Muscle Cramps & Spasms: A Closer Look

Muscle cramps and spasms can be painful and even debilitating, but the physical impact is not the only factor. Muscle cramps and spasms also have a significant effect on sleep, the ability to perform daily activities, and overall quality of life.1,2

At a Glance

  • Up to 60% of adults suffer from nocturnal leg cramps—some so frequently and severely that they need to seek medical intervention.1
  • Leg cramps usually occur in the calf but can also occur in the foot or thigh.1
  • Most muscle cramps last a few minutes, but some can last up to 10 minutes.3
  • Severity varies, but the tenderness following a cramp or spasm can last for up to 24 hours.3
  • While they can happen any time of day or night, leg cramps are typically nocturnal.1
  • The prevalence of leg cramps increases with age, and they’re slightly more common in women.1
  • Pregnant women, individuals with metabolic disorders, athletes, and those in professions involving high temperatures are at an increased risk of muscle cramps and spasms.4

Cause of Muscle Cramps & Spasms

In most cases, the cause of muscle cramps and spasms is idiopathic. However, research suggests that the position of the legs and feet in bed could make an individual more prone to cramping. Other causes may include muscle fatigue, dehydration, excess alcohol consumption, and certain prescription medications.1,3

Medical conditions and treatments that may contribute to muscle cramps and spasms include1,3:

High/low sodium or potassium levels

Untreated hypothyroidism

End-stage renal disease

Pregnancy

Cardiovascular disease

Venous insufficiency

Peripheral vascular disease

Cirrhosis

Peripheral neuropathy

Osteoarthritis

Lumbar canal stenosis

Neurologic deficit

Cancer Treatment

Hemodialysis associated with hyperphosphatemia

Rx Medications Associated With Leg Cramps

As a healthcare professional, you’re aware that our senior population accounts for a large portion of prescription medication use.5 In fact, a recent AARP survey revealed that the majority of respondents age 65 and older took a prescription medication regularly. Of those respondents, more than 80% took at least two, and more than half took at least four.6

Increased medication usage of course means increased risk of side effects. Did you know muscle cramps are a reported side effect of hundreds of prescription drugs?1,2

Medications and medication categories associated specifically with nocturnal leg cramps may include1,2:

Intravenous iron sucrose

Statins

Raloxifene

Naproxen

Teriparatide

Levalbuteral

Albuterol/ipratropium

Conjugated estrogens

Inhaled long-acting beta agonists

Diuretics

Non-opioid Theraworx Relief can be used as a companion product to manage the leg cramps associated with many important, commonly prescribed medications.

Take Note

Recording symptom details and medical information from a patient can assist in determining the impact of the muscle cramps or spasms as well as the course of action.3

Find Out:

  • Where the cramps or spasms occur
  • What time of day or night they typically occur
  • How long each cramp or spasm lasts
  • How often they happen
  • Degree of alcohol consumption
  • Level of physical activity
  • Relevant medical conditions that could contribute to cramps or spasms
  • Current medications that may cause leg cramps

Managing Muscle Cramps & Spasms

While there are many options available to manage muscle cramps and spasms, it’s difficult to pinpoint treatments that are both safe and effective. Some research suggests that non-drug methods like stretching, exercise, and massage can help. Other research supports the use of muscle relaxants, magnesium, vitamin B12 and calcium blockers.1

Theraworx Relief is a clinically proven and published, locally and non-centrally acting, topical solution that is providing real relief for muscle cramp and spasm sufferers.

Hear from patients and professionals

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REFERENCES:

  1. Allen RE, Kirby KA. Nocturnal leg cramps. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(4):350-355.
  2. Grandner MA, Winkelman JW. Nocturnal leg cramps: prevalence and associations with demographics, sleep disturbance symptoms, medical conditions, and cardiometabolic risk factors. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(6). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460850/. Accessed December 29, 2017.
  3. Patient website. Cramps in the leg. https://patient.info/health/cramps-in-the-leg. Accessed December 29, 2017.
  4. Patient website. Muscle cramps. https://patient.info/doctor/muscle-cramps. Accessed December 29, 2017.
  5. Medscape website. Fact sheet: prescription medication use by older adults. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/501879. Accessed December 29, 2017.
  6. AARP website. 2015 survey on prescription drugs. https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/health/2015/prescription-drug-report-2015.pdf. Accessed December 29, 2017.
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