Sunday, January 29, 2023

Can Stress Cause Leg Cramps

/ Poor Nutrient Absorption

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms – Stress, Sore Muscles, Cramps, Restless legs.

It has been noted that heavy drinkers fail to absorb certain nutrients, such as thiamine from food. Or may have a poor diet in the first place.

A symptom of thiamine deficiency is leg and foot cramping .

Unfortunately, individuals with a high alcohol dependency can often substitute alcoholic drinks for food.

How To Reduce The Leg Pain From Anxiety

When leg pain is caused by anxiety, it can be helpful to learn ways to reduce the anxiety and, in turn, the leg pain should dissipate. There are a few things someone suffering from anxiety-induced leg pain can do in the moment including:

  • Regaining CO2 Balance Anxiety and panic can lead to hyperventilation, which occurs when ones oxygen/CO2 balance is off. Hyperventilation often leads to leg cramping. Thus, in order to avoid this, a person must learn to slow down his or her breathing , and through taking deep-belly breaths.
  • Distractions Because those with anxiety often exacerbate the intensity of the leg pain based on the common negative thought patterns, distractions can be a big help. Any type of distraction that consumes ones senses could be helpful such as reading or calling a friend.
  • Lying Comfortably While not a definite cure for leg pain, lying down for a few minutes and closing ones eyes can be comforting and take some of the physical stress off of the legs. The comfort of laying somewhere soft may also be relaxing for your anxiety.

None of these are permanent fixes or cures, as anxiety is not something that is necessarily curable. Regardless, learning ways to manage ones anxiety can help relieve the associated leg pain, and other symptoms so they do not have such a significant impact.

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What Is The Difference Between Leg Cramps And Restless Legs Syndrome

Although both nocturnal leg cramps and restless legs syndrome tend to happen to you at night or when youre at rest, restless legs syndrome doesnt cause the severe pain. Restless legs syndrome is uncomfortable, but not agonizing. Its a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort.

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Natural Treatment For Leg Pain

You can incorporate natural ingredients into your diet to help treat leg pain. Depending on the cause of your leg pain, these beneficial ingredients can help.

Cardiovascular diseases:

Atherosclerosis is a condition marked by high cholesterol and plaque formation in the arteries. Berberine extract and pine bark extract can both treat blocked arteries and the leg pain that can be caused. Both of these ingredients work to reduce overall cholesterol levels in the blood, thus protecting the heart.

Peripheral artery disease is also caused by blocked arteries as a result of plaques forming in the arteries. Capsicum extract lowers cholesterol and blocks the activity of a gene that causes artery contraction. This stimulates better blood flow and can reduce leg pain caused by blocked arteries.


Neuropathy is a common condition associated with diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, causing leg pain. Red yeast rice and chromium are both natural ingredients that can regulate blood sugar levels to help control diabetes and reduce neuropathy pain.

How To Reduce Stress

How To Stop Leg Cramps Immediately  Easy Night

Lets face it. Stress can hurt. A sudden onset or prolonged periods of stress can cause muscle tension and pain, or other associated pain such as headaches brought on by muscle tension in the nearby areas of the shoulders, neck and head. But why does stress cause muscle pain and tension and what can you do about it?

When stress levels are high, our brain sends a signal to the nerves to go into protection mode, and our nerves activate our muscles to tighten and increase their tone, says David Munson, a rehabilitation therapist with TriHealth Corporate Health, who is board certified in professional ergonomics. This can cause pain because when muscles are tense, the circulation is decreased, causing a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Its similar to feeling soreness the day after strenuous exercise such as weightlifting.

David also points out that in addition to emotional stress, the physical stress brought on in many work environments by maintaining a prolonged position without movement, by poor posture or by singular repetitive movements can cause similar problems. So what can you do to reduce stress-related pain and tension?

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Work Related Stress

Your Heart Feels Like Its Beating Out Of Your Chest

It may come in the form of jitters or feeling your heartbeat in your throat, or even feeling like your heart is going to beat out of your chest.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of energy drinks leads to atrial fibrillation with high ventricular response in young people.

Basically, those who consume energy drinks might experience their heart beating much more rapidly and irregularly than usual, which can increase your risk for stroke and heart failure.

Common Causes Of Leg Cramps

Most people experience leg cramps at some point in their life. From the occasional aching sensation to recurring pangs, people cope with leg crampsalso known as charley horses or muscle spasmsto varying degrees.

Cramps are involuntary contractions that occur in the muscles for anywhere from a few seconds to minutes on end . Mild or severe, the onset of cramping is typically sudden it may begin during intense exercise or at rest, in bed at night or after hours of being seated at your desk.

