Patient Comments: Muscle Cramps - Causes

What was the cause of your muscle cramps?

Comment from: God's Child, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

I suffered for a year with fairly consistent and severe leg/foot cramping. Most of the time potassium drink, plus increasing my water to 12-14 glasses of water helped a lot. The last few months though, the cramping from my groin area to my feet became violent, causing me to scream and not be able to move; plus, they began happening every night, rather than a couple of times a week. After much research, I will tell you that I made these changes, and the cramping has stopped. I discovered I was not taking enough calcium supplements, so I increased them, which also contained magnesium. I found out I needed far more potassium drink (not Gatorade), and increased it. You can check with your doctor and online for the amounts best for you. I began eating very healthy foods 90% of the time, rather than 40% of time, and I expect soon to go off of my cholesterol prescription, which can cause muscle cramps. These are big changes, but for the many I read on here who know the agony of these cramps, the changes are worth it, as well as my health.

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Comment from: tmich66, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I am a 47 year old male with muscle cramps affecting many different muscle groups, from feet, calves, and quadriceps to biceps, hands and forearms, back, neck, and jaw. This seems to worsen as I age. I am in good shape, 5"9" and 165 lb. I exercise 3 to 5 days per week. I get plenty of water, and otherwise have had no ailments. The only abnormality I can think of is a high blood calcium level for the last couple of annual physicals. Any help figuring this out would be great. I have been to 2 doctors who don"t seem too worried about it.

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Comment from: blue, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

I was running on the treadmill one day. I didn't have on proper shoes, the shoes were worn out badly. I wore them and I ran for about as hour. The next day is when I started to have muscle cramps in both legs. The pain is so bad that I can't sleep at night. When I sit down is when I have the pain. Now I put heat pad on it and at night I keep my legs raised up high. I know it will be months before it heals. Make sure you wear proper shoes when you are out running.

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Comment from: Sandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am a 53 year old and I suffer from cramps just about every night. Mainly in my feet, but it also can be in my calves and full legs. I have had no operations, and I am not on any medication and I can"t work it out. I have tried including salt in my diet etc., I do at least 30 minute exercise on the treadmill with a warm up and slow down program so it is not that either.

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Comment from: rockman, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 06

I have had two discectomies on L4 L5 and have spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. I get severe leg cramps and foot pain. I believe it is caused from nerve damage in lower spine.

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Comment from: Suzie Q, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

Intestinal disturbances or disease can cause malabsorption of many vitamins and minerals, as well as dehydration. I have muscle cramps in my chest, intestines, stomach, lungs, feet and legs due to Crohn's disease and resulting ileostomy. I often feel very weak and lightheaded. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium help, and I have been advised by my doctor to use lots of salt as well as to drink a gallon of water a day. The muscle cramps in the back of my calves can leave me with bruises. My vision and memory can be affected. Depression and feelings of not being worth a hoot make life challenging.

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Comment from: JAN, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have suffered with benign faciclations for the last 25 years or so. I am 58 now. I remember vividly when I first felt the faciclations as I was heading home from the gym sitting at a stoplight and I could feel this twitching in my legs below the knee. I thought it was kind of weird but after a few minutes it went away and then it was about 2 weeks later I felt it again and it continued into the night and when I went to bed I got a bad cramp in one of my calves. It went a long time before I felt it again but over the last 10 years it has gotten progressively worse. I saw a neurologist about 10 years ago and after my exam he wanted to do an electromyogram (EMG) test. He felt certain it was benign fasciculations and told me to increase my magnesium and I would be fine. He said the good thing was it's benign which meant no worries. Well, it got worse and worse over the years. Stress makes this condition worse. Last March I was under a lot of stress with my business and I had a mini “meltdown” (my term for it). I had the fasciculation constantly and I had not been sleeping. It is very difficult to relax to go to sleep when this is going on. The twitching grew worse and my heart started beating fast on and off. I used every remedy I had tried before even though they didn't work then but I tried again. I drank almost 2 liters of tonic water and nothing. I spoke with my sister who said I had a panic attack. I had never had one before but my doctor said yes, that is what happened. My doctor put me on clonazepam 0.5 mg and told me to go home, take it and relax. I took it, fell to sleep for a couple hours and when I woke up the fasciculations were gone. They stayed gone for months but the new neurologist I started seeing said the medication will wear off and they have started to do that. It makes me very tired so I can't even take the full daytime dose. I am now trying ropinirole, which is a restless leg syndrome (RLS) medication since I have some of those symptoms. I have been on it about 12 days and last night was one of the worst nights I have had since the meltdown. Before my meltdown I was taking no medications, just vitamins etc. and have been seeing a naturopath. She tried everything as well but nothing worked. It is so frustrating, painful and depressing. If it was just a little cramp and you could walk it off and go back to bed that would be one thing but the fasciculation's cause the cramping so its not stop and the more you relax the worse it gets. Very difficult to deal with.

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Muscle Cramps - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your muscle cramps?
Muscle Cramps - Vitamins and Supplements Question: Which vitamins or supplements did you start taking to relieve muscle cramps?
Muscle Cramps - Prevention Question: What measures have you found effective in preventing muscle cramps?

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