Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Leg Cramps Overview

What are leg cramps?
A person with bilateral leg cramps has tightening, or spasms, of the muscles in the legs. Leg cramps are involuntary and the muscles may become firm. The most common causes for leg cramps include muscle fatigue, intense exercise, and dehydration.

What are the symptoms of leg cramps?
Symptoms of leg cramps include stiffness or spasms of the leg muscles, and leg pain that usually worsens with movement. During the leg cramps, a person may have difficulty walking.

How does the doctor treat leg cramps?
The treatment for leg cramps depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for leg cramps may include rest, massage, warm compresses, muscle relaxants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Leg Cramps Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Leg Cramps References
  1. Anderson T. Cochrane made simple. Interventions for leg cramps in pregnancy. Pract Midwife. 2007 Oct;10(9):40. [17990694]
  2. Butler JV, Mulkerrin EC, O'Keeffe ST. Nocturnal leg cramps in older people. Postgrad Med J. 2002 Oct;78(924):596-8. [12415081]
  3. Ferini-Strambi L. RLS-like symptoms: differential diagnosis by history and clinical assessment. Sleep Med. 2007 Aug;8 Suppl 2:S3-6. Epub 2007 Jun 12. [17567532]
  4. Young G. Leg cramps. Clin Evid. 2006 Jun;(15):1613-8. [16973061]
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