Many things can trigger a muscle cramp. They include:
Poor blood circulation in your legs
Working calf muscles too hard while exercising
Not stretching enough
Being active in hot temperatures
Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency
A problem such as a spinal cord injury or pinched nerve in your neck or back
Muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of some drugs. Medications that can cause muscle cramps include:
Furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), and other diuretics ("water pills") that remove fluid from the body
Donepezil (Aricept), used to treat Alzheimer's disease
Neostigmine (Prostigmine), used for myasthenia gravis
Nifedipine (Procardia), a treatment for angina and high blood pressure
Raloxifene (Evista), an osteoporosis treatment
Terbutaline (Brethine), albuterol (Proventil and Ventolin), asthma medications
Tolcapone (Tasmar), which helps treat Parkinson's disease
Statin medications for cholesterol, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor)
Leg Stretches That May Help
For a charley horse in the calf or a cramp in the back of the thigh (hamstring), try this stretch: Put your weight on the affected leg and bend your knee slightly. Or, sit or lie down with your leg out straight and pull the top of your foot toward your head.
For a cramp in the front of the thigh (quadriceps), hold on to a chair to steady yourself and pull your foot back toward your buttock.
You can also massage the muscle, ice it, or try taking a bath with Epsom salt.
Can I Prevent Them?
To help stop cramps before they start:
Eat more foods high in vitamins and magnesium and calcium.
Stretch properly before exercise
FOR MEDICATION CONSULT ONLIE IN PRIVATE
Suggestions offered by doctors on Lybrate are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by Lybrate is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.
Book appointment with top doctors for Muscle Cramps treatment