The_nocturnal_obstruction by marcusjames

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 2

									Title:
The nocturnal obstruction

Word Count:
639

Summary:
The article is about night leg cramps, a condition that is seen as one of
the common causes of sleep deprivation and discomfort.   The article
deals with the known causes and possible treatments for night leg cramps.


Keywords:
cramps, muscle relaxants


Article Body:
Everyone experiences muscle cramps from time to time due to intense pain
and an inability to use the affected leg muscles. It can occur at the
front of the thigh (quadriceps), back of the thigh (hamstrings) and the
lower legs or calves (gastrocnemius). A cramp can last from a few seconds
to 15 minutes or longer, and can possibly recur several times before it
goes away. But have you ever experienced waking up in the middle of the
night with a sudden painful cramp in your leg? Is it so painful that it
can even make you cry? This condition is referred to as night leg cramps.
Night leg cramps are contractions of the leg muscles, usually in the back
of the lower leg or calf. They usually occur just as you're about to fall
asleep, or when you are about to wake up.

When this happens, the leg muscles remain painfully tight and contracted.
Experts say that the exact cause of night leg cramps is unknown but they
believe that it may be due to the body's abnormal processing of
electrolytes. Electrolytes such as salt and minerals are essential
elements and chemical substances that your body needs for basic muscle
functions. Other factors include inadequate stretching and muscle
fatigue.

Calcium deficiency is also one of the common causes of leg cramps at
night especially among women. If you are post-menopausal, trying to lose
weight, or don't consume enough calcium, you are susceptible to night leg
cramps. To alleviate leg cramps, experts advise the increase calcium
consumption. This can also prevent other problems associated with calcium
deficiency like osteoporosis. When taken regularly, calcium supplements
may help relieve the pain caused by leg cramps.

Other causes of night leg cramps are prolonged sitting, pregnancy,
diabetes, decreased potassium levels, neuromuscular disorders, such as
Parkinson's disease, and alcohol use. Certain medications, such as
albuterol, niacin, diuretics, and some calcium channel blockers and
antipsychotic medications can also cause night leg cramps. Partially
obstructed flow of blood to the legs and abnormal mineral or hormone
levels can also be the causes for painful muscle cramps at night.
If a person suffers from night leg cramps, there are some ways to make
this annoying condition go away:
·     Apply a cold pack on the affected muscle to ease the pain.
·     Massage the affected muscle, to loosen the tension in the leg.
·     Try walking on the affected leg to stretch the muscles and get
blood to circulate.
·     Straighten the leg and flex the foot towards your knee until the
muscles stretch.
·     Take a hot bath to relax the muscles.

To help prevent night leg cramps, it will help if a person drinks plenty
of fluids during the day; stretches the calf muscles through wall push
ups; applies a heating pad for ten minutes before going to sleep; and
consumes adequate potassium as part of the daily diet.

Quinine is the only drug that has been shown to be effective in treating
night leg cramps. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
has stopped the over-the-counter sale of this drug because of drug safety
concerns. The FDA is looking into the reported side effects of the drug
that include the possibility of causing birth defects and miscarriages.
According to reports, Quinine also causes headache, disturbed vision,
chest pain, asthma, ringing in the ears, and side effects.

Although these have not been clinically proven to reduce the regularity
of attacks, doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, Benadryl, or vitamin
E to help ease leg cramps. However, current research shows that Vitamin
B-12 and Gabapentin are the most effective treatments.

If a person is frequently suffering from leg cramps at night, it is still
best to consult a doctor to get rid of this nocturnal problem that's
creeping and twitching our legs and disturbs people from a good night's
sleep.

								
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