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Night Cramp is something from which
great many people occasionally suffer - and they don't easily forget it.
healthiest people may get
short, sharp pain in
Many older people can bring it on by making powerful stretching movements while lying down in bed. If this sort of night cramp becomes
real nuisance, avoiding over-stretching and tablets containing quinine sulphate at bed-time may be all that is needed.
very small number of patients, however, cannot take quinine without becoming dizzy or getting buzzing in
ears. They may have to decide whether they would rather have cramp and no dizziness, or
But cramp in
lower limbs in
daytime and in younger, active patients
can be very distressing and is more serious. It is not uncommon and has
rather clumsy name of intermittent claudications.
patient first complains of aching legs after exercise. It may be slight, but gradually becomes more pronounced. Then
pain is not merely
definite, crippling cramp, which can become so severe that
patient finds he or she cannot stand after much walking.
Intermittent claudication is caused by
arteries and often starts in
30s. It generally means that
arteries everywhere in
body have become narrowed and blood cannot reach
muscles fast enough when they are in use.
heart muscles may be equally affected.
This condition may be
good enough excuse for not doing jobs you donít like doing, but that is poor consolation. It is
disease which affects men far more than women and attacks are more common in cold weather, or even after sitting in
draught. It is also
slightly hereditary complaint.
This is by no means
night-time cramp already mentioned, and there is no absolute cure.
patient learns to regulate
amount of exercise he or she can comfortably take.
No drugs offer
complete relief but there is one habit which
sufferer must give up ó smoking. Whatever may or may not be oneís views about
habit, it undoubtedly makes intermittent claudication far more troublesome.
number of patients will secretly admit that so long as they keep off tobacco they do not get this fearsome cramp.