Why Do Legs Cramp?

31 Mar, 2022 | Dr. Malik | No Comments

Why Do Legs Cramp?

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp, stabbing like pain in your calf, then you have probably experienced a leg cramp. Leg cramps can occur at anytime during the day or night, and they can occur at any age. Although painful, they are usually not a serious health condition. 


Leg cramps occur when the muscles of the leg suddenly and voluntarily contract. It can last from a few sounds to a few minutes, and they usually resolve on their own. Although the exact cause of leg cramps is unknown, there are a few factors that can increase your risk of leg cramps:



  1. Dehydration: Water and electrolytes play a crucial role in muscle activation and relaxation. Ensure your hydrating throughout the day, especially during warm weather. 
  2. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can lead to blood stagnation. The veins in our legs depend on the movement of our legs to promote blood flow back to the heart. Try moving around every hour, and take frequent stretch breaks. Squatting is a great way to promote venous return, and is a great strength exercise. Avoid sitting cross-legged as this can restrict blood circulation. 
  3. Working out your leg muscles without a proper warm up can lead to leg cramping. Before lifting heavy, ensure you perform a few stretches, and increase the intensity gradually.
  4. Pregnancy can cause increased swelling and stress in the leg muscles due to excess weight gain. Compression socks can help minimize leg cramping by improving blood circulation. Exercise and comfortable clothing can also help to reduce the chance of leg cramping. 
  5. Smoking can cause narrowing of the blood vessels of the leg, restricting blood flow. This condition is known as smoker’s leg. 
  6. Diet and Nutrition: Foods with high a salt content can cause dehydration, which can lead to cramping. A lack of potassium, magnesium and calcium in the diet can also lead to leg cramping.

If you are suffering from leg cramps, and would like to learn your treatment options, call our clinic today for a free consultation! We can be reached at 905-593-1605.

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