Leg cramps at night are common.
And it's important to make a distinction between leg cramps causes and other causes of leg pain at night.
Because there are several conditions that can cause leg pain at night:
The cramp, or charley horse, is due to the muscle contracting (shortening and tightening) in a sudden and violent way. These nocturnal leg cramps usually occur in the calf muscle. But foot and leg cramps do happen at night also. Cramps in the thighs are less common.
One main reason for the pain is because blood flow to the muscle is restricted. Waste products also build up within the muscle tissue.
The underlying causes of leg cramps are unknown. However, here are nine possible suspects:
One of the side effects of taking statins is muscle aches in the legs. Technically, these are not leg cramps.
However, if you take statins, you should be aware that studies show that statin use lowers levels of the nutrient Coenzyme Q10 (abbreviated as CoQ10). A study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that statins reduce CoQ10 levels by up to 40%!
This is very important because lower levels of CoQ10 may create pain or cramps in the leg muscles. Like a lot of things in medicine, the studies are conflicting on this point.
I don’t take statins. However, I occasionally like to take CoQ10 for a heart boost.
I’ve been reading about this nutrient for years. And reading The Coenzyme Q10 Phenomenon by clinical cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. several years ago really peaked my interest.
This book, although several years old, is an excellent
overview of why CoQ10 is so important for many health conditions, especially heart health.
I got my copy from Amazon. If you’re interested, you can read about it here.
Supplementing with a dose of 50 mg twice daily of CoQ10 for 30 days may be beneficial to you if you are having muscle pain from statins. Certainly something to discuss with your doctor.
Below I’ve provided a link in reference #5 you can click on to see a good study on taking CoQ10 for muscle pain.
The point is, if you do take statins, you really need to read up on the statin and CoQ10 connection. Going to pubmed.com can also give you medical information on this topic.
Here’s something else to be aware of: There are a few studies showing that 100 mg of CoQ10 taken in the evening may cause insomnia. That’s why I always take my CoQ10 in the morning after breakfast. CoQ10 should always be taken with meals.
Here is the CoQ10 I like to take because I’ve been a vegetarian for forty years. There are all kinds of CoQ10 products on Amazon. Poke around Amazon and find one you like.
Another thing to keep in mind: Some studies show that CoQ10 can lower blood pressure a little bit. So it’s a good idea to monitor your blood pressure if you’re taking blood pressure medications.
Amazon.com has a wide variety of products for leg cramps. Some are creams, some are sprays, there are magnesium supplements, and also homeopathic pills.
In my article about homeopathic sleep aids, I wrote about my skepticism of homeopathy. Yet, surprisingly, many people find relief with this form of treatment.
You may even want to try compression socks.
Because who am I to say what might work for you?
I do know leg cramps hurt like heck so
you may want to give the items below a try. Or just type leg cramps into the search box and see what comes up.
I do hope that helps you.
I hate it when I get leg cramps at night in my legs or feet. So I hope the other articles I wrote below are helpful to you.
Nocturnal Leg Cramps: Can They Be Prevented?
Leg Pain at Night: 16 Lower Leg Cramps Treatment Options
Night Leg Cramps Treatments: 6 More Options
Stop Leg Cramps at Night! My Final Five Leg Cramp Relief Options
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
19 Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms
Return to Sleep Disorders Home Page
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