instep cramps ruining sleep

Posted by jimk849 @jimk849, Oct 8, 2018

Almost every night shortly after getting in bed or falling asleep my leg muscles get very tense and then it seems the big tendon or ligament in the instep of my foot leading upward on the shin side gets very tight and goes into a very painful cramp that gets me out of bed and I can't find any quick way to get rid of it like stretching or massage. Extremely painful. Any advice appreciated if you experience the same thing. Thank you. jimk

@peabody88

@jimk849 – Another thing to look into might be a vitamin deficiency — I know potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps for sure (I used to wake up with TERRIBLE foot cramps as a kid and my mom would shove a banana down my throat for potassium — I HATE bananas lol) and so can Vitamin D deficiency. I saw a podiatrist (foot doctor) who diagnosed me with a high arch and fit me with orthotonics for my shoes (these are different from insoles you would buy at a pharmacy) — might be something to look into, especially since you mentioned you have flat feet. Electrolyte imbalances like low sodium (hence the pickle juice suggestion) and dehydration can also cause muscle cramps, as several others mentioned. Check your medications also, as some can cause/be associated with increased leg or muscle cramps — I ended up in the hospital with unbelievable charley horses that left me unable to walk in high school, which was eventually blamed on Zoloft and/or another medication. If I'm recalling correctly (and I very well might not be!), when I would wake up with charley horses in high school, I eventually figured out that putting pressure on the ball of my foot with my heel off the ground and perpendicular to my toes helped (I'm trying to find a picture but having trouble) — basically your toes and the ball of your foot are flat against the floor or hard surface (I would wake up napping during the day with the charley horses, and pushing against the couch arm worked miracles, but if your bed is against the wall or you have a *very* sturdy footboard that might also work) while the rest of your foot is straight up in the air and you're applying pressure/leaning forward or into it slightly; I actually still do this switching from foot to foot when I have foot cramps/pain.

For plantar fascitis ( @lisalucier and @johnbishop ), I bought a compression sock on Amazon for $7 that works wonders (can also be found at most pharmacies also) – https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ED7YVGY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1. You can also buy a little ball massage roller thing to massage with before going to bed or when you wake up with pain; they look like spiky dryer balls, or even rolling a full water bottle back and forth under the foot might help.

If none of that pans out and you continue to have problems with some frequency, you may consider visiting a neurologist to look into any spinal/nerve problems, including dystonia and Parkinson's.

Finally, on the less likely/longshot end, but wanted to mention it just in case, might be some sort of early/unusual manifestation of restless leg syndrome.

Hope you find some relief! Good luck!

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Aha! Found it! Like this!

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@peabody88

Aha! Found it! Like this!

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Thank you Peabody for all the good suggestions. I started to take a multi vitamin and I'm eating a banana as I type this. I'm also cutting way back on caffeine in case dehydration is playing a part of this. I will do anything I can to stop these foot/leg cramps. I have had rotator cuff surgery and a knee replacement and neither one was as bad as the pain from these cramps.

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@peabody88

@jimk849 – Another thing to look into might be a vitamin deficiency — I know potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps for sure (I used to wake up with TERRIBLE foot cramps as a kid and my mom would shove a banana down my throat for potassium — I HATE bananas lol) and so can Vitamin D deficiency. I saw a podiatrist (foot doctor) who diagnosed me with a high arch and fit me with orthotonics for my shoes (these are different from insoles you would buy at a pharmacy) — might be something to look into, especially since you mentioned you have flat feet. Electrolyte imbalances like low sodium (hence the pickle juice suggestion) and dehydration can also cause muscle cramps, as several others mentioned. Check your medications also, as some can cause/be associated with increased leg or muscle cramps — I ended up in the hospital with unbelievable charley horses that left me unable to walk in high school, which was eventually blamed on Zoloft and/or another medication. If I'm recalling correctly (and I very well might not be!), when I would wake up with charley horses in high school, I eventually figured out that putting pressure on the ball of my foot with my heel off the ground and perpendicular to my toes helped (I'm trying to find a picture but having trouble) — basically your toes and the ball of your foot are flat against the floor or hard surface (I would wake up napping during the day with the charley horses, and pushing against the couch arm worked miracles, but if your bed is against the wall or you have a *very* sturdy footboard that might also work) while the rest of your foot is straight up in the air and you're applying pressure/leaning forward or into it slightly; I actually still do this switching from foot to foot when I have foot cramps/pain.

For plantar fascitis ( @lisalucier and @johnbishop ), I bought a compression sock on Amazon for $7 that works wonders (can also be found at most pharmacies also) – https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ED7YVGY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1. You can also buy a little ball massage roller thing to massage with before going to bed or when you wake up with pain; they look like spiky dryer balls, or even rolling a full water bottle back and forth under the foot might help.

