Having Leg Cramps? Here Are a Few Possible Reasons Why

Leg cramps, also called charley horses, are spasms that occur in the leg muscles, typically in the calf area. They’re often painful and can last up to 10 minutes, making them more than just a nuisance but also something that can disrupt your life. For many people, these leg cramps are worse or occur more frequently at night. There are a wide variety of causes for leg cramps, and an accurate diagnosis is crucial to relieving the symptoms.

What Causes Leg Cramps

Leg cramps develop because of nerves in the leg that become overly stimulated, as in the case of injury or traumatic event. These nerves then stimulate the muscles, which creates spasms, cramps, and pain in the leg.

Temporary vs. Chronic Causes for Leg Cramps

Your leg cramps could be a symptom of a passing ailment, or could indicate an ongoing and potentially significant health problem. For example, dehydration can cause leg cramps, which may disappear if you increase your fluid intake. Sitting for too long can also cause leg cramps, as can exercising vigorously, or being out in the cold. Some medications can also cause leg cramps, as can a potassium or calcium deficiency.

However, leg cramps are also caused by potentially serious medical conditions such as kidney disease, which is why it’s important to have a thorough medical evaluation to determine if there’s an underlying disease causing the cramps. Poor circulation to the legs can also cause leg cramps, in a condition referred to as claudication. This type of leg cramp often gets worse when you walk. Neuropathy and pregnancy can also cause leg cramps, as can some rare medical conditions.

Venous insufficiency is one common medical cause of leg cramps. This condition is a problem with the valves that transport blood from the legs to the heart. With venous insufficiency, these valves don’t function properly, which can cause blood in the legs to pool, which in turn causes swelling. The defect with the valves can also cause blood to seep into the tissues, which is what causes the leg cramps.

At Alpha Vein Clinic, we can help you determine what’s causing your leg cramps and create a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. Make an appointment today at out vein clinic so our skilled, compassionate staff can get you on the road to feeling better as quickly as possible.

Alpha Vein Clinic

3150 N. Tenaya Way Ste. 400
Las Vegas, NV, 89128
(702) 430 7661

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Thursday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am to 1:00pm