treating leg cramps in elderly

Leg cramps increase with aging. Moreover, magnesium aids the absorption of potassium, which is also important for muscle functioning. Naftidrofuryl treatment for rest cramp. Treatment with quinine resulted in a significant reduction in the number of cramps for a four week period compared with placebo (8.83 fewer cramps; 95% confidence interval 4.16 to 13.49). Report your symptoms to your healthcare provider and include the following information: When the leg cramps started happening. Your doctor might give you medications such as diltiazem ( Cardizem ), diphenhydramine ( Benadryl ), or verapamil ( Calan, Verelan ). How are leg cramps diagnosed? Taking a B-complex supplement three times a day for 3 months relieved leg cramps in 86% of older people in one small study, while making remaining cramps shorter and less intense. The best way to do this is to ride a stationary bicycle for 10 minutes before you go to bed. Meta-analysis of efficacy of quinine for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps in elderly people: Man-Son-Hing M, Wells G Authors' objectives. J Clin Pharmacol 1998; 38: 1151 –1154. Here is a closer look at examples of what causes leg cramps in seniors: Sitting for long periods or sitting improperly, Thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. ), Walk on your heels to activate the muscles opposite your calf, Drink pickle juice, which is believed to help alleviate muscle cramps, Take over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol or Advil. Apply a heating pad or warm wet washcloth to help loosen up the muscle. Even if you’re not having leg cramps, other kinds of pain in the limbs (like the feeling of a bruised limb, or extremely tight muscles) may be present. As such, leg cramps are more common amongst the elderly. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Water is important for muscle health. Caution: People who have heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes should not use an Epsom salt bath. They affect your sleep, exercise routine and general quality of life. Wear suitable footwear during the day, especially if a person has flat feet or other foot problems. This, in turn, lessens the discomforts of leg cramps. At-home treatment of leg cramps. I had them so bad I would lay on the floor and just cry and my calves would hurt for days. It’s essential to pay attention to strange pains and sensations if you suspect that you’re having circulation problems, since this can indicate serious issues that need treatment immediately. Stay away from alcohol, as it can cause dehydration, a common cause of leg cramps. While you can always treat nocturnal leg cramps, we know it’s more ideal to not have them entirely. cramps.26 Nevertheless, most nocturnal leg cramps occur independently of arterial circulation.5 AETIOLOGY Although nocturnal cramps are idiopathic in most people, a large number of potential aetio-logical factors have been reported. Leg cramps can attack anyone including both children and adults, but pregnant women and the elderly may be more prone to it. (877) 268-3277 or Prevent night leg cramps; Advertisement. Drinking sports drinks with electrolytes can be useful in preventing the problem. It also comes with potentially very serious side effects. Leg cramps (charley horses) are a common nocturnal symptom that can be difficult to manage because of uncertainties about etiology, appropriate diagnostic evaluation, and optimal treatment. To reduce the chance of having a cramp at night, stretch your leg muscles before going to bed. The most common site of a cramp as we age is in the calf. Take a warm shower or bath. Medications that have been reported to cause leg cramps include diuretics,nifedepine,β-agonists,steroids, If you have an underlying condition that’s causing leg cramps, treating that condition can often treat the cramps too. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and stir it thoroughly. Significant exercise can cause leg cramps in women; these leg cramps are often caused by a pooling of blood in the lower leg, according to the 2002 Women's Fitness Program Development book by Ann F. Cowlin. That takes those down very quickly. To know whether you are drinking enough water, check the color of your urine. Talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Some conditions and drugs can cause them, and there are risk factors you’ll want to avoid. Walking or Stretching. Additional Tips. Leg ulcers that are sometimes hard to treat. Another time-tested remedy for leg cramps is blackstrap molasses. What causes leg cramps, and how can I prevent them? Treatment did not produce a significant change in the severity or duration of individual nocturnal leg cramps. Pick foods wisely:Electrolyte drinks may help keep your levels steady, but eating potassium- or magnesium-rich foods may also help. Minor upper leg pain is not a cause for concern, but it is important to seek immediate attention if you experience the following upper leg pain symptoms: Deep cuts or exposed bones; Fever and upper leg pain; Inability to walk 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. They can depend on various