Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Leg cramps at night
Old 09-25-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
Moscyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 728
Leg cramps at night

A I grow older, I realize I am getting more leg cramps at night. Yesterday was the worst - recurring leg cramps on both legs! I hardly had any sleep. In fact, I am afraid to sleep tonight. Having done Internet search on preventing leg cramps, I started taking magnesium today. Just wanted to know what works for you?
__________________

__________________
Moscyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,470
DW swears by magnesium. I've tried it, but it does have some side effects. My night-time leg cramps happen when the temperature drops, so some light socks work.
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
There are remedies available which are both effective and safe but the first step is determining the cause. While mg and other deficiencies sometimes appear to be a cause, most often this is not a case. Restless leg syndrome usually has a pain/restlesss different from yours.

I'd get seen for it at least for a basic eval, and proceed accordingly.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 525
I have occasionally experienced mild to severe leg cramps starting in my mid forties and it continues today. I had medical evaluations, tried every type of remedy known to man and nothing ever reduced or eliminated the condition.

Looking back on my experiences, cramping normally only occurs either after going to bed, but sometimes even when I first sit down in the evening to relax. I noticed that the worst/most freequent cramping was experienced when my legs were overly fitigued. Examples were standing for extended periods on ladder rungs during the day, or even long period of physical exertion beyond normal.

I have to admit the best way for me to lessen the cramps was to increase leg strength. For the last few years I take a brisk walk of 2 to 3 miles daily, plus bike riding when the weather cooperates. My legs are much stronger than before and I also now have fewer occurances of night time leg cramps.

Sometimes I can tell when my legs are going to be cramping even before bed-time because I experience a lot of twitching of my leg muscles. The best thing I can do is some serious leg stretching before bedtime, the same sort of stretches I do each day before my walks. As a last resort a heating pad helps a bit.
__________________
***********
My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
Tom52 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
SumDay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 799
I inherited this trait from my mother and it drives me nuts. I also swear by magnesium. And I also swear by quinine, which can easily be attained by drinking tonic water. And since I like Gin, I add a little of that in there too. And some lime. Not sure if the last two help, but they make me happy, so there's that.

I've heard some old folk remedy about putting bars of soap in socks you wear to bed at night. Sounds too strange to me, so I've skipped that one.

I also believe yoga (3x per week) is really helping me.

Finally, have your doc check your legs and veins. Cramping can be an symptom of vascular issues, which should not be taken lightly at our age. I have an appointment on October 11 for an evaluation.

Good luck, and go have a gin & tonic.
__________________
SumDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: avon lake
Posts: 7
A very simple easy remedy. Just get some tonic water, the same as hint you use for mixing drinks. I have severe COPD, so I frequently will get cramps from over exertion. They wake me from a sleep, I get up, hobble to the fridge, or now keep some in a night stand. I drink about 8 oz, sipping it, and they are gone in less han 5 minutes. Tonic water contains Quinine. A doctor told me about this.
__________________
daveriocafe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,327
Lots of magnesium rich vegetables. Magnesium is the active ingredient in a lot of antacids, so taking magnesium supplements on a regular basis, and not just occasionally, seems to nuke my normal stomach acid. I have read too frequent use of antacids can reduce absorption of nutrients.

So I just eat a lot of vegetables and especially soup with vegetables and that seems to really help me not get any muscle cramps any more.

Yin yoga, foam rollers and massage balls also help.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
MuirWannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 672
My Dad has this issue. He does the Mg. But also quit drinking any alcohol. Finally, he sips pickle juice on nights where they still occur.

I fully expect to inherit this issue some day.
__________________
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
MuirWannabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
My DH has had that problem for years, usually associated with overuse. Magnesium has made a huge difference in lowering their frequency, taking a hot shower when they occur helps big time.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,260
Are you drinking enough fluid? Body's thirst sansation diminishes as we age. I get leg cramps (especially after vigorous exercise) when I don't drink enough fluid. Either that or lack of potassium for me.
__________________
tmm99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 03:06 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,612
Like Rich said, there are myriad possible causes, so most of our advice will be worthless.

