Muscle cramps are the result of failure of muscle relaxation after contraction and they can be very painful and irritating that’s why we have to pay attention to them.
Night-time legs or toes muscle cramps can awaken the patients from sleep and make them scream out loud because they can’t tolerate the pain, they try to stretch their feet and legs to ease the pain and they even limp if they try to walk while having these cramps.
There are many different causes for night-time muscle cramps such as irregular endocrine or metabolic function, genetic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, over-excitable neurons and vascular diseases.
Patients who have varicose veins, spider veins or other signs of venous insufficiency experience night-time muscle cramps more frequently, they always question if varicose veins could be the reason behind this?!
Night-time muscle cramps are actually more frequent in varicose veins patients and occur more commonly in the calf muscle and especially at night.
One study showed that 67% of varicose veins patients reported muscle cramps compared to 53% of people who don’t have varicosities. In varicose veins patients,91% of these cramps occurred in the calf compared to 75% of those without varicose veins reporting calf cramps.
The exact explanation for why patients with varicose veins can suffer from these cramps is not fully understood. However, the suggested explanations include that varicose veins are damaged enlarged veins leading to leakage of blood that lacks oxygen and high in toxins and when they build up in the muscle they make them more prone to cramping.
Also, the limb circulation may be disturbed due to leg venous hypertension which could be a cause behind the relation between varicose veins and muscle cramps.
Exercise is important for preventing and relieving muscle cramps because it boosts the circulation and prevents build up of toxins in the leg. Once muscle cramps occur, the patients have to try stretching and massaging the affected muscles. A warm bath may also help the muscle relax. Eating food rich in magnesium like