However, just because leg cramps can begin suddenly doesnt mean they come out of nowhere. Muscle spasms in the calves, hamstrings, and thighs result from a number of common causes, many of which can be addressed simply by being aware of what might trigger them. These are some of the main causes of leg cramps:

  • Dehydration
  • Fluids hydrate the muscles, allowing them to contract and relax with ease. As such, dehydration is a common cause of cramping in the legs. The idea is that when you arent sufficiently hydrated, your muscles may stop functioning optimally and start to spasm.
  • Is it possible you arent drinking enough water? This could be the reason for the spasms in your leg muscles. According to the Mayo Clinic, individual hydration requirements depend on the persons diet, gender, age, activity level, climate, and overall health status .1
  • Sleep deprivation
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    Symptoms Of Leg Cramps

    The most common site of a cramp in aging seniors is the calf.

    Obvious sign of a leg cramp is localized intense pain caused by extreme muscle tightening which can last several seconds to several minutes. The muscle at the site of tightening feels tender and hard to the touch.

    These cramps in the calf make walking virtually impossible due to extreme pain. The longer the duration of the cramping, the more sore the muscle will remain even after the acute pain has subsided.

    Contractions may occur while trying to sleep but are not uncommon at other times during the day. These have both been experienced by the author.

    Exercise & Movement Habits

    Leg & Feet Anxiety Symptoms!

    The reason that leg cramps are often worst during the night is due to inactivity.

    When you are still for long periods of time, neural activity and blood flow to extremities decreases. This can cause involuntary contractions of motor units . When these motor units continue to fire persistently, it results in painful cramps and spasms.

    Another reason that cramps persist is a malfunction of the inhibitory circuits responsible for relaxing muscles.

    Because there are multiple points of possible malfunction along the muscle contraction-relaxation pathway, it’s difficult to determine exactly where the fault occurs.

    But in either case, the problem is caused by an underlying nerve malfunction, and exacerbated by periods of inactivity.

    As you might have guessed, movement can help relieve and prevent cramps.

    But how do you incorporate movement to prevent nighttime leg cramps?

    Try doing reverse lunges immediately before crawling into bed to activate and stretch the primary muscles affected by nocturnal leg cramps.

    You’ll notice in the video below that this exercise stretches the calves on the descent, and mobilizes the quadriceps and hamstrings on each repetition.

    Perform 10-15 repetitions per leg, or until you feel a good burn. Stop before you get too exhausted to avoid ramping up your central nervous system . The goal is to activate the muscle groups, not burn them out.

    Nocturnal Leg Cramps VS. Restless Legs Syndrome

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    Does Alcohol Reduce Fitness

    Alcohol can slow down your metabolism, weaken your muscles, and give you fatigue. Excessive alcoholism does not just affect you in your fitness goals, it affects you in your daily life. You feel more sluggish, you start to choose alcohol over other things you love, and then everything seems to start falling apart.

    Alcohol Use Contributes To Muscle Cramps

    The main job of your liver is to get rid of harmful substances in your body. Your liver considers alcohol to be a harmful substance and will, therefore, make it a priority to get rid of the alcohol in your bloodstream. This fact means that other substances that the liver tries to get rid of may have to wait longer to leave your body than if you had not been drinking. When you exercise, your body produces a chemical called lactic acid which can cause cramps. Usually, your liver tries to get rid of the lactic acid. However, when you have been drinking, the lactic acid may take longer to leave your body because your liver is trying to get rid of the alcohol instead. The lactic acid can then linger longer than usual and cause extra muscle pain and cramps.

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    But Does Diet Really Impact Hormonal Imbalance

    Only 35 percent of respondents in Cabecas survey said they believed so.

    However, Oh says it absolutely can. She noted that stress hormones and sex hormones start from the same basic building block: cholesterol.

    We have to eat natural sources of cholesterol to make these hormones. Im a big fan of egg yolks, grass-fed butter or ghee, and fatty fish like wild salmon, said Oh.

    Then we have to control the sources of stress in our lives like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and flour, for instance. Then our bodies will naturally direct the production of hormones toward the sex hormone pathway instead of the stress hormone pathway.

    However, she warns against diets based on the ketogenic diet.

    It can exacerbate a hormonal imbalance because it really increases stress hormone. Intermittent fasting also does this. I have seen the disrupt my patients hormones, said Oh.

    She believes the most effective way to address hormonal imbalances is to focus on stress balance.

    Once we balance our stress, our hormones will naturally balance, Oh said.

    Still, both doctors acknowledge that sometimes medication is necessary to help with hormonal imbalances.

    Below, the Food and Drug Administration describes the different types of hormone medicines used during and after menopause:

    When Should I Get My Leg Cramps Treated At The Emergency Department

    5 Common Causes of Lower Leg Pain

    Go to the emergency department if a leg cramp lasts longer than 10 minutes or becomes unbearably painful. Also go if a leg cramp happens after you touch a substance that could be poisonous or infectious. For example, if you have a cut in your skin that touches dirt, you could get a bacterial infection like tetanus. Exposure to mercury, lead or other toxic substances should also be reason to go to the emergency department.

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    How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Leg Cramps

    Experts cant promise that youll never have a leg cramp again, but there are some steps you can take that might reduce your risk!

