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Nighttime leg cramps happen when a leg muscle tightens up suddenly. This most often happens in the calf. But cramps in the thigh or foot are also common. Cramps often occur just as you fall asleep or wake up.
Leg cramps can be painful. They can last a few seconds to a few minutes. Though they are common, experts don't know exactly what causes them.
To treat muscle cramps, you can stretch and massage the muscle. If cramps keep coming back, your doctor may prescribe medicine that relaxes your muscles.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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