Going to sleep at night is one of the most cathartic moments of our day. We settle in, get under our blankets, and prepare to shut down for the next eight hours. However, sometimes, there may be things that prevent you from getting your night’s rest.
In one instance, you may feel a sharp, nagging pain in your leg that is becoming more than just a nuisance. The causes of this leg pain can vary, but it is particularly important to pinpoint the origins and seek treatment immediately.
Here are seven common causes of leg pain at night, described in greater detail:
Cause #1: Leg muscle fatigue
If you lead an extremely active lifestyle, leg pain can be prevalent. Significant exercise requires a proportionate amount of recovery time. If you do the bare minimum for this, you may experience pain in areas of the body that are trained the most.
For instance, if you run a lot, or do a lot of bodybuilding exercises on your legs, minimal recovery time will lead to crippling muscle pain. This will translate to leg pain at night. Use physiotherapy services to soothe your muscles after they have been worked out. This step is often overlooked, but shouldn’t be when trying to fix the causes of leg pain at night!
Cause #2: Not enough leg movements
The causes of your leg pain may not even be active during the late parts of your evening. In some cases, it may extend from your lifestyle habits during the day. If you work in an office-related position, chances are you remain seated for a substantial portion of your typical business day.
This contributes to an overall sedentary lifestyle, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on your leg. The leg pain you feel at night is a symptom of this; it exacerbates the cramping experienced in the leg to the point of discomfort. Make sure you get up and walk around during the day, and lead an active lifestyle in some respect to prevent this.
Cause #3: Sustained standing
Some jobs will require you to stand for an extended amount of time. If you don’t find ways in which you can rest, in order to balance out the time spent standing, cramping will ensue. This will inevitably worsen, which will lead to the causes of leg at night if not corrected sooner.
If you find yourself standing, in any regard, for a prolonged amount of time, try to sit down! This will put the pressure off your legs, and lessen the capacity for leg pain to crop up during the nighttime.
Cause #4: Tendon shortening
Aging is an inevitable part of our lives. Our bodies, for the most part, start off healthy, and then slowly age overtime. This sentiment can be applied to the components in our bodies as well, from our bones to our tendons.
In regards to the latter, the tendons connect our muscles and bones. As we age, they shorten in a natural way. This could very well be the cause of the leg pain at night. Ask your healthcare provider on how to proceed, in the event that the pain becomes unbearable.
Cause #5: Shin Splints
Leg pain doesn’t necessarily have to originate near the thigh or quadricep. Sometimes, you may experience sharp pain near the shin area. This may be because of shin splits; it is a condition in which the shin bone becomes inflamed for multiple reasons.
If you, for example, do a lot of contact sports in which your shin is heavily used, this can lead to shin splits. Like the previously mentioned recovery time, it is important to give your shin proper rest. This will lessen the inflammation, and the overall pain you feel in your leg during the night.
Cause #6: Claudication
If you are an older individual, your leg pain at night is caused by a peripheral artery disease, or PAD. This is a specific condition that is experienced during the night when you are trying to sleep, due to muscle cramping. The cramping itself originates from claudication, which is activated, for example, when trying to walk up a set of stairs.
Even after the motion is stopped, claudication allows the pain in your legs to still persist. This is a serious condition, and should be treated accordingly by your healthcare provider if it continues to affect your sleeping pattern.
Cause #7: Nerve activity
Research has proven that, in some cases, the nerves in our legs may act up sporadically. The causes for this is relatively unknown, but the symptoms will invariably result in leg pain. It may start off with mere cramping, but can quickly develop into pain if not promptly tended to.
When you experience leg cramps, it can be an irritation at best or develop into pain at worst. Should this fall under the latter, you must take immediate action. Your legs need to be in the best possible condition at all times!