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Muscle cramps at rest: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Muscle cramps occur during exercise and while you are resting or sleeping. This means that they are revealed involuntarily, so they are difficult to control.

Among the people prone to these ailments are athletes, the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are dehydrated or have altered electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, among others. Likewise, sedentary overweight people and smokers are more likely to have muscle cramps at rest.

To avoid this situation, it is necessary to balance diet, hydration, rest, and training. For this reason, I invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle, in which you will find all the information you need about muscle cramps at rest, their causes, and treatment.

Water disorder

The water disorder, also known as dehydration, can be caused by diarrhea that causes the loss of electrolytes and mineral salts, which causes cramps to appear.


You must maintain adequate hydration by drinking at least two liters a day if you are at rest or whatever your body needs during physical exercise.

Electrolyte disorder

The lack of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium and the lack of vitamin B is directly related to the appearance of muscle cramps at rest.


Suppose you present low levels of potassium, calcium, or magnesium. In that case, the doctor will indicate the intake of supplements to restore the levels and control cramps and recommend a diet rich in both fruits and vegetables to complement the levels and even prevent them from producing a decrease of these minerals in the blood.


Diseases like type 2 diabetes can cause cramps at rest. This particular case happens when blood sugar levels are below the normal range. It must be remembered that the accumulation of sugar in the tissues alters the functioning of the muscles.


If you suffer from this condition and often have cramps at rest, you should see a doctor so they can measure your blood glucose levels. They will also recommend L-carnitine supplements to control pangs.

Other diseases, such as anemia or Parkinson’s, can cause cramps at rest.

Circulatory problems

Vascular problems, such as varicose veins and phlebitis in the lower extremities, can cause leg cramps, resulting from fluid accumulation in the legs. This increases oxygen requirements, which, when not having them, muscle cramp occurs.


To relieve muscle cramps caused by a circulatory disorder, you should go to the doctor. He will make the diagnosis and indicate medications that improve circulation. Some of them may be called venotonics, such as Diosmin or Hydrosmin, to enhance the tone of the vein and for the blood to flow better within it.

Compression stockings are recommended, which help mechanically improve blood flow from the capillaries to the heart, allowing better oxygenation in the tissues. In this way, cramps at rest will be avoided.


Hypothyroidism is characterized by disturbances in the functioning of the thyroid gland, which promotes the slowing of metabolism. For this reason, people who suffer from it begin to feel involuntary cramps in their limbs.


To control cramps caused by hypothyroidism, the endocrinologist will recommend thyroid hormone to maintain blood levels.

Multiple sclerosis

Muscle spasms are characteristic of this disease. Often, cramps of varying intensity are suffered throughout the body.


The specialist in neurology should indicate the treatment of this disease, and he will recommend drugs such as Baclofen or Gabapentin and Pregabalin, Diazepam, and Clonazepam.


The consumption of some drug-based treatments such as bronchodilators, antihypertensives used to control cholesterol, steroids, and diuretics can cause cramps at rest.


If the cramps occur due to the intake of any medication, consult your doctor, he will be in charge of adjusting the dose or suspending the treatment if necessary.

Changes in temperature

Extreme temperatures, either very hot or cold, can cause the appearance of muscle cramps as a result of powerful and painful muscle contractions.


The doctor will indicate rest in a relaxed environment and increase the intake of liquids and beverages that restore the loss of electrolytes.


During pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, women have a higher risk of cramping due to hyperarousal of the nerves that stimulate the different muscles, allowing cramps to occur.

During the last stage of pregnancy, the future mother can sleep poorly due to multiple factors, which cause fatigue to accumulate, causing fatigue, which in turn causes the appearance of cramps.

The weight gain during this stage brings muscle overload, pressing nerves causing the muscles to become weaker, and muscle cramps are evident at rest.


To treat cramps during pregnancy, the gynecologist will suggest stretching the legs, supporting them, gently flexing them, massaging the area where the cramp occurred, or placing ice for a few minutes to calm the discomfort. Fortunately, the cramps will go away after the pregnancy is over.

Taking inappropriate positions

Standing or sitting for an extended period can cause cramps during rest. Even adopting an inappropriate position during sleep causes them to appear.


In this case, the doctor will recommend that you alternate the position during work. This will avoid muscle cramps.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Muscle cramps at rest: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

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