Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Seniors and Leg Cramps

It is not uncommon for seniors to develop problems that interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Leg cramps, which occur more often at night, can be one of those things.  They are painful, involuntary contractions that happen suddenly and for no reason but are usually harmless. Occasionally, they can be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions.
Night leg cramps can be associated with:
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Type I and type II diabetes.
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Blood pressure medications or diuretics.  
According to the Mayo Clinic you should seek immediate medical care if you:
  • Experience severe and persistent cramping
  • Have night leg cramps after being exposed to a toxin, such as lead 
Schedule an office visit with your doctor if you:
  • Have trouble functioning during the day because leg cramps interrupt your sleep
  • Develop muscle weakness and atrophy along with leg cramps 

There are some things you can do to help relieve the incidents or severity of leg cramps: 
  • During the day, be sure to drink plenty of fluids as dehydration may lead to more leg cramping. 
  • Try stretching your calf muscles periodically especially before bed, and flex your foot upward toward your knee.
  • A hot shower or bath right before bed might provide some relief.
  • Massaging the muscle or rubbing it down with an ice pack.
  • Wearing good, comfortable shoes during the day.
  • Loosen the covers at the bottom of the bed so your legs can move freely at night. 
This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. 

Morningstar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.

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