treating leg cramps in elderly

They can depend on various factors, including lifestyle, health conditions, and medications you take. As you age, your tendons naturally shorten and result in leg muscle cramps. The treatment for a cramp is what we in medicine term “supportive.” That means stopping what one is doing that could have precipitated the cramp. To know whether you are drinking enough water, check the color of your urine. Because it can interfere with the sleep and make the patients uncomfortable and painful, many people want to find the relief. 9. A potassium deficiency in the body can contribute to leg cramps. There … Try to drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration and cramping. Clear urine signals adequate hydration, while yellowish urine signals inadequate hydration. Apply some warm olive or coconut oil to the cramped area. However, this method is for prevention of leg cramps. Your treatment plan may include using medications such as muscle relaxants. Walk around – “walk if off” if possible. Drinking a glass of warm milk before going to sleep is an effective way to prevent leg cramps. Nocturnal leg cramps are painful involuntary muscle cramps that occur when the patient is recumbent. This may sound strange but many people have reported getting immediate relief from leg cramps simply eating a spoonful of yellow mustard. 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. Wear suitable footwear during the day, especially if a person has flat feet or other foot problems. Here we will look at the various ways in which to stop leg cramps quickly, with a focus on the methods which have an evidence base for there use. Physiological methods may be useful for preventing cramps in some people, but there have been no controlled trials of these approaches. If the cramp is in your calf, straighten your leg. Read more. These cramps are more likely to occur at night (in fact, 75% of reported leg cramps occur during this time) while you’re trying to sleep and can make it quite challenging to rest. Being rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium, blackstrap molasses helps ease the tight muscles. Massaging the cramped area increases circulation in the tissue, which provides a rush of new fluid to relax the tense muscle. It occurs due to involuntary contractions or spasms of the muscles in your legs. ; Muscle cramps can occur in any muscle; cramps of the leg muscles and feet are particularly common. I take 3 – 4 capsules daily and have not had a leg cramp since Pickle juice also helps in the moment but not long term. As you grow older, your muscles get weaker, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Quinine is moderately effective in preventing nocturnal leg cramps. Side effects were uncommon. Exercises. Prevent night leg cramps; Advertisement. Leg cramps can attack anyone including both children and adults, but pregnant women and the elderly may be more prone to it. Nearly every adult age 50 and older will have them at least one time. Such cramps are associated with many common diseases and medications. Postgrad Med J 1993; 69: 624 –626. These steps may help prevent cramps: 1. Rubbing the affected muscle may help it relax. Keep bedding loose to help prevent the feet and toes from pointing downward during sleep. Stretch. Leg cramps increase with aging. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and stir it thoroughly. Nocturnal leg cramps are common in older people. Taking a walk sends a signal to your brain that your muscle needs to contract and then relax. Do 30 minutes of brisk walking daily. 2012;172:120. Plus, apple cider vinegar helps control the fluid balances in the body, thus preventing dehydration, a common cause of leg cramps. Alternate method: You can also drink the mixture to get relief from leg cramps. Good sources of potassium include bananas, dates, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, fish, pork, and lamb. However, a trial of quinine may be considered in certain circumstances if self-care measures fail and leg cramps are frequent and affecting the person's quality of life. Book: Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief; See also. Quinine was approved only for the treatment of malaria and is used off-label to treat cramps. Make sure to get enough potassium in your diet. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. … Nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly can be a nuisance, but they are treatable. In the case of cramps related to liver disease, muscle relaxants are sometimes used to prevent the muscles from going into spasm. Treatment did not produce a significant change in the severity or duration of individual nocturnal leg cramps. You are also more likely to suffer from lower leg cramps if you do exercises that rely heavily on the leg muscles, such as recreational running, weight training using the legs or sports that require a lot of running. Flex your foot, so your toes are pointed toward you. J Clin Pharmacol 1998; 38: 1151 –1154. Here are some ways to relieve leg muscle cramps in seniors: Gently massage the affected muscle Stretch (Straighten your leg if it’s in your calf. According to studies, leg cramps affect 50% to 60% of all adults and only 7% of all kids. Along with curing... Long, luscious hair is a desire of many! Quinine is generally not recommended for treating idiopathic leg cramps due to the poor benefit-to-risk ratio. Treatment with quinine is a common practice, but the effectiveness of the drug is doubtful and adverse drug effects are common. What causes muscle spasms? However, before using this remedy, bear in mind that massage can cause a lot of pain in the beginning but soon the pain will be gone. Common Causes of Nighttime Leg Cramps. Along with water, eat more water-based fruits and vegetables to reduce the chance of dehydration and prevent leg cramps. Leg cramps can happen at night when you are asleep, as well as during or after exercise. Of course, any foot pain should be addressed by a doctor, preferably a podiatrist. Advertising & Sponsorship. 2. Only 73 (40%) sufferers had informed their practitioner; of these, 39 (53%) received treatment, of whom 26 gained benefit. Stand on the edge of stairs, with the front … You can keep a bar of any brand of soap between the sheets at the foot of your bed. But it seems very few people are lucky enough to have a... All the tips mentioned here are strictly informational. Some individuals are prone to muscle spasms and get them regularly with any physical exertion. Most of the time, no apparent cause for night leg cramps can be identified. Nocturnal leg cramps is a common and troublesome problem in elderly individuals, and their etiology is unknown. That takes those down very quickly. As such, leg cramps are more common amongst the elderly. 