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Leg cramps or spasms

Also known as Leg Cramp, Cramps In Legs, and Leg Muscle Cramps

Cramps are neural sensations caused by muscle contraction or overshortening. Common causes of skeletal muscle cramps may include muscle fatigue, low sodium, low potassium, and/or low magnesium.Smooth muscle cramps may be due to menstruation or gastroenteritis.

Source: Wikipedia

What causes it?

The most common causes of leg cramps or spasms are muscle spasm, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Other possible causes, such as varicose veins, are more rare.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with leg cramps or spasms often receive hematologic tests, complete blood count, glucose measurement, electrolytes panel, kidney function tests, intravenous fluid replacement, electrocardiogram and lipid panel .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with leg cramps or spasms include quinine, baclofen, tizanidine, leuprolide (lupron), interferon beta-1a (avonex), botulinum toxin type a (botox), bendroflumethiazide / nadolol, codeine / diphenhydramine / phenylephrine, insulin lispro-insulin lispro protamine, lanthanum carbonate (fosrenol), magnesium gluconate (almora), acarbose and quinidine .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for leg cramps or spasms include age 75+ years, age 60-74 years and age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 1-4 years and age < 1 years almost never get leg cramps or spasms.

Age

< 1 years
0.0x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.3x
15-29 years
0.2x
30-44 years
1.0x
45-59 years
1.6x
60-74 years
1.9x
75+ years
1.6x

Sex

Male
0.9x
Female
1.1x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.1x
Hispanic
0.5x
White
1.1x
Other
0.7x
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