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Nightly Charlie horse/leg cramps

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
Hello, I need some help dearly. I have been experiencing muscle spasm/charlie horses in my leg for month or so. They are so painful that I have to get out of bed and walk around for a few minutes trying to get the muscle to relax. I'm beginning to get somewhat scared. Has any had this problem and is it something that needs immediate medical attention.


  • welcome. there are plenty of people here who experience leg cramps at night. sometimes drinking plenty of water...8 glasses per day...helps. a vitamin mineral pill per day might help. also calcium might help. stretching the legs is also benificial. it doesnt need immediate attention except for the above suggestions. however if it continues a trip to your gen. md. would be a start. if he thought specialist was necessary he could then advise you...lots of people have had previous posts on your problem so search out LEG CRAMPS for more info....pete
  • it may help to have your legs slightly elevated during the night use a pillow .have you been checked for any circulation problems ..anyone over 40 may have loss of circulation due to fatty places on there arteries {peripheral arteries disease}PAD..its worth having some bloods done at your doctors a liver profile .full blood count and cholesterol and lipid profile would be a start...also some tablets can give you leg cramps ..don't worry though there are drugs that can help with many of the problems caused by today's life styles!!.or you may have spinal problems a impinged nerve at L5/S1 would also cause leg pain ..on your post you don't give much away ..have you had any surgery on your back? have you been in an auto accident? or has there been any trauma to your lower back of abdomen {stomach area} as you can see there are too many variables to offer you are real help we can only give you some suggestions and let you do the rest if i were you i would go to the doctors and have a chat .please feel free to come back where you find out whether is a nerve problem or a blood supply problem or other i am sure that there will be some one on here that will be able to offer advice
  • I can't remember where I read this but drink some tonic water at night before going to bed. There's something in it that helps muscle cramps.
  • i think its quinine not that it matters.
  • Yes! I've had terrible leg cramps for many years (search "killer leg cramps" here on SH and you'll see the thread I started).

    No time to talk right now but the info I'm getting from my ortho's PA is that what I describe sounds like lumbar spinal stenosis. Haven't had it formally evaluated yet, though, as he has me taking 800 mg of ibuprofen every 8 hrs and it is helping a lot.


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I have been plagued with leg and foot cramps over the past couple months. An old wives tale says to put a bar of soap under your fitted sheet near the leg that cramps up. I tried it, but still had cramps. However recently during a really bad cramp, my husband rubbed a bar of soap along my calf and the cramp stopped instantly. Coincidence? Who knows...but I have a bar of soap handy just in case. I hope this helps you.

    I had a microdiscectomy done 2 years ago at L5-S1, but it reherniated 3 weeks later. I have done traditional PT, holistic PT, epidural injections, pain meds, etc...nothing seems to be working. And L3-L4 and L4-L5 have herniated as well. I start aquatic therapy next week - anything to avoid surgery (a laminectomy has been suggested). I have constant pain in my lower back, it radiates down my left leg, and my left foot is often numb. I am 40 years old and before the original herniation, I was an aerobic kickboxing instructor and avid exerciser. Now I'm lucky if I can take a walk with my husband.

    BTW...anyone out there who has had a laminectomy???
  • Have you tried adding salt to your diet to see whether that helps? Low blood salt/sodium levels are the most common reason for cramp.

  • Another possibility is a potassium supplement.
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