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. It is rich in minerals like potassium that help reduce the frequency, intensity, and pain of leg cramps. Archives of Internal Medicine. Many people suffer from leg cramps primarily at night. Place a heating pad over the cramped area. Repeat every few minutes until the pain is gone. Meta-analysis of efficacy of quinine for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps in elderly people: Man-Son-Hing M, Wells G Authors' objectives. The earliest record of its... Apple cider vinegar is used in a whole gamut of home remedies that offer something for everyone. The pathophysiology of muscle cramps is still uncertain. Nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly can be a nuisance, but they are treatable. The magnesium in Epsom salt promotes muscle relaxation and healing, thereby reducing the discomfort of leg cramps. Here’s a brief look at a few symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps in seniors: Contractions occurring during bedtime but occasionally during wakefulness, Sudden, involuntary hardness or tightness in your leg, foot, or thigh muscles, indicating a strong muscle contraction, Pain relief achieved through forceful stretching of affected muscles to release the contraction, Pain lasting several seconds to several minutes. Therefore, muscle relaxants can be used to help prevent your muscles from going into spasm. This site does not provide medical advice. Leg Cramps at Night. Electrolyte imbalance is the main cause of leg cramps. At-home treatment of leg cramps. Thus, for example, forcible dorsiflexion of the foot with the knee extended can relieve calf cramps. Walking around may help ease leg cramps by sending a signal to the muscle that it needs to relax after it contracts. Insufficient stretching before physical activity. Stretching or massaging the muscle will help it relax. Report your symptoms to your healthcare provider and include the following information: When the leg cramps started happening. During activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water or other fluids after you're finished. Drink plenty of liquids every day. To learn more about our home care services, contact our caregiving team today at Quinine reduces leg cramps by decreasing excitability of the nerve stimulations, which increases the muscle refractory period and, subsequently prevents prolonged muscle contractions. To avoid leg cramps in the future, drink plenty of fluids before and during exercise. Fortunately, upper leg pain symptoms can often receive some level of treatment at home. What causes leg cramps, and how can I prevent them? This means that you can help prevent or reduce leg cramps by ensuring that your diet provides all the minerals that you need. find a caregiver near you. The fava bean, alternatively known as broad bean, is a large, flat, green leguminous vegetable. Leg cramps are unpleasant and often painful so you want to get rid of them as soon as you can. Learn about causes and treatments here. Drink at least three full glasses of water each day, including one before bedtime. Consult with your doctor or other health care provider before using any of these tips or treatments. 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. Despite a good deal of study, there's not an easy treatment … Risks & Causes. 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. Heat relaxes muscles and helps reduce the pain, tightness or cramping. Fluids help your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. 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). Caution: People who have heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes should not use an Epsom salt bath. There are a variety of types and causes of muscle cramps. Stretches. Treatment with quinine reduced the number of nights with cramps by 27.4% (24.0% to 30.8%) compared with placebo. Prevention Support the toes when lying down or asleep by propping up the feet with a pillow. Nighttime leg cramps can sometimes be attributed to muscle fatigue or nerve problems. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and efficacy of vitamin B complex in the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps in elderly patients with … Having an uncomfortable feeling in your legs and an urge to move your legs (restless legs syndrome) Painful leg cramps or muscle spasms (charley horse) The symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may seem like other health conditions. Leg cramps can strike out of the blue and cause excruciating pain. Potassium is one of the electrolytes that work with sodium to maintain your cells’ electrical charges. 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. contact our caregiving team today online or call us at You can try the following at home to try to relieve a cramp: Massage your leg. Treating cramps that occur as a result of serious liver disease can be more difficult. To prevent the problem, make sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. They can happen at any time, but most people have them at night or when resting. Although nocturnal leg cramps can strike people at any time of life, they become more frequent with age. This mineral is important for muscle health. Drink fluids with some electrolytes like Gatorade. (877) 268-3277 or Leg cramps can be very painful and often occur suddenly, but they may give warning signs like tingling and twitching of the muscles before you feel the abrupt pain. When the body is low in potassium, the cells are not able to control muscle contractions, which leads to legs cramps. Additional Tips. Cramps were most prevalent at night, and were frequently long-standing in duration. Check if it's leg cramps. They affect your sleep, exercise routine and general quality of life. Massage the cramped muscle with long strokes until it relaxes. The Quinine in tonic water is very good for muscle cramps. … 2. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. Also, avoid drinking too much tea, coffee, alcohol and carbonated beverages, as these can aggravate the condition rather than help matters. The squatting hypothesis suggests that the modern habit of sitting at rest or at toilet, rather than squatting like our ancestors, leads to muscle and tendon shortening and inadequate stretching and puts the individual at risk for developing leg cramps.3 Neurophysiological and electromyographic studies suggest that cramps result from spontaneous firing of groups of anterior horn cells followed by contraction of several motor units at rates of up to 300 per sec… When a cramp happens, try flexing the muscle, applying heat or ice and massaging the area. Leg cramps happen when a muscle suddenly shortens and becomes tight (spasms). While you can't always prevent leg cramps, there are things you can do to significantly reduce their risk:1 1. Mustard . Caution: If stretching causes more intense pain, stop doing it. Much of the time, simple stretches may help ease the cramped muscles. Or, there can be cramps in leg muscles that make walking or running difficult. 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