I have noticed an increase in frequency of patients complaining of leg cramps, especially at night, that they feel is connected to their back pain. There are several contributing factors that can cause cramping in the muscles of the legs, most of which are easily resolved. One of the primary causes of muscle cramping is dehydration. Most of us walk around each day in at least a mild state of dehydration due to not consuming enough water. Coke and Diet Coke do not count! A second contributing factor may be an electrolyte imbalance. Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are just a few of the more commonly referred to electrolytes. If you are having issues with muscle cramping, try increasing your water consumption to a minimum of 64 oz per day. In addition to increasing your water consumption, drink one sports drink per day for several days (Gatorade or Powerade). I personally prefer the low sugar versions of these drinks. You may also try gentle stretching of the musculature in your legs before going to bed. I prefer 3 reps with 30 second holds. Most people see a speedy reduction and elimination of their cramps.
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