What Are the Causes of Night Leg Pain?
Just when it is time to unwind and give the legs a much-needed break, leg pain at night can ruin any plans for rest. Night leg pain is so common that it is difficult to meet a person who has not experienced total sleep disruption as a result. Men, women and children have experienced this phenomenon. The causes of night leg pain might be from restless leg syndrome, nocturnal leg cramps or growing pains.
Restless Leg Syndrome
There are some leg pains that occur during leg activity. However, the onset of restless leg syndrome, or RLS, begins as soon as the legs are at rest. According to MayoClinic.com, symptoms vary from person to person but might include sensations of burning, aching, tugging or pulling. Although women suffer from this syndrome more often then men, both genders who experience RLS find that instead of continued rest, pain subsides with continued movement. Relief for RLS symptoms that disrupt night sleep might come from walking, pacing or exercising the legs.
- There are some leg pains that occur during leg activity.
- Relief for RLS symptoms that disrupt night sleep might come from walking, pacing or exercising the legs.
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
My Child Is Complaining of Pain in His Legs
Nocturnal leg cramps have been known to wake sufferers from a sound sleep. Men and women are candidates for this kind of night leg pain due to cramps. The leg pain often originates in the calf muscle and occurs suddenly without warning. The Cleveland Clinic website states that leg cramps are painful and might last up to 10 minutes. To bring relief from night leg cramps, stretching the calf muscle, straightening the leg or pulling the toes upward might relieve the pain. Sufferers from night leg cramps often feel compelled to massage the leg for relief and a return to sleep.
- Nocturnal leg cramps have been known to wake sufferers from a sound sleep.
- Sufferers from night leg cramps often feel compelled to massage the leg for relief and a return to sleep.
Children experience night leg pains that are referred to as growing pains. According to the pediatrics website Dr. Green, bone growth occurs at night and is common in children, at times causing pain that disturbs sleep patterns. Dr. Green goes on to state that, “During these spurts of growth, children often complain of nighttime leg pain, hence the common label growing pains. Most often, growing pains will feel like a sharp throbbing pain. The pain can occasionally even be strong enough to wake the child up from sleep.” The pain might last between one to 15 minutes. Gentle massage to the afflicted area helps to reduce the pain.
- Children experience night leg pains that are referred to as growing pains.
- According to the pediatrics website Dr. Green, bone growth occurs at night and is common in children, at times causing pain that disturbs sleep patterns.
My Child Is Complaining of Pain in His Legs
Foods That Help Restless Legs Syndrome
Children's Pain in Thighs
Pain in the Calf When Awake and Asleep in a Pregnant Woman
Causes of Leg Muscle Stiffness and Pain in Children
How to Tape a Heel Spur
What Are the Causes of a Throbbing Pain in the Thigh Area?
Causes of Hip Pain in a 35 Year Old Female
Flat Feet in Teenagers
What Are the Causes of Morning Leg Pain?
- MayoClinic.com: Restless Legs Syndrome
- Cleveland Clinic: Nocturnal Leg Cramps
- Dr. Green Pediatrics Naturally: Growing Pains
- UpToDate. Nocturnal Leg Cramps.
- Raut TP, Garg RK, Chaudhari TS, Malhotra HS, Singh MK. Focal neuromyotonia as a presenting feature of lumbosacral radiculopathy. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2013;16(4):693-5. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.120464
- Behringer M, Moser M, Mccourt M, Montag J, Mester J. A promising approach to effectively reduce cramp susceptibility in human muscles: a randomized, controlled clinical trial. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(4):e94910. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094910
- Blyton F, Chuter V, Burns J. Unknotting night-time muscle cramp: a survey of patient experience, help-seeking behaviour and perceived treatment effectiveness. J Foot Ankle Res. 2012;5:7. doi: 10.1186/1757-1146-5-7
- Nocturnal Leg Cramps.
- Garrison SR, Dormuth CR, Morrow RL, Carney GA, Khan KM. Nocturnal leg cramps and prescription use that precedes them: a sequence symmetry analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):120-6. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1029
- Hallegraeff J, De greef M, Krijnen W, Van der schans C. Criteria in diagnosing nocturnal leg cramps: a systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2017;18(1):29. doi:10.1186/s12875-017-0600-x
Suzann Connell is an accomplished writer with more than 15 years of freelance experience. Her work has been published through Pearson Education and Prentice-Hall. Connell received her Doctor of Philosophy in holistic nutrition and her Master of Arts in instructional design.