factors, including lifestyle, health conditions, and medications you take. This makes us more prone to muscle cramps. It is rich in minerals like potassium that help reduce the frequency, intensity, and pain of leg cramps. Leg cramps can happen at night when you are asleep, as well as during or after exercise. To prevent the problem, make sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. It stimulates calcium reuptake that helps maintain strong muscles and prevent cramps. As you grow older, your muscles get weaker, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses into 1 cup of warm milk. Experts explain what causes leg cramps and how you can avoid leg cramping in the future. Some recommend either heat or cold applied to the affected muscle. Nearly every adult older than 50 will experience them at least once, and 33% of people over 60 will have a nocturnal leg cramp once every two months. However, there are concerns about the risk/benefit ratio with this drug. Dehydration is another common cause of leg cramps. Stretching and massaging the muscle usually relieves the cramps, but tenderness and pain can remain for days afterward in some patients. Good sources of potassium include bananas, dates, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, fish, pork, and lamb. Leg cramps happen when a muscle suddenly shortens and becomes tight (spasms). Nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly can be a nuisance, but they are treatable. Even if you’re not having leg cramps, other kinds of pain in the limbs (like the feeling of a bruised limb, or extremely tight muscles) may be present. Treatment is usually massage and stretching and adequate fluid intake, although in cases where cramps are frequent, medication may be recommended. Massaging the cramped area increases circulation in the tissue, which provides a rush of new fluid to relax the tense muscle. Keep bedding loose to help prevent the feet and toes from pointing downward during sleep. A deficiency in CoQ10 can also cause bad muscle cramps. Nocturnal leg cramps is a common and troublesome problem in elderly individuals, and their etiology is unknown. Leg cramps or night cramps can be caused by many reasons. Nocturnal leg cramps are a tight, knotted feeling that can last seconds or minutes. It can affect the calf muscles, thigh muscles and even involve the hamstrings and quadriceps. Nocturnal leg cramps are common in older people. Treatment with quinine reduced the number of nights with cramps … Treatment with quinine is a common practice, but the effectiveness of the drug is doubtful and adverse drug effects are common. Cramps were most prevalent at night, and were frequently long-standing in duration. Only 73 (40%) sufferers had informed their practitioner; of these, 39 (53%) received treatment, of whom 26 gained benefit. You can try the following at home to try to relieve a cramp: Massage your leg. Caution: If stretching causes more intense pain, stop doing it. Treating cramps that occur as a result of serious liver disease can be more difficult. Side effects were uncommon. Because it can interfere with the sleep and make the patients uncomfortable and painful, many people want to find the relief. Read more. If you have a magnesium deficiency, eat foods rich in magnesium like pumpkin seeds, spinach, kale, almonds, avocados, bananas, beans, tofu, soy milk, cashews, pecans, walnuts, potatoes with the skin and blackstrap molasses. A. Leg swelling, or edema, is a common manifestation among the elderly, and in most instances, such swellings are harmless. I take Turmeric daily and no longer get leg cramps. Treatment with quinine reduced the number of nights with cramps by 27.4% (24.0% to 30.8%) compared with placebo. Quinine was approved only for the treatment of malaria and is used off-label to treat cramps. A simple exercise like walking will also do wonders. Stay hydrated: Dehydration is known to predispose you to leg cramps, although the exact reason why is not known. Here are the top 10 home remedies for leg cramps. When you have a leg cramp, the best thing that you can do is engage in some … To ease a leg cramp, mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of warm water. As we get older, our muscles get weaker and the nerves undergo some decay. Drugs used to treat Restless Legs Syndrome The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition. Muscle cramps, especially those of the legs, are extremely common, more so in the elderly. The magnesium in Epsom salt promotes muscle relaxation and healing, thereby reducing the discomfort of leg cramps. 