Why Pain In Legs At Night
Causes of Leg Pain and Cramps at Night – It can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of our leg pain 3, Some leg cramps are ‘idiopathic’, which means they have no known cause 2, But there are several popular theories around the causes of calf cramps and thigh pain at night,including:
Muscle fatigue – too much high-intensity exercise is one of the most common links to leg pain, as overworking your muscles can cause them to cramp during the night 1 Nerve issues – a pinched nerve or spinal cord injury can put pressure on your nerves, causing muscle cramps in your legs 4 Sitting or standing for long periods – this can restrict blood supply, which can increase the chances of leg pain or cramps 2 Pregnancy – pregnant women often experience leg cramps at night, usually in the second or third trimester 5 Medications – leg cramps can be a side effect of certain medications, such as blood pressure drugs, diuretics and statins 3
Age can also be a factor, as the risk of leg pain and other pains at night increases as you get older 3,
- 0.1 What kind of leg pain is serious?
- 0.2 At what age do your legs start hurting?
- 1 Why do my legs ache at night but not during the day?
What causes leg pain at night only?
Is leg pain at night often interrupting your sleep? It could more than a normal sign of getting older. Pain in your legs and feet at night, or when trying to sleep, is often a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease leg pain can occur anywhere in your leg, but the most common places to feel pain are in the muscles of your calf, thigh or buttocks.
What kind of leg pain is serious?
When should I see a doctor? – Sometimes, leg pain can signal something more serious like a fracture, deep vein thrombosis or compartment syndrome, Seek medical attention urgently if:
the leg is swollen it looks deformed or you can’t use it properly it is unusually cool or pale it is numb and weak it is red and warm both legs are swollen and you have breathing problems the pain is getting worse
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have signs of infection, like a fever, calf pain after going on a long journey, or any serious symptoms that come on with no explanation.
At what age do your legs start hurting?
Growing pains are leg pains and soreness that happen to children at night. Growing pains usually start when kids are 3–12 years old.
Can high blood pressure make your legs hurt?
How does high blood pressure cause PAD? – High blood pressure can damage your arteries, Fatty deposits, known as plaques, can build up in the damaged areas, making the arteries narrower. This process is called atherosclerosis. Over time these plaques can become harder, making the arteries stiffer.
This narrowing and stiffening of the arteries means less blood can flow through them, restricting the blood supply to the part of the body they lead to. When the arteries leading to the legs and feet are affected, this is PAD. What else causes PAD? The lifestyle factors which lead to high blood pressure can also lead to PAD, in particular, smoking, being overweight or obese, lack of activity, an unhealthy diet, and drinking too much alcohol.
Other things which can mean you’re at higher risk are:
age – about 20% of people aged over 60 have some degree of PAD high blood cholesterol – which can be laid down in the arteries diabetes – as diabetes can damage the blood vessels coronary artery disease being male – PAD tends to affect men more than women a family history of diseases affecting the blood vessels, including heart disease and stroke chronic kidney disease
The NHS has more information on what causes PAD and how you can prevent it.
Does poor circulation cause leg pain at night?
Arterial disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. The most common type of arterial disease is an occlusion or obstruction in the arteries supplying blood to a part of your body. These arteries play a significant function in moving blood from the heart to organs and other parts of the body, like the legs and feet.
In addition, over 8 million people in the U.S. have PAD (or peripheral artery disease) due to plaque buildup in the peripheral arteries. This is why you should contact a vascular physician right away if you’re dealing with pain in your arms, legs, or lower extremities at night. Patients with PAD in their legs may experience pain during the night or rest.
These symptoms can be caused by a lack of blood flow to the leg. If you are experiencing leg pain at night, it’s essential to see a vascular specialist. However, other signs may indicate a more severe problem. The main indicator of PAD is pain during exertion and symptoms subside right after the patient rests.
Can poor sleep cause leg pain?
Why Lack of Sleep Increases Pain – Research shows that insufficient sleep and low-quality sleep increase the risk of developing widespread pain, particularly as we age. A three-year study carried out by researchers at Keele University in the UK found that non-refreshing sleep was the factor most strongly linked with the development of pain that was not linked to specific sources.
A separate study into adult women suffering from fibromyalgia found that there was a strong link between sleep problems and the risk of developing the condition. So the evidence is clear that there’s a clear link between sleep quality and pain of all kinds – not just muscle aches. Sleeping in the wrong position or on a bad mattress is not necessarily to blame.
But how exactly can a lack of sleep cause muscle and joint pain? There are three main reasons at play: 1. Poor sleep decreases pain tolerance.2. Poor sleep increases the intensity of pain.3. Poor sleep increases your risk of developing painful chronic conditions.
- Scientists do not yet fully understand the link between poor sleep quality and these causes of increased pain, but it’s thought that it may be due to changes in the nervous system when the body doesn’t get enough sleep.
- These changes cause oversensitivity, meaning that our pain tolerance is lowered.
- Lack of sleep can also cause inflammation in the body, which will often result in muscle aches and pains and can exacerbate inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Insomnia is also known to impair athletic performance, which can increase the risk of muscle and joint injuries due to sports, or even an everyday activity such as running to catch a bus. The body’s healing processes are most active during sleep, so if you’re recovering from a soft-tissue injury, not getting enough sleep may mean you need a longer time to recover.
Why do my legs ache at night but not during the day?
Musculoskeletal pain – 1. Cramps When your muscles are fatigued, certain body movements can trigger cramps. If you’re experiencing cramps at night, this could be from restlessness and turning over in bed. This triggers the muscle causing it to cramp. Interestingly, they can also be caused by a lack of movement, specifically if you hold a position for a long period of time.
- Dehydration and a lack of salts in your body fluids are also common causes of cramps.
- If you’re exercising and using all of the water sources in your body, this can change the salt levels in your fluids.
- This change in levels results in altered signals sent between the nerves and muscles, causing your muscles to twitch or cramp.
To avoid this, we suggest making an active effort to keep hydrated and well fed. We may also recommend magnesium supplements, however this is only after our podiatrist has assessed your issue and medical history.2. Inflammation of muscles/tendons You may experience pain and inflammation in your muscles and tendons during the night as these muscles are healing while you sleep, especially if you have an injury.
- However it is not a common symptom of injury pain and may indicate a greater severity of the injury or problem at hand.
- Hence it is important that if this is happening to you to seek professional advice.
- A couple of at-home treatments you could try initially include anti-inflammatory medication (if you can take it), making sure you find a comfortable position while sleeping, and applying cold or heat packs to help reduce your symptoms.
Please be careful in regards to heat and ice burns. 3. Bone Fracture Common symptoms you may experience are aching pain in the bone which is present during both the day and night. If it is a bone fracture, your pain typically doesn’t settle when you’re at rest, unlike, when pain is primarily felt during weight-bearing exercise and only occasionally occurs at night.
- Bone fractures generally occur as a result of a single incident, meaning you can probably pinpoint the exact time where it occurred, such as from a heavy knock, or if the bone was exposed to a high load from a major fall etc.
- It will often feel like the bone itself is sore instead of the surrounding muscles, and you can often pinpoint the exact sore spot.
Anti-inflammatory medications and resting in a comfortable position can help to ease your pain, however your body’s pain is signalling to you that something isn’t quite right. Therefore, if you suspect a bone fracture, you should get it investigated by a medical professional as soon as possible to prevent any serious future complications.