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General Knowledge

Why Do We Get Muscle Cramp?

Why Do We Get Muscle Cramp?

Do you know the reasons why we get Muscle Cramps during Sleep?. Many of us would have experienced Muscle Cramp especially on the Calf Muscles at night, during sleep or early in the morning. Even healthy people can have it and the pain is severe. What are the reasons behind it? Let us see.

Leg Cramps or Nocturnal Leg Cramps (NLCs) are very common. It can happen due to inactivity during the day, tired muscles or side effects of certain medical conditions. NLCs are also known as Charley Horses which are uncontrolled Spasms in the Muscles of the Leg which can be extremely painful. These Spasms can occur in the Thighs or Feet but typically in the Calf Muscles.


The causes for the NLCs can be Overuse of a Muscle, Dehydration, Muscle Strain or even holding a position for a prolonged period. NLCs are generally harmless but the resultant pain can sustain for hours to days in some cases. Muscle Cramps can happen due to some underlying medical conditions like…

  • Inadequate Blood Supply – due to narrowing of arteries that deliver blood to the legs
  • Nerve Compression – compression of nerves in the Spine (Lumbar Stenosis), the pain of which worsens longer one walk
  • Mineral Depletion – lack of Potassium, Calcium or Magnesium in your diet can cause Leg Cramps. Certain medications (Diuretics) prescribed for high Blood Pressure can also deplete these Minerals

Some of these factors like Age, Dehydration, Pregnancy, Medical Conditions etc. might increase the risk of Muscle Cramps. Sitting or lying in a certain position which then restricts the movement or blood flow to the legs can lead to Muscle Cramps. This include resting one leg over the other or sitting in cross-legged position. Sleeping in an Air Conditioned room with legs in a stretched position can also contribute to Calf Muscle cramps. This happens mainly during night sleep or while trying to move your legs or get up early in the morning.

Read more about Leg Cramps during night here

Also read more in detail here

Disclaimer: Information provided here is gathered from various sources and for public awareness only

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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