Letters: A lesson in leg cramps
“I have been struggling with leg cramps at night for years. They usually come in the early morning hours, about 6 a.m. Usually, I walk around the bedroom for a few minutes and they disappear. But the cramps, usually in the calf or thigh, are extremely painful. Do you have a recommendation for this aggravating problem?”
—B.D., Oklahoma City, OK
WCD: It is indeed an aggravating problem. Quinine is quite effective in some patients-300 mg at bedtime. In other patients it’s not effective at all. Of course, our “keepers” in Washington don’t approve of quinine sulfate for this problem.
Something else I have tried with patients over the years is quite simple and sometimes effective. Place a soft pillow between your legs so that the ankles and the knees don’t touch. My scientific opinion is that this relaxes the leg muscles during the night so that you don’t get a neurological discharge in the wee hours of the morning. You might get only a partial relief (i.e., less frequent cramps).
People suffering from the restless leg syndrome might also find benefit from this simple –and comfortable–procedure.
The text contained herein does not constitute medical advice. Dr. Douglass’ Real Health Breakthroughs advises that you consult your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained within this publication.