I only started getting leg cramps when I changed my diet a couple of years ago. I now eat practically zero processed food, only fresh food I cook myself. As a result, I realized that my sodium intake went down to a ridiculously low level. I also noticed that I was most likely to get leg cramps at night after vigorous exercise (like running five miles or more). And it was worse in hot weather, giving further credence to the sodium deficiency hypothesis.

Sodium/potassium/magnesium/whateverium. They're all electrolytes, right?
I had read about the magnesium cure, and also potassium. I tried them both. No help.

So I figured the solution might be as simple as increasing my salt intake. I began doing so by dissolving a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt in a glass of water whenever I needed a drink during the day.

Bingo! That did the trick (at least for me; this is not medical advice). Plus I get the side benefit of having much better tasting water to drink. Win-win! And I hasten to add that my blood pressure readings are still great.

As Rich said, you really should get your own personal situation identified in order to find the right fix. My story, like all the others, is only a random anecdote.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Lots of magnesium rich vegetables.
Very rarely I get leg cramps but noticed it didn't happen at all when I kept up with eating my veggies like Mom said to. And slacking off on exercise is a contributor.

But I like the gin & tonic remedy too.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 05:40 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,645
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post

So I figured the solution might be as simple as increasing my salt intake. I began doing so by dissolving a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt in a glass of water whenever I needed a drink during the day.

Bingo! That did the trick...
Yuck. Why not just add a little salt to foods?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
I have this problem off and on, usually in the morning when first getting out of bed. Gently wiggling before stretching usually helps. I use potassium (and bananas, although I suspect that's all in my mind but it works for me) and trying to keep up a regular moderate exercise routine and lots of veggies in my diet. I also have a healthy respect that different people respond to different cures, even for similar seeming problems, so keep trying ideas until you find what works for you. Even if it is bananas.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,193
I get them too, often when I've run more than usual and my legs are fatigued, perhaps combined with some dehydration and loss of salts. Bananas help. I haven't tried magnesium. If you can't correlate it to events like this, seeing a physician is probably wise.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 09:43 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moscyn View Post
A I grow older, I realize I am getting more leg cramps at night. Yesterday was the worst - recurring leg cramps on both legs! I hardly had any sleep. In fact, I am afraid to sleep tonight. Having done Internet search on preventing leg cramps, I started taking magnesium today. Just wanted to know what works for you?
as others have posted, what worked for me, was exercise.

weight lifting, stretching, and aerobics.

have not had "night" leg cramps in years.
__________________
wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 11:10 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 355
My cramps were frequent when I was eating a nutritious diet, and taking a broad spectrum vitamin & mineral pill while eating lots of wheat products that were fortified with similar extras. Quinine pills (sold as leg cramp relief) worked in the middle of the night to stop the cramps, but switching to brown rice, stopped taking the vit. & min. pill, and reducing my bread and pasta intake stopped the occurrence.
__________________
heyyou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2013, 12:53 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
Moscyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 728
I've seen physicians before but they seem to think it is associated with age and weather changes. I think this time I'll insist to see a specialist. Thankfully, I did not have cramps yesterday. I has a hot bath with salt, rubbed muscular relaxant on my legs, wore socks and wrapped with towels loosely, slept with pillow under my knees, took my magnesium tablets and banana, drank lots of water and slept. Seems like I did every trick except putting soap in my socks as I could not understand the logic in that.
__________________
Moscyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 122
When I get leg cramps, I take a potassium pill and they usually disappear within 30 minutes. You can also drink a glass of orange juice which is high in potassium. The OJ seemed to work faster for me. Good luck!
__________________
KiraC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #20
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 7
The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps



The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps - Los Angeles Times
__________________

__________________
coachz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:19 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.