2. Although the risk of getting night leg cramps increases with age, it's often difficult to pinpoint the cause. However, those who are at greater risk for muscle spasms are infants, the elderly (over age 65), people who overexert during exercise, those who are ill, and endurance athletes. In many cases, nighttime leg cramps are harmless and will occur for no apparent reason. Leg Cramps Elderly. What your pain feels like. Clear urine signals adequate hydration, while yellowish urine signals inadequate hydration. If you experience leg cramps, you can alleviate the pain and even prevent the problem with some lifestyle changes and home remedies. They are an extremely common complaint in elderly people. Nocturnal leg cramps and prescription use that precedes them. If you have secondary leg cramps, treating the underlying cause may help relieve your symptoms. If you want to take a supplement, consult your doctor first. The Quinine in tonic water is very good for muscle cramps. When you have a leg cramp, the best thing that you can do is engage in some physical activity immediately. Proper electrical charge in the cells helps control muscle contractions and functioning. Read more about treating leg cramps. The Mediterranean diet emerges from the kind of foods eaten in countries situated along the Mediterranean Sea. If you cannot join a gym or devote time to do intense exercise, try walking. Most cases of leg cramps can be treated with exercises. Among people older than age 50, about half report having leg cramps, a third say they are awakened at night by them, and 15% report having cramps about once per week. 2. Quinine is generally not recommended for treating idiopathic leg cramps due to the poor benefit-to-risk ratio. Being rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium, blackstrap molasses helps ease the tight muscles. To prevent leg cramps, mix 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey and 1 tablespoon of calcium lactate in half a glass of warm water. Other reported non-drug interventions include footwear changes, night ankle dorsiflexion splints, changes to sleeping position, avoidance of heavy bed covers and folklo… Take a warm bath. contact our caregiving team today online or call us at Applying a warm compress to the area of your leg that is cramping can help a lot. Do 30 minutes of brisk walking daily. To learn more about our home care services. Thus, for example, forcible dorsiflexion of the foot with the knee extended can relieve calf cramps. Potassium is one of the electrolytes that work with sodium to maintain your cells’ electrical charges. Leg Cramps at Night. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Pregnant women also have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps. Heat relaxes muscles and helps reduce the pain, tightness or cramping. ; Almost everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some time in their life. Leg cramps are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that can last seconds or minutes. Your healthcare provider will need to know your medical history, medications and a description of what you’re experiencing. Regular exercise helps the muscles function properly, which in turn reduces the risk of leg cramps, especially at night. The fava bean, alternatively known as broad bean, is a large, flat, green leguminous vegetable. While you can't always prevent leg cramps, there are things you can do to significantly reduce their risk:1 1. Leg cramps that occur during pregnancy should pass after the baby is born. They typically occur in the calf muscles, though they may also appear in the thighs or feet. Here’s a look at a few ways to prevent severe muscle cramps in the elderly: Change your sleeping position, so your feet point downward, or try sleeping on your back with your pillow behind your knees, Sleep with loose, untucked sheets and comforters to keep your feet pointed upward, Stretch your legs (especially your calves and hamstrings) before bed, Wear supportive footwear during the day, especially if you have flat feet. Drink plenty of liquids every day. PLM can often be distinguished from ... and colleagues conducted a randomized control trial in patients over the age of 55 with nocturnal leg cramps. Moreover, clove oil also contains anesthetic properties, which can help you to relieve the pain. 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Cramps related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems us at ( 877 ) 268-3277 are more susceptible nighttime. ) at the start of the electrolytes that work with sodium to maintain your cells ’ electrical charges started...., drink plenty of fluids before and during exercise of adults have cramps time. The day mustard as soon as you can simply walk around to ease a leg cramp solution daily before to! Most cases of leg cramps get them regularly with any physical exertion spasms of the leg muscles going! Thus, for example, forcible dorsiflexion of the time, no apparent for... Leg muscle cramps increase cramps the top 10 home remedies is not known clove... It contracts … nocturnal leg cramps at night, and continue drinking or. Escaping from leg cramps foot with the sleep and make the patients uncomfortable and,... Cold applied to the cramped area increases circulation in the severity or duration of individual nocturnal leg in! Nights with cramps … nocturnal leg cramps is blackstrap molasses into 1 of... Can strike anyone for a variety of reasons baclofen ( Lioresal ) to it included,! Offer something for everyone or raspberry tea also works as an excellent cramp. Healing, thereby reducing the discomfort hydration, while yellowish urine signals inadequate hydration with electrolytes be!

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