    • Make sure that you stay hydrated drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Dont drink as much alcohol and caffeine.
    • Adjust how you sleep. Use pillows to keep your toes pointed upwards if you sleep on your back. If you lie on your front, try hanging your feet over the end of the bed. Both positions can keep you in a relaxed position.
    • Gently stretch your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
    • Keep blankets and sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
    • Wear shoes that fit you well and support your feet.
    • Perform frequent leg exercises.
    • Stretch your muscles before and after you exercise.
    • Experiment with mild exercise right before bed. Walk on the treadmill or ride a bicycle for a few minutes.

    Is Leg Pain From Anxiety Dangerous

    When leg pain is caused by anxiety, there is no danger to ones health. Despite how uncomfortable it can feel, anxiety related leg pain is merely a response to the way your body is experiencing stress. Finding ways to manage and alleviate the leg pain is important.

    That said, it is still a good idea to see a doctor and make sure that your leg pain is anxiety related. Only a doctor can rule out other leg pain issues.

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    What To Do When Anxiety Causes Leg Pain

    • Some forms of leg pain can be caused directly by anxiety
    • Other types of leg pain can be caused by other issues but exacerbated by anxiety
    • Often improving your breathing style and taking your mind off your pain can be enough to reduce the symptoms
    • Leg pain from anxiety is never dangerous, but those with anxiety leg pain should try to avoid over-correcting as a result of their leg pain, as this may put pressure on other parts of the body
    • Reducing anxiety overall is the only way to reduce the frequency

    How To Detox After Heavy Drinking

    What Causes Pain On Top Of The Foot?

    Get Rid of the Alcohol in Your Home: This may sound so lame but it works for some people, especially the ones who cant control the urge to drink. Its the first critical step when you want to detox. Especially when youve decided to quit, the withdrawal symptoms will cause you to crave for alcohol and the nearest bottle of wine will be your drawback.

    Drink Plenty of Water: As we all know, water is the best solvent and it works well as a detoxifier. Drinking a lot of water will help drain most of the alcohol content off of your system. Its also good for your kidneys as well. Moreover, alcohol is also dehydrating and drinking plenty of water will replenish and restore water to your tissues.

    Embark On a Balanced Diet: Alcohol drinking can lead to the loss of appetite. However, starting with a balanced diet will help restore your bodys immunity to help some of the ailments that may be as a result of heavy drinking.

    Hit the Gym: Exercising will not only help you regain your strength, it will also fill the gap that was previously occupied by drinking. Its important that you focus on your schedule and fill up all the loopholes that can lead to backsliding.

    In addition to helping you prevent or reduce muscle and joint pain, reducing your alcoholic intake or keeping it low will clearly have numerous benefits. This is not only in terms of your health but also your social life and relationships.

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    Ways To Relieve And Prevent Leg Cramps At Night

    The good news is that although they can be painful, nocturnal leg cramps arent typically serious. While it can be a bit of trial and error, here are seven home remedies you can try to help relieve discomfort and potentially stop painful wake-up calls.

    • Stretch your hamstring and calf muscles during the day and before you go to bed.
    • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and watch your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
    • Try mild exercises before bed, such as walking or riding the stationary bike for a few minutes.
    • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough proper sleep.
    • Take a warm bath or shower to soothe tight muscles.
    • Wear supportive shoes with proper arch and ankle support.
    • Keep sheets and blankets loose around your feet so you arent as restricted to move around at night.

    If none of these remedies work, youre continuing to have severe persistent cramping and its impacting your sleep and daily function, call your doctor, Dr. Lee-Iannotti said. Nocturnal leg cramps shouldnt impair your general well-being.

    Nocturnal leg cramps, or charley horses, are a real nightmare, but dont let them get you down. Find relief with a Banner Health specialist, by visiting

    Check If It’s Leg Cramps

    Leg cramps happen when a muscle in the leg shortens and causes a sudden pain that can make it hard to move.

    The cramps can last from a few seconds to 10 minutes.

    They can affect the:

    • calf muscle, below the knee at the back of the leg
    • muscles in the feet or the thighs

    After the cramp has stopped, the muscle might feel sore for up to 24 hours.

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    End The Active Stress Response

    When muscle tension symptoms are caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, this feeling should subside and you should return to your normal self.

    Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldnt be a cause for concern.

    / Standing At The Bar

    Leg Pain: Upper, Lower Leg Pain Causes &  Treatments ...

    If you are the type to prop up the bar during a long drinking session, this could be contributing to you experiencing cramps afterwards.

    It is know that exercise can increase lactic acid , a common cause of cramp.

    Standing at the bar, or dancing on a night out can have the same effect as exercise due to the way your body exerts itself.

    You may not think of it in this way, but a night out is basically a work out!

    You may wish to consider sitting down more on a night out to stave off any episodes of cramp later in the evening, or the next day.

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