Leg Cramps Quiz

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Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS (GP / Family doctor)

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Learn more about Leg cramps

Content updated on Nov 2, 2022

What is leg cramps?

Leg cramp is the episode of sudden pain in the muscles of the leg caused by an involuntary contracting (shortening) of the leg muscle. Most leg cramps occur in the calf muscles and, less commonly, in the feet and thighs.

Symptoms of leg cramps

  • Leg muscle pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Leg cramps

Questions your doctor may ask to check for leg cramps

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose leg cramps

  • Do you have pain in your shin or calf muscles?

  • Do you have any muscle pain?

  • Have you had leg cramps recently?

Treatment for leg cramps

Stretch and massage or application of heat or cold may provide some relief. Some medications may be helpful in preventing the leg cramps if they are recurrent depending on the underlying condition.

View the symptoms of Leg cramps

References

  • Young G. Leg cramps. BMJ Clin Evid. 2015 May 13;2015:1113. PMID: 25970567; PMCID: PMC4429847.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429847/

  • Allen RE, Kirby KA. Nocturnal leg cramps. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Aug 15;86(4):350-5. PMID: 22963024.

    https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2012/0815/p350.html

  • Young G. Leg cramps. BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Mar 26;2009:1113. PMID: 19445755; PMCID: PMC2907778.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907778/

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Shohei Harase, MD

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Kameda Medical Center, Japan

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