Leg Cramps

 

Leg cramps and "restless leg" syndrome are conditions which can interfere with daily activities and especially with a good night’s sleep.

Leg cramps often come on after stretching the legs in bed, but can also appear following strenuous activities. Even young children may complain of these painful muscle contractions. "Charley horse" is a term which may be used to describe an acute muscle cramp or a dull ache in a muscle lasting for a long time.

Those suffering from restless leg syndrome cannot sit or lie still due to discomfort in the legs and must be constantly shifting the position of the legs even throughout the night.

Occasionally, these muscle disorders are due to a calcium deficiency. Even people who consume a lot of dairy products can show symptoms of a calcium deficiency if their bodies don’t effectively absorb calcium in that form. A calcium supplement may provide dramatic relief in such cases.

By far the most common cause of muscle cramps and restless legs, however, is a spinal imbalance. When the lower vertebrae of the spine or the pelvic bones are out of alignment, a constant strain is placed on all the muscles of the legs to compensate for the biomechanical stress. This often leads to reactive spasms or cramps, even at rest. Spinal problems can also cause irritation of the nerves which control muscle tone and sensation in the legs. This is the most common cause of the deep ache of a charley horse or the irritability of restless legs. 

If you have problems with leg cramps or restless legs syndrome, consult our office. We may be able to correct the cause so that you can rest comfortably.

Dr. Karin Mattern

6543 Portsmouth Rd.

Nanaimo, BC

V9T 1C4

250-933-3443

drkarin@shaw.ca

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