My leg cramps

I am a 55 year old man. Once in a while, I experience cramps in my legs. These cramps usually last for a few seconds. I usually treat them by massaging my calves. A more scary thing is that sometimes while lying down in bed, I would feel (and often see) two or or three of my toes stretching/pulling themselves away from others.

Anytime I experience this, I quickly jump up and pace the floor for a while. The experience used to be for about three minutes but now lasts for about 5 minutes.  I am getting scared as I don’t want to have a stroke. Please help me.

Ike  (by SMS)

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What you have is not likely to be related in any way to a stroke because leg cramps, are a common problem that affect the feet, calves, and thigh muscles. They involve sudden, painful involuntary contractions of a leg muscle.They often occur while a person is sleeping or resting. They can be gone in a few seconds, but the average duration is 9 minutes. They can leave tenderness in the muscle for up to 24 hours after.

In most cases the reason for leg cramps is never found, and they are considered harmless. Sometimes, however, they may be linked to an underlying disorder, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. Risk factors include dehydration, some medications, flat feet and alcohol abuse.

The following measures may also help prevent leg cramps; supporting your toes when lying down or asleep by propping up the feet with a pillow or letting the feet hang over the edge of the bed, keeping bedding loose to help prevent the feet and toes from pointing downward during sleep and wearing suitable footwear, especially if you have flat feet and other foot problems. Keeping fit by getting enough exercise can help. If you exercise, make sure your program is suitable and that your progress is gradual. Avoid overexertion and training for prolonged periods, and always remember to warm up before you start.


Nigerian Tribune

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