Why do calf muscles cramp?


The sudden intensive pain due to leg cramps in the night affects many people which takes away their sleep. People are awakened due to the pain in the legs which includes heavy contractions in the calf muscles as well as in the foot muscles. The leg cramps that occur at nighttime are very real and are spasms of the muscles. Leg cramps are known as painful muscle contractions that occur involuntarily. If the muscle remains in a contracted stage, it leads to the generation of pain. At this stage, the calf muscle will become very hard to the touch like concrete. The extent of  the hardness will determine the  power of the cramp.

Research studies have revealed that the reason for the calf muscles to cramp is enhanced electrical activity. In some situations, the cramps in calf muscles might be because of a vitamin deficiency and an imbalance in fluids. Leg cramps occur in many people who perform intensive training. The area of the leg where the cramps occur are the calf muscles. The calf muscles that are affected in the leg due to leg cramps are the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.

Though the exact reasons for the leg cramps are not yet established, there are a few possible reasons for the occurrence of leg cramps: low levels of potassium and sodium, muscle fatigue, very tight muscles, low levels of carbohydrates, changed neuromuscular control, poor conditioning, and dehydration.

The leg cramps normally will disappear without any treatment. But the healing process is enhanced by stretching and massaging the muscle that experienced cramps, the activity which led to the cramps is stopped, and the joint is placed in a stretched manner until the cramps have ceased. To avoid leg cramps, it is necessary to perform some warm-up exercises before doing exercise, build fitness in the body, stretching after the exercises, and stretching the hamstring and quadriceps muscles.

Author: Hari M

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2 Responses

  1. Gillman Um

    March 31, 2012 7:26 am

    I couldn’t operate computer as well as how to run internet at all till 2011. I have started to learn computing few months ago but still very difficult for me. I would like to let you know about my experience regarding to prevent Leg/Calf Cramps. My mother got a severe night leg cramps about 10 years ago and she had mutiple diseases such as Diabetes, high colesterol, hyper blood pressure, intestinal cancer (removed about 30 cm by surgical operation), severe constipation, Disc dislocation 2 areas . I have studied medicinal foods and herbs in order to take better care of my mom’s pains for about 10 years from 1994 despite of full medi-care by general hospital doctors. While she was alive, I was happy to learn from doctor that her blood tension became in normal condition and she stopped medicines for 2 years till die and at the same time, painful lumbagos due to disc dislocation was disappeared . And I found how to prevent her constipation and nocturnal leg cramps. I think that preventing leg cramps is very easy . I have developped some special fruit and herbal tea in liquid condition for my mother, and I gave the same to leg cramps sufferers . The result was same as my mother. However in case of failure to prevent leg cramps despite of drinking of tea 2-3 times a day, they should go to hospital to check up vascular condition whether it is closed or not in brain and heart, etc. as early as possible I think. In addition to aboves, I have special experience to prevent Ulcers in oral/genital/stomach caused by my Behcet’s Syndrome/Disease and keep healthier teeth and gums than before and reduce hair-loss more than 50% caused by strong stress and prevent and clear severely itchy skin/welts on shins through my medicinal foods and herbs therapy which was developped in 2005. I would appreciate that you could undestand my poor and broken english.

  2. Greaham

    September 28, 2012 9:43 am

    Hi there, I really enjoyed your article you wrote, as I do experience muscle cramps in my left leg occasionally. I myself don’t understand why these cramps occur in the legs, however they can be caused by activites using your legs without using stretching and excersizes before performing your activities. I however don’t do any activites involving sports or swimming etc.. I do however have 4 children at very young ages and as imagined by some they are very full on and keep me very busy as there is heaps of daily activities to do whilst looking after children; I am pretty much constantly at the shops practically running from one shop to another topping up on diapers and food and things to clean their clothing and much much more stuff for my children, as they do run out of important things for their daily needs very quickly, now when I go out to the shops to do the shopping for my children I don’t go and do any excersizes before leaving home; so I’m just taking a wild guess here, but I think maybe the reason behind my leg cramps which I don’t get often but do experience, is cause I’m soo busy running around after my children, constantly on my feet, running around at the shops, and then chasing them around the house. 🙂


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