Are Severe Leg Cramps That You Get At Night The Same As Restless Legs Syndrome?


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Kath Senior answered
  No, they are completely different and have different symptoms and different causes. Severe leg cramps occur in most people but almost three quarters of people over 50 get them regularly. They occur when the calf muscles suddenly tighten involuntarily and fix the lower leg in a painful position with the toes pointing down.

  Restless legs syndrome also affects the legs at night but the muscles do not contract in this violent way. Instead, the person suffering from the condition experiences a feeling of crawling in their leg muscles, which causes them to want to move their legs most of the time to get rid of this creeping sensation. Restless legs syndrome is a problem with the nerves to the legs and it needs specialised treatment.

  Annoyingly, restless legs tends to be much worse at the end of the day and lying down in bed and letting the leg muscles relax often makes the sensations unbearable, making it impossible to sleep. The resulting tiredness can affect people during the day and may stop people doing their job properly, as well as making them short tempered and irritable.

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