calf you’ll feel that the muscles are extremely hard. The exact causes of nocturnal leg cramps are still unknown but doctors believe these may be caused by vitamin and potassium deficiency.

• Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome or RLS are leg pains that become more noticeable when resting, and the pain may worsen when sleeping at night. The exact cause of this syndrome is still not yet known but it is believed to be associated with obesity, pregnancy, smoking, anemia, and nerve disease. This condition can lead to insomnia but there are medications available for RLS treatment.

• Charley Horse

Charley horse, or more widely known as muscle spasm, is a common cause of pain in legs at night. Compared to nocturnal leg cramps, in charley horse the muscles uncontrollably contract and do not relax. This means that the muscles feel tight like a knot thus causing very severe pain. This condition often occurs when the muscles are injured or overused and most especially when you are dehydrated and have low level of minerals in the body.

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• Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes severe pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the joints, muscles, and tendons. It is characterized by sleeping disturbances, fatigue and depression. This condition is not accompanied by any tissue or nerve inflammation and the exact causes are still not known but experts believe that it could be triggered by genetics, infections and physical and emotional trauma. As of now, no cure is available for fibromyalgia but some medications can help control and manage the symptoms.

• Other causes for pain in legs at night are deep vein thrombosis which is usually preceded by nocturnal leg cramps or muscular cramps and various leg injuries like shin splints, tendinitis, strains, and stress fracture that cause pain in legs which may continue even at night.

Tips to Help Relieve Pain in Legs at Night

Most leg pains are usually caused by dehydration and mineral deficiency; so to avoid these, one should drink plenty of water and consider eating foods particularly rich in calcium and potassium. Also avoid overusing your leg muscles by giving them some time to rest. And before going on a workout, never forget to do some stretching. Lastly, if pain in legs at night still persists, consult with your doctor as soon as possible and avoid treating it on your own.

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