If none of that pans out and you continue to have problems with some frequency, you may consider visiting a neurologist to look into any spinal/nerve problems, including dystonia and Parkinson's.

Finally, on the less likely/longshot end, but wanted to mention it just in case, might be some sort of early/unusual manifestation of restless leg syndrome.

Hope you find some relief! Good luck!

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@peabody88 You can also eat peas ,good for Potassium or a supplement since you dont like bananas

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@jimk849

Thank you Peabody for all the good suggestions. I started to take a multi vitamin and I'm eating a banana as I type this. I'm also cutting way back on caffeine in case dehydration is playing a part of this. I will do anything I can to stop these foot/leg cramps. I have had rotator cuff surgery and a knee replacement and neither one was as bad as the pain from these cramps.

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@jimk849 I have read that the current thinking is that if you are a regular caffeine consumer you stop having the dehydration effects. If I recall correctly it said the effects stopped after about two weeks, but that’s something you should check yourself or ask your doctor or a dietician. I do find that caffeine does not cause dehydration in me. I do still find that I can’t drink it at night, whereas when I was younger it never effected me.
JK

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@jimk849

Thank you Peabody for all the good suggestions. I started to take a multi vitamin and I'm eating a banana as I type this. I'm also cutting way back on caffeine in case dehydration is playing a part of this. I will do anything I can to stop these foot/leg cramps. I have had rotator cuff surgery and a knee replacement and neither one was as bad as the pain from these cramps.

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Hi, @jimk849 – wondering how it's going with the foot/leg cramps?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jimk849 – wondering how it's going with the foot/leg cramps?

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Thanks for asking. I have had a few leg and foot cramps nothing major. As long as I don't get the one that's right at the base of the shin on the instep I'm ok that one is the worst ever feels like broken leg seriously when trying to walk it off. Moaning and cursing in the dark for sure. Been doing some calf hamstring and ankle stretches during the day hoping that it makes a difference.

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Just wondering if you have been checked for magnesium levels. I had issues for years with this and finally was checked for magnesium and potassium. Turned out magnesium was the cause for my leg cramps. I figured out on my own that taking Omeprazole was the cause. Now I take 250mg of magnesium a day to keep the cramps at bay.

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@franle

Just wondering if you have been checked for magnesium levels. I had issues for years with this and finally was checked for magnesium and potassium. Turned out magnesium was the cause for my leg cramps. I figured out on my own that taking Omeprazole was the cause. Now I take 250mg of magnesium a day to keep the cramps at bay.

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I get a physical every year and my doc. orders a complete battery of blood test ( cholesterol, psa lipids and a complete blood panel) and they have come back normal. Thanks for the suggestion.

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@jimk849

I get a physical every year and my doc. orders a complete battery of blood test ( cholesterol, psa lipids and a complete blood panel) and they have come back normal. Thanks for the suggestion.

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@what did Dr say about cramps?Make sure your drinking enough water especially before bed Dill pickle juice is a good reliever of cramps.

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@lioness

@what did Dr say about cramps?Make sure your drinking enough water especially before bed Dill pickle juice is a good reliever of cramps.

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Said they come and go and pretty much he does not know. Same advice you get here on this subject.

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@jimk849

Said they come and go and pretty much he does not know. Same advice you get here on this subject.

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@jimk849 Sorry I know its painful and frustrating have you explored chiropractor, accupunture maybe a Tens unit this relaxes the muscles,nerves and gives me relieve just suggestion

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@jimk849

Said they come and go and pretty much he does not know. Same advice you get here on this subject.

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jimk849,
I have sporadically gotten extreme cramps in my feet, ankles, calves, and lower thighs that would continue to hurt on thru the day. They had gotten worse in the last 6 months. (I've had total knee replacements on both knees about 1 year ago too and worried about getting them during recovery – but like you I was spared that during my recovery).
I've tried the banana thing, stopped caffeine for a year at a time, increased my fluid intake, tried various methods of stretching, etc. but never found any relief.

About 6 weeks ago they got worse – every night and in a different place each time, but they would recur after getting back to sleep and even when I tried to get out of bed.
I found that after the first episode at night I got some relief by sleeping with a hot water bag on it, but it worked inconsistently.
As someone above mentioned I finally picked up a potassium supplement and have not had ANY more since I started taking them daily.

If I missed you saying you have tried that already I apologize and pray that you can find some relief.
I will pray for you as I know how having them compounded my own already untreatable lack of sleep.

Carl

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