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Shin and Foot Cramping Over Night



  • I use tablets that contain potassium phosphate and magnesium phosphate for normal cramps, during the cramp and as prevention.

    However, they did nothing for the continuous cramps initiated by the nerve root damage that lasted for months.
    For me, only nerve pain medication (Lyrica) was able to address those continuous cramps, as they were initiated by the brain in response to nerve compression. That medicine stopped the nerve signals getting to the brain and the brain then stopped cramping up the muscles.

    As always, discuss any over the counter medications with your doctor before using it.
  • I too get leg cramping at night. I have S1 nerve root damage and have had microdiscetomy and fusion at L5-S1 but this did not help with the nerve damage and have been told this is permanant. The leg cramps do not come from low potassium, low fluid intake, electrolyte imbalance or inactivity or overexertion. It is directly caused by the damage to the nerve root. I take Remeron as prescribed by the pain clinic I am treated by and this seems to help... somewhat. Klonopin is also used off label for leg cramping associated with nerve root damage.
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  • I just have a severe case of scaitica. The leg cramps, arch, to little toes, and pressure pain on the bone on the side of your hip. The only thing that works is a cocktail of lyrica,hydrocodone, robaxin(muscle relaxant), diazapam ( muscle relaxant), 2 tylonol, and a vitamin that has a lot of magiezium and potasuim. Lastly for the foot and bone pain ( nerve pain) lidoderm patchs along with ice at the base of the back work best.
    It sounds stupid but a relaxation technique I learned years ago helps tremenoesly, Imagine your a ballon and each time you exhale the balloons air goes out a little.

    I am not a doctor and this is just my expereince. hope it gets better
  • I have both so bad I can hardly walk. A nurse at a local hospital told a friend who was injured while jumping out of bed with a bad leg cramp the following remedy. I thought it was bizarre until I tried it out of desperation.

    Swallow one to three teaspoons of yellow mustard and drink some water. The cramps go away within seconds.

    My shin cramps were so painful last night I could hardly walk to the kitchen. This is an unbelievable successful remedy.
  • joljjol Posts: 1
    edited 01/31/2015 - 11:26 PM
    So glad to know I'm not a freak, but sorry so many others suffer from these painful shin cramps. I've described them to my doctors as 10x more painful than the worst calf cramp. My magnesium and calcium levels are fine. Thyroid seems normal. A nerve conductivity test was normal (but that was 5 years ago). I've yet to find any surefire way to relieve them. Walking doesn't help. At times they've begun while taking a preventive hot bath. I'll try the mustard remedy as well as aspiring. However, I'd really like to figure out what is causing them. A neurologist suggested spinal compression and prescribed PT. The PT could find nothing mechanical to work on with me. My hands also cramp, although not nearly as often as the legs and feet. As those of you who've had these shin cramps know, the pain is downright frightening.
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  • patpoplppatpopl Posts: 1
    edited 02/01/2015 - 4:24 AM
    I, too, have suffered from these cramps off and on for about 15 years. Rather bad recently. I had no idea they might be related to my psoriatic arthritis; I will have to talk with my rheumatologist about them. I have found one thing that brings them on is how I sit in the evening. When you sit down, be sure you back up to the seat, then swing legs up if you do that. I find if I bend my leg first and then sit, it triggers the cramps a few minutes later and they may continue to wake me up several times during the night. One thing that helps is something called a "Stick" that runners use on their legs after long runs. You roll it up and down your leg with as much pressure as you can stand. Doesn't feel good, but it does work out the knots in the muscles. Alternating that with walking it out improves your chances of getting comfortable faster. You could probably buy one on line or at any athletic store that caters to runners. A warm soak is also good, but I suspect you, like me, might not care to do that in middle of night.
  • bistro641bbistro641 Posts: 1
    edited 03/29/2015 - 4:39 PM
    I have found that this works to reduce pain in my shins. At one time, years ago,,,,broke my tibia and fibula and shattered my ankle. I had serious damage to my lower leg, and now have continual pain daily with my shins and calves. I also take Voltaren and Ibuprofen PRN.
  • I have degenerative disk disease and bulging disks in L4 and L5. I have been getting cortisone injections for about 10 years. After my last round of injections, 2 years ago, I started having terrible shin cramps. Usually they occur at night when I'm in bed, but they often happen while swimming as well. I've always suffered from calf and foot cramping, but the shin cramping was new. I started researching this and saw many posts from people who had been given cortisone injections and started having leg/shin cramping. I asked my pain management doctor and he said that one of the side effects of the cortisone is cramping and that if you cannot find a way to manage it on your own, there are medications that can be prescribed that will help. I do not get them as often now as I was after the last series of injections, but I do still get them every once in a while. I find that taking magnesium helps a little. I really hope this information helps someone because I know how frustrating and painful the cramping is.
  • A quick timeline of my story:

    3 years of on again/off again Sciatica, doc thought it was piriformis syndrome. Sent to Physical Therapy where deep tissue massage made it much worse. Doc refers me to a Physiatrist.

    Develop bursitis in hip because of limp and issues caused by ongoing Sciatica. Physiatrist thinks it's muscular and wants to do cortisone injection in hip.

    Specialist does cortisone in hip and for 10 days life is good.

    Travel to Hawaii and have 3 great days then the mother of all muscle cramps begin, injuring my leg so bad I end up in the ER with blood work showing severe muscle injury (and scaring me to death!). CPK was 3400. Normal is <250<br />
    Return home to find blood work returned to normal, cramps continue. They gradually taper off and now are back with a vengeance!

    The specialist now suspects maybe a spinal issue and orders MRI. Due to the severe cramps I can't lie still on a hard table for 45 minutes.

    Prescribed flexeril and it doesn't help much at all. Still cramping. Then was prescribed a new muscle relaxer, supposedly stronger. Metaxalone (Skelaxin) Did absolutely nothing. They gave me Valium in the ER but docs refuse to use it.

    These cramps are like nothing I've ever experienced. My shins, arch of feet, toes, calves. hamstrings. Also achy low back and burning ache on top of thigh?

    I have tried every cramp treatment known to man. My kidney function appears to be fine based on the latest blood work of last week. I am hydrating enough to float a boat, taking calcium and magnesium, trying to stretch, tried tonic water, tried soap in my bed ( don't laugh, I was desperate and people swear by it!), drank pickle juice (ewwww), powerade, take an aspirin, every folk cure, and thing I could find.

    I was so sure it was the cortisone shot that brought it on because there are zillions of reports of that but now a month later the good effect of the cortisone seems to be gone yet the cramping continues. Your input makes me think it may be stenosis or a disc issue.
  • I read Dave's comments when I found this forum about a month ago looking for solutions to my cramps and stopped taking atorvastatin I was started on by my doctor more than a year ago. Looking back, it seems my bouts with terrible cramps on waking up, sometimes lasting 15 minutes of intense pain started a few months on the medication. I did not make the connection and neither did my doctor who suggested some leg stretching before going to sleep which did not help much. Since stopping taking the medicine, I had only one cramp the following week and none the last two weeks. So far, so good.

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