U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
CA
A 53-year-old member asked:

What causes leg cramps, and why does stretching help?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vic Kalman
Orthopedic Surgery 35 years experience
Cramps are common: A muscle cramp is a involuntary contraction of a musle, especailly common of the legs and feet. Most commonly caused by hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles. Can also be the result of an injury and vigorous activity. Dehydration and electrolyte, element imbalances can also be causative factors. Simple stretching lengthens the muscle and stops the contraction.
Dr. James Isobe
Phlebology 54 years experience
Several causes: Cramping occurs when the muscles are irritated. The causes include venous disease, prolonged standing/working on legs, dehydration, heavy exercise, low levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium. Stretching will relax the muscles, which is the opposite of cramps where the muscles contract and ball up.
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Many things: As dr. Isobe said, there are many things that can be a possible cause for leg cramps, including venous insufficiency. We honestly don't really know why stretching helps but it proably has something to do with resetting stretch mechanisms that are built into muscle fibers.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Similar questions

A 44-year-old member asked:

How do I help stop leg cramps.?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Lizarraga
Internal Medicine 16 years experience
Review meds, exercis: It depends on what is causing them. Lots of reasons exist for leg cramps, including medications, electrolyte problems, vascular problems, etc. If it is from a cholesterol drug called statins, then sometimes stopping or changing the medicine can help. Other times, over the counter medicines help, like naproxyn or ibuprofen. Coq-10 is a supplement that can help. Exercise may help too!
A 24-year-old female asked:

Leg cramps possible cause?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marshall Solomon
Podiatry 48 years experience
Overuse in activitie: Overuse, dehydration, lower back problems, edema-swelling of legs.
A 46-year-old member asked:

What's your opinion on causes leg cramps?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Douglas Tavenner, jr.
Cosmetic Dentistry 50 years experience
Sugar: Sugar usage can do this. I am a aware of a person that will get bad leg cramps at night if they have any sugar containing foods after 4:00 pm that day.
Riverside, CA
A 52-year-old female asked:

What causes leg cramps?

3 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Multiple potential : Causes from overuse of muscle, electrolyte or salt imbalance/dehydration to vascular issues, neurologic issues, metabolic issues like thyroid conditions to medication related issues such as statins to certain conditions like restless leg syndrome. If a persistent problem, see your physician.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What causes leg cramps and how can you cure them?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Oberman
Podiatry 31 years experience
When does it occur?: If while walking, could be a problem with circulation or a arterial blockage.May also be from dehydration. If at night in bed, may be attributed to low potassium and/or magnesium. See your physician for evaluation and treatment.

Related questions

A 38-year-old member asked:
1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
A member asked:
2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 40-year-old female asked:
2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
A 44-year-old member asked:
3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
A 31-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Jun 18, 2019

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.