Why do my legs ache at night? Up to 10% of adults feel aching in their legs at night and up to 3% deal with severe aches twice a week in their legs in the nighttime. The term that is used for this is RLS which is restless legs syndrome. RLS is a variety of muscle cramps and aches that are deep within the legs. Some of those feelings are itching, tingling and severe muscle cramps.
This can occur in the foot, ankle, thigh, knee, and it is an intermittent effect of 15 to 30 seconds at times. When you have RLS at night it makes it very difficult to fall asleep because you are restless and always moving in bed hoping that that pain will go away.
Why do my legs ache at night? Photo credit: iStock-fizkes
One of the best ways to measure or diagnose RLS is through a blood test. And if that blood test shows you are low on iron then it is advisable to probably take a daily iron supplement that can help relieve those RLS symptoms.
Here are some basic tips to help relieve RLS legs symptoms:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine before you get to bed.
- Taking a warm bath, applying heat pads, and stretching your legs before going to bed can help.
- Incorporating some form of daily exercise into your lifestyle routine whether it be walking, jogging, swimming, etc. Just moving constantly can help and try not to sit for long periods of time.
- Drink water daily and up to 8 glasses of water per day. This will keep you hydrated and minimize any potential muscle cramps you may experience late at night.
- Try wearing supporting footwear that can help relieve nerve and muscle issues in the feet.
- Some research studies have shown that drinking pickle juice can help relieve muscle cramps.
- Massaging the affected muscle can help relieve muscle cramps.
- Avoid living a sedentary lifestyle.
Here are the following conditions that could be potentially associated with a serious medical condition:
- Station and diuretic medications
- Liver, kidney, and thyroid conditions
- Cardiovascular conditions like heart disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons disease
The Bottom Line is if you experience leg cramps late at night one of the best things to do is get out of bed and stretch that affected muscle. And try to drink some water to help hydrate myself because you could be dehydrated. It shouldn’t be a medical concern to you right way unless it happens frequently and consistently.
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About Author- Obi Obadike
- MILLER, KEVIN C.1; MACK, GARY W.2; KNIGHT, KENNETH L.2; HOPKINS, J. TY2; DRAPER, DAVID O.2; FIELDS, PAUL J.3; HUNTER, IAIN2. Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps in Hypohydrated Humans. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 42(5):p 953-961, May 2010. | DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c0647e